Home Industry News Releases Laurent Gruet Releases His First Sparkling Wines with Vara Winery & Distillery

Laurent Gruet Releases His First Sparkling Wines with Vara Winery & Distillery


The Vara Silverhead Brut and Vara Silverhead Brut Rosado are now available for purchase

(August 24, 2022; Albuquerque, N.M.)—Laurent Gruet is proud to announce the first release of the Vara Winery & Distillery Silverhead Brut NV (SRP $25) and Silverhead Brut Rosado NV (SRP $27) under his new leadership as partner and sparkling winemaker. Having launched locally in 2016, Albuquerque-based Vara Winery & Distillery is inspired by the wine history of New Mexico, the birthplace of the American Wine Trail, which started in 1629 before evolving to California and beyond over the course of more than two centuries. In December 2020, Gruet joined the all-star artisans on the Vara team including Still Winemakers Bob Lindquist and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, Head Distiller Scott Feuille and Assistant Winemaker and Distiller Djuna Benjamin.

“Coming from Champagne, France and making sparkling wine all my life, I believe in producing traditional method wines that are of the quality of Champagne,” says Gruet. “The Silverhead Brut and Silverhead Brut Rosado exemplify what I prioritize in sparkling wines—high acidity and striking purity of fruit. At Vara, the sky’s the limit and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Spanish varieties for the first time to create the absolute best wine possible.”

An icon and visionary in the world of domestic sparkling wine through his pioneering work in New Mexico, Laurent Gruet has over 40 sparkling wine harvests under his belt and intimately understands the possibilities of sparkling wine in the New World. At Vara, Laurent is creatively confounding expectations and traditional rules of what can be used to make sparkling wine, blending grapes from Spain, Washington and California grapes to create truly exceptional cuvées.

“The key to success in sourcing and blending high-quality grapes such as Xarel-lo and Macabeo from Spain and Chardonnay from the United States is having incredibly strong relationships with growers,” says Gruet. “We have nurtured relationships over many years with our growers in New Mexico, California, Washington and Spain and they understand exactly what we want. Farming practices throughout the season, the timing of harvest and gentle hand-picking are crucial when producing sparkling wines that are as close to perfect as possible.”

The Silverhead Brut NV is 72% Chardonnay and 3% Syrah from Ancient Lakes AVA of Washington state and 25% Xarel-lo/Macabeo, from the Alt Penedès DO of Spain. The Silverhead Brut Rosado NV is 75% Syrah and 25% Chardonnay from the Ancient Lakes AVA of Washington. Both wines are produced in the classic Método Tradicional style and are made to be enjoyed over a good meal with great friends. The Silverhead Brut and Silverhead Brut Rosado are now available in the Vara tasting room, for purchase at www.varawines.com and will ship to select national wholesale markets this month.

About Vara Winery & Distillery

Conceptualized with the first release in 2016, Albuquerque-based Vara Winery & Distillery at once embraces and defies tradition, making it one of the most disruptive, innovative and exciting producers in the United States today. As a circle of professionals who are masters of their respective crafts and who have both witnessed and shaped the American beverage landscape, the Vara team is united and impassioned by the prospect of breaking boundaries and creating something entirely new. Vara is inspired by the wine history in New Mexico, which started in 1629 and is as rich, diverse and storied as the region’s colorful landscapes. The road to American wine began with Spanish missionaries who came through New Mexico to California. Thus, Vara wines are sourced from all three places and intentionally blended to create beyond standard cuvees using innovative techniques. At Vara, a melding of varieties and sources focuses not on what wine should be, but what wine can become. The goal at Vara is to embrace diversity and make wines and spirits that are delicious and greater than the sum of their parts. Vara Winery & Distillery produces still, sparkling, fortified wines, brandy, gin and rum. Today Vara has a tasting room and restaurant in Albuquerque, where it also operates a full production facility, with exciting plans for a new tasting room called Vara Vinoteca in Santa Fe, opening Summer 2022.

For more information about Vara Winery & Distillery please visit www.varawines.com and www.varaspirits.com.

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