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  • Gruet Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary of First Sparkling Wine Release

    Gruet Winery Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary of First Sparkling Wine Release

    Special Events and New Releases Planned to Commemorate Occasion

    ALBUQUERQUE (August 29, 2019) – This September, Albuquerque’s own Gruet Winery celebrates a landmark anniversary, the 30th release year for Gruet sparkling wines. The Gruet family’s “coming to America” tale is quite remarkable; they embodied the ultimate start-up, finding success from true grit and determination, first as Champagne producers in France and now as one of the fastest growing sparkling wine houses in the US. Winemaker Laurent Gruet released the first two sparkling wines 30 years ago and is still creating the Champagne method sparkling wines he learned from his father Gilbert Gruet, back in France. Today, third generation winemaker Sofian Himeur serves as Laurent’s assistant winemaker.

    Highlights of the early days:

    • In the 1950s, Gilbert Gruet started planting Chardonnay on his family farm in the town of Bethon, France. When the Champagne designation boundary changed to include Bethon, Gilbert was ready to go with grapes in production.
    • Gilbert learned to make wine from another winemaker in exchange for helping him build his winery. From there, he created a cooperative and Gruet et Fils was founded in 1967.
    • Gilbert heard about other Champagne makers staking claims in the United States. In the early 1980s he took the family on “recon vacations”. Noticing an already-tapped California, he focused on the Southwest, where he was intrigued by a few Alsatian winemakers experimenting in New Mexico. Delighted by the low cost of land, Gilbert decided to make New Mexico the US winemaking outpost for Gruet.
    • In 1984, Gilbert’s adult children, Laurent Gruet and Nathalie Gruet, along with her husband Farid Himeur and their then-toddler Sofian, were brought to New Mexico to expand the Gruet empire, where they still live today.
    • In 1987, Gruet established a winery in a rental building in Albuquerque where they pressed their first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
    • In 1989, Gruet Winery released their first two sparkling wines. That same year, they received their first medal of acclaim!

    “For me, winemaking is practically genetic. My earliest memories of wine were of being alongside my father, Gilbert Gruet, at Gruet et Fils winery in Bethon,” says winemaker Laurent Gruet. “Like me, Sofian basically grew up in the winery – only for him it was in Albuquerque! 30 years after our first release, we continue to delight wine drinkers all over the world. I love seeing the surprise on people’s faces when they learn this wine is made in New Mexico, not Champagne.”

    Recent Gruet Acclaim:

    Gruet Brut NV                                

    90 Points | Smart Buy | Wine Spectator
    91 Points | Tasting Panel

    Gruet Brut Rose NV                 

    Top 100 Value Wines of 2018 | Wine Spectator
    90 Points | Tasting Panel

    Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV              

    90 Points | Smart Buy | Top 100 | Wine Spectator
    Best Buy | Year’s Best Summer Sparklers | Wine & Spirits

    90 Points | Tasting Panel

    Gruet Blanc de Blancs NV            

    90 Points | Tasting Panel

    Gruet Sauvage                                  

    Best Buy | Wine & Spirits
    90 Points | Tasting Panel

    To further commemorate the 30th Anniversary, Gruet is releasing two special limited-edition sparkling wines:

    Barrel Aged Brut – This sparkling wine, aged in oak for 6 months, is 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir. A throw-back to the traditional way of champagne production, this oak aging method is still utilized by the older Champagne houses for their higher-tier champagnes. (Tasting notes: a hint of Meyer lemon and vanilla on the nose, this sparkler offers vibrant citrus and creaminess on the palate with hints of toasted brioche and balanced minerality on the delightfully long finish.)

    Sparkling Pinot Meunier – Gruet Winery is proud to produce this 100% Pinot Meunier Méthode Champenoise, which was grown and hand-harvested in New Mexico at the Tamaya Vineyard in partnership with the Santa Ana Pueblo. Pinot Meunier is one of three principal grapes used to make Champagne. Crafted by the world-class winemaker Laurent Gruet, this wine celebrates Gruet’s 30th anniversary of producing award winning wines that connect with the land and the people of New Mexico. (Tasting notes: flavors of stone fruit, pears and fresh baked biscuit; well-balanced with bright acidity.)

    30th Anniversary Release parties, hosted by winemaker Laurent Gruet and assistant winemaker Sofian Himeur, are open to the public and will take place on the following dates:

    Friday, September 13 from 6-9pm at the Albuquerque Gruet Winery and Tasting Room

    Friday, September 20 from 6-9pm at the Santa Fe Gruet Tasting Room

    About Gruet Winery: Producing outstanding, award-winning American sparkling wines that adhere to strict Methode Champenoise guidelines, Gruet Winery was founded on the vision and passion of French winemaker and patriarch Gilbert Gruet, making sparkling wine in the U.S. that most resembles French champagne. This esteemed American sparkling wine producer currently makes approximately 275,000 cases annually, including 15 sparkling wines that retail from $15 to $46. Gruet wines are sold in 49 states, Asia and the Caribbean and can be found in the country’s finest restaurants, retail outlets, online and through its destination tasting room and winery located at 8400 Pan American Freeway NE, Albuquerque, NM and its tasting room in the historic Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe. The Gruet family’s passion for winemaking over the past 30 years has given people around the world a quality, luxury product at a great value. Learn more at www.gruetwinery.com.

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