ALBUQUERQUE, NM — The all-star cast of winemakers are each prolific in their own right, but the collaboration in the land of enchantment raises the bar.
“This team brings a wow factor to the Vara experience, one that we cannot wait to share with both wine enthusiasts and those that have a newfound passion for wine,” says Xavier Zamarripa, Co-founder and President of Vara. “Bringing these artists together at the pinnacle of their careers to create something that is magical in the birthplace of the American Wine experience – this is a dream come true for Vara.”
The group, helmed by Vara Winery co-owners Doug Diefenthaler and Xavier Zamarripa, will play off of each other’s expertise, celebrating the eclectic and vast experience each brings.
“There is such an amazing synergy between Doug, Bob, Laurent, and I,” says Lousia Lindquist. “We all have a long history in the wine industry and when you bring that together you have a stellar team that has mutual respect and admiration for the experience we bring to the table. We all have known each other since the late 80’s and have a bond that allows us to understand each other – and makes us stronger together.”
“The chance to utilize my over 40 years of experience here on the Central Coast of California to source the best cool climate Iberian varietals, and to effect a winemaking style that reflects a traditional, handcrafted, and balanced approach to wines that are delicious, structured, and complex is something that I am excited to continue to bring to this partnership,” said Bob Lindquist. “Wines that on one end are drinkable now, and on the higher end able to age for many years in the cellar.”
Laurent Gruet comes from generations of Méthode Champenoise winemaking. Like his father Gilbert Gruet, quality is Laurent’s top priority and it underscores his winemaking passion. After coming to the United States at 18 from France, not speaking a word of English, Laurent introduced Méthode Champenoise to New Mexico receiving the highest accolades. A long time friend of Doug, he now comes to Vara with the same passion, bringing three decades of experience.
“In joining the Vara team as the sparkling winemaker and partner, it is a unique opportunity to fuse our collective passion for making wine,” said Laurent Gruet. “Working with such a dynamic team allows us all to better ourselves and make the most exceptional wines. You have to believe you can do it – and we have the energy behind us. Stay tuned for what’s coming next as we go back to basics and craft brand new wines.”
“I have had the great fortune of knowing Laurent Gruet and Louisa and Bob Lindquist as great friends and business associates for over 30 years. Individually they’ve all been a profound and significant influence on the American wine experience.” said Doug Diefenthaler, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President at Vara Wines. “It’s both humbling and exciting to welcome them as Vara’s winemaking team and I look forward to tasting this Vara magic for years to come.”
Vara is an international family of Spanish and American wines and spirits celebrating the origin of the American wine experience through the historical connection of Spain and New Mexico. Vara co-founders Doug Diefenthaler and Xavier Zamarripa regularly travel to Spain and are committed to growing and locating the best fruit for Vara’s Spanish wines and cava. They have spent years developing partnerships with wine growers in Spain, and various American vineyards including New Mexico. Under the direction of Vara’s winemaking team, winemakers Bob and Louisa Lindquist, Vara acquires fruit from the highest quality growers of Spanish grape varieties in the U.S. The harvested fruit is brought to our New Mexico facility where the wines are made and aged in individual lots until Bob and Louisa assemble the final cuvees. With the addition of Laurent Gruet overseeing sparkling wines, Vara is poised to continue producing the very best quality wines at any price for every consumer’s taste and interest.
Some Wines have a Story. Vara has a History.
The history of wine in New Mexico is over 390 years old and is as rich and complicated as its colorful landscapes. 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 in what is now the U.S. at a pueblo in the Rio Grande Valley of the Province of New Mexico. The cuttings brought to the new world by missionaries from Spain were of a Vitis Vinifera grape variety known as Listán Prieto, or the present-day Mission grape. This variety has been continuously grown and is still harvested in New Mexico today.
ABOUT VARA WINES
VARA is an international family of Spanish and American wines celebrating the origins of the American wine experience thanks to the historical connection of Spain and New Mexico. Some wines have a story, we have a history. Visit www.varawines.com