Subdivision: Village of Placitas
Owner/ Designer: Barb, Ty & Evan Belknap
Garden Type or Features: Placitas Winery, a vineyard, historic fruit orchard, and home property, sits on the western edge of the Village of Placitas and consists of a tasting room, an open-air event center, a hybrid Syrah grape vineyard, a variety of fruit trees, and an outdoor seating area with mature trees and accent plants. There is plenty of parking with a 360-degree drive through (separate entrance and exit roads.)
- Brunch and supper food items will be available for purchase in the event center throughout the garden tour day and up until 6:30 p.m. on September 10, 2023.
Artist in the Garden: Erica Wendel-Oglesby
Barb and Ty Belknap do more than grow fruit and sell wine at their 4-acre Placitas Winery. They also maintain a window into the populations who inhabited the location long before they took possession in 2018. Visitors to the orchard, winery and rustic event space get a rare glimpse of the fertile floodplain and a way of life that has supported cultures for many centuries.
The property’s oldest inhabitants — the Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloans) — left remnants of a pit house and other artifacts amidst the junipers. They also are attributed with building an acequia network that delivered spring-fed irrigation water throughout the valley. The Spaniards, who in the 1500s established farms and small pueblos along the Las Huertas Valley, resurrected and improved upon that network.
The Sam Salazar family, members of the San Antonio de las Huertas Land Grant, farmed the site until 1995, when Jim Fish established Anasazi Fields Winery there, planted grapes and an orchard, and turned his harvest into wine. When the Belknaps arrived, they found mature apricot and pear trees, a plum grove, a crabapple tree, two vineyards planted to Castle hybrid Syrah grapes (with a few Gamay grapes), an open-air event space and a wine cellar. They upgraded the event space and winery, renovated Fish’s nearby adobe house and added a small cherry orchard.
Visitors can view the historic acequia while meandering a nature loop and sample the small-batch wines produced by Evan Belknap inside the winery. Wine by the glass is also available for purchase, along with select foods throughout until 6:30 pm.
More information about Placitas Winery is available at placitaswinery.com.
Aerial view of Placitas Winery planted property to explore: pink represents the Nature Path from which you will cross the Acequia (blue) ditch gate, the Apricot grove, native plants, and view the Anasazi Ruins.