“It's the wine—and the soul.”
In 1629, the oldest wine industry in the United States was started in the arid, rich soil of New Mexico—almost 150 years before wineries would take root in what would become California. These early vintners had travelled far, hailing from across Europe, and the legacy they would leave behind continues to grow and flourish to this day. In fact, excellent European winemakers do call New Mexico home. However, here in the land of enchantment, one cannot discuss traditions in wine without talking about John Calvin's Casa Rondeña Winery.
Chosen time and again by the people of Albuquerque—seven years in a row and still going strong—as their favorite, Casa Rondeña has proven to be more than equal to carrying on the centuries-old legacy of those first European vintners. This should come as no surprise: the winery is an enduring labor of love and passion. The brainchild of renaissance man John Calvin—native of the Rio Grande Valley, passionate musician, designer, builder and, for the past 25 years, creator and winemaker of Casa Rondeña—the winery has become a cultural institution in its own right over the decades. And, according to Calvin, “We've only just begun. The passionate, persistent, patient pursuit of excellence will always prevail.”
Daily grateful for the opportunity to pursue a craft that fulfills him to his core, Calvin above all sees his time building up the winery as pursuing a deeply spiritual art. “Winemaking is the medium I chose to pursue my relationship with my maker,” says Calvin. “Being able to succeed in that, and see the next generation take up the craft, is humbling, and beautiful in a way that defies description.”
I can only hope that the work ethic, the discipline, and most importantly, the humility that it takes to create such beauty from the Earth, the water, and the sky, will prevail."
Though he has made Casa Rondeña his life for decades, Calvin is nothing but optimistic about passing the reigns to his successors at the winery when the time comes. “Nothing could make me happier than handing the next generation the result of my dreams, fears, a generation of learning, hard work and risk-taking,” says Calvin. “Only God knows what may be in store, and I can only hope that the work ethic,
the discipline, and most importantly, the humility that it takes to create such beauty from the Earth, the water, and the sky, will prevail. I hope that I will have been a good guide to those who will follow me and that they will have the skill and drive to make our community a better place to live and continue our reputation for excellence. With the community's help and support, they will.”
After all, Casa Rondeña is not just a winery—it is a way of thinking, and the spirituality of the art of winemaking pervades everything it does as a company. That connection goes deeper than any mere financial venture—It's a constant reminder of God's love and makes Casa Rondeña a place to rekindle one's love and respect for the land. It's a place for us to come together and rejoice in the beauty and the Miracle of photosynthesis, and yes, in each other.
So why do thousands of New Mexican voters choose Casa Rondeña as their favorite, year after year? The answer is simple: It's the wine—and the soul."
Voted Best—7th year in a row!
Owner & Vintner, John R. Calvin & all of us at Casa Rondeña Winery would like to thank each & every one of the voters in New Mexico, & across the nation, who casted their ballots–making us once again best in the categories of Best Vintner, Winery, & Local Wine!
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ALBUQUERQUE BUSINESS FIRST | Exclusive: Casa Rondeña’s Calvin talks New Mexico wine, record revenue
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