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Albuquerque, New Mexico-Based Vara Winery & Distillery Raises the Bar with a New Portfolio of Locally Made and Desert Landscape-Inspired Artisan Spirits


(Feb. 15, 2024; ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.)—JP Clement, general manager and CEO of VARA Winery & Distillery, an urban winery and craft distillery based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is pleased to announce the launch of the company’s new portfolio of artisan spirits, made with locally sourced ingredients and designed to reflect the New Mexican landscapes that inspire every step of the distillation process. New to the lineup are the Painted Sky Vodka (SRP $25) and Estrella Blanca Rum (SRP $26). These products join the distillery’s highly acclaimed High Desert Gin (SRP $30) and Corona de Oro Rum (SRP $40).

“We are incredibly excited to be expanding our focus on New Mexico-inspired spirits,” says Clement. “As an urban winery and craft distillery here in Albuquerque, we are always looking for ways to create new products uniquely reflective of our home state and crafted for communal enjoyment.”

Clement joined the VARA team in January 2023 and has worked to increase VARA’s reputation as a locally focused producer of quality wines and spirits in New Mexico, bolstered by a team of veteran industry artisans. The new labels are the latest step in this pursuit. The watercolor style reflects the rolling hills of the high desert and New Mexico’s vibrant sunsets.

The VARA spirits are crafted by VARA’s long-time production manager, Djuna Benjamin, along with VARA’s new head distiller, Martin Ulloa. Ulloa grew up in New Mexico and has honed his expertise in distillation over the last decade. He brings his passion for blending traditional distilling methods with new and innovative techniques to the team, alongside over six years of brewing and distilling experience. Benjamin, a native New Mexican and long-time VARA team member, is inspired by her home state’s herbs and cultural influences as she refines the unique flavor profiles across the portfolio.

“Growing up in New Mexico, I was always inspired by the scents and landscape–as anyone from our state can understand,” says Benjamin. “We capture the richness of New Mexico’s air and culture in our spirits, which are accessible and easy to enjoy while also offering a little hint of the Land of Enchantment that can’t be found anywhere else.”

The Painted Sky Vodka, Estrella Blanca Rum, High Desert Gin, and Corona de Oro Rum are available for purchase at select retail locations in New Mexico, including the newly opened Nob Hill Tasting Room, located at 201 Hermosa Dr. NE, and the Santa Fe Tasting Room, located at 329 W. San Francisco St. These spirits will soon be available for direct shipping to select states.

About VARA Winery & Distillery

Founded in 2016, VARA is an Albuquerque-based urban winery and craft distillery that brings together a passionate circle of professionals who use innovative techniques to create wines and spirits that express a uniquely New Mexican point of view. VARA is inspired by New Mexico’s boundary-pushing culture and the state’s history of winemaking, which spans nearly 400 years and is as rich and storied as the region’s colorful landscapes. VARA Winery & Distillery produces still, sparkling, and fortified wines, along with brandy, gin, rum, and vodka. VARA has three tasting rooms in New Mexico: the Balloon Fiesta Park Tasting Room, located at 315 Alameda Blvd. NE; the Santa Fe Tasting Room, located at 329 W. San Francisco St; and the Nob Hill Tasting Room, located at 201 Hermosa Dr. NE. VARA’s tasting rooms offer wine and spirits flights as well as a curated selection of cocktails and tapas. Please visit VARAspirits.com for hours of operations and reservations.

For more information about VARA Winery & Distillery, please visit www.VARAspirits.com and www.VARAwines.com.



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