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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Launches Grape-Growing Workshop Sept. 8

LAS CRUCES - To prepare a new generation of aspiring winemakers, New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service and Texas Cooperative Extension are co-sponsoring a workshop Sept. 8 at La Viņa Winery in Chamberino.



New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service will hold a free winemaking and grape-growing workshop Sept. 8 at Chamberino's La Vina Winery, located 5 miles east of Anthony on Highway 28. (08/27/2004) (Courtesy Photo from U.S. Department of Agriculture)

"There's a budding wine industry in New Mexico today," said workshop coordinator John White, Doņa Ana County's Extension horticulture agent. "This program is for both current grape growers and those interested in entering the field. We'll be covering everything from establishing a vineyard to variety and rootstock selection."

The free program starts at 1 p.m. at La Viņa Winery, one of New Mexico's oldest, located 5 miles east of Anthony on Highway 28.

Extension and industry experts will cover vine training and pruning, review optimal harvest times and give talks on vineyard management. Other discussions will focus on winemaking technology and equipment.

Featured speaker Ed Hellman is a Texas Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist or wine grape-growing expert based in Lubbock.

Today, New Mexico has more than 30 wineries, making it one of the bigger wine industry players in the Southwest. In fact, wine was made in New Mexico long before California topped the nation's wine industry. Spanish missionaries planted the first vines in 1629 near Socorro.

NMSU scientists have been studying cutting-edge grape growing for years.

NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas has conducted grape variety trials since 1998. In a joint undertaking with the New Mexico Wine & Vine Society, researchers are testing 12 varieties - including grapes from New York, Missouri and Canada that are new to New Mexico - to determine winter hardiness, yield, quality, disease and insect problems.

For more information about the workshop, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact White in advance at (505) 525-6649 or e-mail whjohn@nmsu.edu or Daphne Richards at (915) 859-7725 or DRichards@ag.tamu.edu.