New Mexico has a rich tradition of winemaking, beginning in the 1600s when the first vines were imported (actually, smuggled in) from Spain. Production was widespread and small-scale, with most towns having at least one winery and winemaking at many of the missions. By the late 1800s New Mexico was producing up to one million gallons of wine annually. Local winemaking waned after the introduction of the railroads and a 1943 flooding of the Rio Grande destroyed many vineyards; in the 1980s NM saw a resurgence in the establishing of commercial wineries, many of them using drip irrigation. The first variety introduced, Vitis vinifera, commonly called the "mission grape", is still grown in NM today. The New Mexico State University has long been active in viticulture research, including the development of a variant of the popular Zinfandel variety. NM now has over 60 active vintners, with production estimated at 800,000 gallons annually.