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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Grape field day set for growers and wine enthusiasts

Anyone interested in learning how to train and prune grapevines is invited to a grape field day sponsored by New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Wine and Vine Society.

The event is free and for anyone, from professional to amateur, interested in learning how to care for grapevines. The workshop is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Rio Grande Vineyard and Winery, 5321 S. Highway 28, just south of San Pedro, N.M.

"Training and pruning are important for regulating the fruit load on the vine," said John White, Doņa Ana County Extension agent. "If a vine overproduces, it can end up with smaller sized grapes, and the flavor can be a little off."

The field day will primarily focus on wine grapes and will be conducted by Bernd Meyer, an Extension viticulturalist. The event is part of NMSU's continuing outreach efforts to help educate and improve the lives of people in New Mexico.

"Grapes are not a high-water-use crop, but they need regular irrigation," said White. "The key is knowing when to harvest."

White said grapes have gone through hot and cold periods of popularity in Southern New Mexico.

"Right now there are several wineries in the area, so there is a potential for growers to market their grapes to those businesses," he said.

Anyone interested in participating should contact the Doņa Ana County Extension Office at (505) 525-6649. Those taking part are also asked to dress appropriately for working outside.