Our Story

Check out this article in the Durango Herald about Josh, our winemaker.

wine new mexicoThe Wines of the San Juan story began in 1961 at a roller skating rink in Phoenix, Arizona, where David Arnold first fell in love with Marcia Harris. Married in 1965, they would spend the next 33 years wrangling 5 children around the country while alternating smoke jumping, horse training, trout farming and raising dairy cows.

In 1999 they purchased a foreboding patch of desert ringed in rusty barbed wire along the San Juan River in Turley, New Mexico. With a dream of developing a family vineyard, they jumped headlong into winemaking with no prior experience, unperturbed by having to start over yet again. The humble cowboy farmer became a vintner, and with his family learned to grow grapes from the parched New Mexico soil beneath an unforgiving sun. Guided by a fierce entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to work closely with the land in synch with the seasons, the Arnolds built Wines of the San Juan from scratch, learning the intricate process of winemaking and vineyard management the hard way - through trial and error, grand mistakes and hard-won victories.

They discovered quickly that the alchemy of winemaking is a temperamental art, requiring flexibility, patience and unwavering fortitude. Successfully crafting an award-winning wine from the adverse desert climate of New Mexico meant that grape varietals needed to survive temperature ranges from -18 degrees up to over 100 degrees at the peak of summer. The learning curve to achieve such a difficult feat was steep, but they persevered.

wine new mexicoNearly two decades later, Wines of the San Juan continues to thrive in the arid landscape of northern New Mexico. Through dogged determination, selflessness, generosity and a desire to build a strong family legacy, the Arnolds preserve the pioneering land stewardship of a bygone era. Like the fertile banks of the San Juan River bringing life to an otherwise barren landscape, they have grown from nothing into a multi-generational vineyard of international standing.

Far from the posh estates of Napa, Wines of the San Juan provides an easy spirit of hospitality with an ambience of vintage timelessness and the romantic allure of the Old West. Painted sandstone canyons rim the San Juan River and cottonwood trees sway lazy in the sapphire sky, providing a perfect backdrop for enjoying a glass of Girls are Meaner® or Sweet Jenner Rose. From the porch swing, relax on a midsummer day while sipping the internationally awarded Serendipity Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon to the tune of red-winged blackbirds and the calls of showy peacocks.

At Wines of the San Juan, The Arnold family invites you to disconnect from the whir of life and experience the unique culture of New Mexico... Land of Enchantment. They welcome you to sit a while and enjoy a glass of their award-winning New Mexico wine while taking in the beauty of the San Juan River.