Recent winters hurting local wine production

Posted at: 02/26/2014 7:13 PM
Updated at: 02/26/2014 7:14 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4



It's older than the state itself and even older than the good old USA: New Mexico wineries. It's a symbol of our history that goes back to the Franciscans in the 1600s. Corrales Winery has added to that history since 2000. Like most vineyards in the state, it has gone through some rough patches, including the recession.

"The last thing people give up even in a down economy is chocolate and alcohol, so we're hanging in there," said Keith Johnstone, Co-Owner of Corrales Winery.

He would never quit on the grapes that are beginning to bud, but cold weather has been tough on him recently, especially the last two winters.

When Corrales got down to -17F, the winery couldn't yield a crop that year.

The grapes are beginning to bud in Corrales. The same thing occurred last year, but Johnstone is concerned because in 2013 a couple of spring freezes destroyed the crops.

"Every class of shoot that the grapevines sent out actually got frozen so 2013 was another year that we didn't get a crop," he said

Johnstone is holding his breath for this year's crop since the grapes are budding already. As long as it doesn't freeze in the next couple of months, the grape crop could produce up to eighty percent of its potential.