Over Memorial Day weekend we welcomed our second annual Gourmet Wine tasting trip on the Rio Chama with Vivac Winery and Chef Ky Quintanilla from Lambert’s of Taos. This years trip was spectacular as we spent three days traveling through the Wild and Scenic Rio Chama Wilderness. Our trip this year was sold out with river, food and wine enthusiast alike. We had 4 rafts, 2 inflatable kayaks and 2 stand up paddleboards. Nearly everyone got an opportunity to enjoy the inflatable kayaks while the rest of us rode in the paddle boats with Matt and Bean as Sean and Susie rowed the gear boats. We all marveled at Sean and Katheryn’s abilities to negotiate each rapid and the wind on the stand up paddleboards with Jake leading the way. As we settled into the first nights camp, Michelle and Jesse prepared the first sequence of wines for all to enjoy and started us off immediately with Vivac’s incredible Chardonnay. The guides set the table with awesome nice pine cone and flower center pieces put together by Susie and Bean and sat down for the first of 4 delicious courses. As Chef Ky presented each course, Jesse and Michelle gave us all great introductions to the paired wines and interesting hints about tasting which added so much to the overall experience. I can’t tell you how much we, the guides, learned about wine over the three days…especially what good wine tastes like!! The second day we enjoyed a couple of scenic hikes and a nice riverside lunch before settling into our second camp further downstream. Tonight’s dinner table was set up on a high bench in the Ponderosa Pines with a great view of the bright, red sandstone of “Tiger Wall” towering over us. We proceeded to stuff ourselves silly with wonderful salmon, duck breasts with apricot-chipotle glaze and fresh berry cobbler for dessert to name a few of the dishes presented. The wine, of course, was incredible and plentiful tonight as we all stayed up late and enjoyed a great night on the river! These trips are truly a highlight for all of the New Mexico rafting guides each year and I know that everyone who comes will enjoy the greatness of this special canyon and the decadence of the gourmet, wine pairing twist to an already amazing New Mexico river rafting trip. If you are interested in this trip, please contact us about our second installment for the 2013 season with Chef Scott downs and Josh Johnson, winemaker from the acclaimed La Chirapada winery, also located in Dixon, NM. Call 1-800-983-7756.