RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – People visit Mark Matheson’s winery in Rio Rancho to try some of his award-winning wines.
“We really do dry reds,” Matheson said. “That’s my passion.”
The grapes used to make those wines come from Deming and Matheson is proud to showcase the unique New Mexico taste.
“The wines are a reflection of what comes out of this state,” Matheson said. “Much like chile.”
Matheson’s also proud of the brewery he’s vice president of, Kaktus Brewing Company. But on Tuesday, you couldn’t get a taste of that beer at Matheson’s winery.
“I wouldn’t say it was frustrating, it was just kind of the constraints that we had to live in,” Matheson said.
Over in Bernalillo at Kaktus Brewing, you couldn’t get Matheson’s wine either. Brewery president Dana Koller said under New Mexico law his company would have to jump through a lot of hoops in order to do so.
“There was two options,” Koller said. “One is you become a restaurant… [the other is] to get a wine maker’s license and we would be producing our own wine at that point.”
State lawmakers didn’t seem to think that made a lot of sense. This year they unanimously approved SB 440, which lets New Mexico breweries and New Mexico wineries sell each other’s products. The law takes effect at the start of July.
“I think it’ll be a tremendous boost,” Matheson said. “If it gives me exposure I think that’ll be great and hopefully that’ll drive traffic through the tasting room.”
” I honestly believe it will grow our entire business 25 percent of what we’re doing now,” Koller said. “If the husband wants to have a glass of beer or the wife wants to have a glass of wine or vice versa, they’re just going to be more comforted it makes sense.”
In addition to expanding the market for their product, Koller says small breweries or wineries who work special events will also now be able to offer a wider selection of alcoholic drinks.