I have spent the last few days in northern New Mexico with Jerry & Linda Burd, owners of Black Mesa Winery. The Burds have been in the wine business for fifteen years and are doing very well. With their winemaker Karl Johnsen, they are making an array of very good wines from sweet to dry, white, red, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines, including their best selling Black Beauty, a deep red, chocolate flavored dessert wine, a long time favorite.
As are many wineries in North America, they are a small family owned winery that started with Jerry and Lynda doing almost everything. Jerry started out as the winemaker, though has since brought on a winemaker (the aforementioned Karl). Lynda is an artist who is responsible for their sometimes whimsical and very much admired labels.
As their popularity has grown, so has the number of staff, the wines and consumer direct locations. The couple has recently opened a tasting room in Taos, New Mexico, about thirty miles up the road from their Velarde tasting room.
Interestingly the two tasting rooms couldn’t be more different, with the Velarde tasting room being very homey, with lots of fun and interesting gift items as well as the wine tasting bar. The Taos tasting room is much different, striking and minimalist and very much in step with many of Taos’ visitors. On Friday and Saturday nights it stays open late and turns into a wine bar with music and lots of people relaxing with glasses of wine, after a day of touring. A perfect spot to match a more sophisticated clientele with different wants and needs.
Jerry and Lynda are continually moving forward. Their willingness to push forward, make changes and re-create their vision for the future of the winery is one that is seen in these small family wineries, throughout North America.
It was wonderful to be in New Mexico working with Lynda and Jerry, helping them focus their vision for the future and create the goals that will move them forward.
Congratulations, Lynda, Jerry and all your staff for your hard work and your success!