Introducing Viña Cardinal 2019



In 1629, 140 years before the first Missions of California were established and planted, a Franciscan friar named García de Zúñiga and a Capuchín monk named Antonio de Arteaga planted the first European wine grapes – Vitus vinifera – in what is now the United States. The cuttings brought to the new world were planted at a pueblo in the Rio Grande Valley of the Province of Nuevo México. This variety known as Listán Prieto or the present-day Mission grape, has been continuously grown and is still harvested in New Mexico today. 

VIÑA CARDINAL is Vara’s tribute to the heritage of the first winemaking in the USA. Made entirely from New Mexico grown heirloom Listán Prieto grapes, the wine was pressed and fermented off skins. Prior to finishing completely dry, we stopped the fermentation by fortifying with grape spirits (brandy) to 17% alcohol by volume. The result is a slightly off-dry light and lovely aperitif wine to be enjoyed prior to any meal with or without an accompanying appetizer.