Extension Services and Publications

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The New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service provides research-based publications to benefit people of the industry as well as people of the community in their business and in their pleasure. Most publications can be viewed on line as well as in a printable PDF format. A variety of topics are available pertaining to grape growing and wine making as well as other aspects of the industry.

  • NMSU
    Extension Plant Sciences Website


New Mexico Cooperative Extension Publications

Design and Functionality of a Wine Tasting Room

While wineries focus on production, the aesthetics and marketing of a tasting room can play a huge role in connecting with and creating an inviting experience for your customers. Wine tastings are captivating for educated and amateur wine tasters alike. The goal is to give enthusiasts the chance to sample a variety of wines in a class or more relaxed gathering, with a focus on the customer's overall experience. In the wine tourism industry, it is important to remember that this should be a fun, hands-on adventure for customers, with the goal of customers purchasing different varieties of wine and developing brand awareness for your winery. Elements of a functional, appealing, and successful tasting room include the marketing, infrastructure, personnel, and customer's experience. This guide will highlight key components of establishing a functional tasting room. Figure 1 shows the main points that will be discussed.
[Printable Version]

Managing Weeds in Grapes in New Mexico

Weeds compete with grapevines for resources such as water, nutrients, and light. However, the intensity of this competition varies during the lifecycle of the grapevines and is more significant during the early stages of vineyard establishment. This significant competition from weeds in the early stages of vineyard life is due to (a) limited root development and (b) limited vegetative growth of the vines. Weeds' competition with vines for water and nutrients is most severe when vines' root systems are shallow and not well developed. At the same time, newly planted vines, due to their smaller size, can be overgrown by tall weeds such as Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), kochia (Kochia scoparia), Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), and many others, which reduces the development of young vines. Some weed species can also directly reduce the vines' growth and development by releasing growth-retarding allelopathic chemicals. Weeds can also indirectly affect the grapevine by serving as an alternative host for pests and diseases. Furthermore, weeds that grow around the grapevine trunk can provide a habitat for rodents that can damage the trunks and/or the roots, thus reducing the growth and production of vines. Therefore, successful weed management in vineyards will significantly improve grapevine establishment and grape production.
[Printable Version]

Wine Grape Cultivar Performance in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico in 2010-12.

A renaissance in locally produced, locally branded foods is occurring in the Four Corners region, that portion of the southwestern United States where the state boundaries of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah converge. Growers again view fruit crops, including wine grape, as a profitable specialty crop to propel a local agricultural/tourism economy.
[Printable Version]

Managing Grape Leafhoppers on New Mexico Grape Vines.

Nymphs and adults of the leafhopper genus Erythroneura are occasionally serious pests that feed and reproduce on backyard and commercial grapes throughout New Mexico. By mid-summer, affected foliage is increasingly dotted with tiny white feeding marks made by nymphs and adult leafhoppers. Serious, persistent infestations may reduce photosynthesis, cause defoliation and losses in fruit quality and quantity, and even affect vine productivity the following year. Additionally, they can make fruit susceptible to other damaging insects. High populations of grape leafhoppers can be major annoyances for field workers, especially during grape harvest.
[Printable Version]

Trellis end post assembly designs for vineyards.

Proper construction and installation of the vineyard trellis are important components in the establishment and success of a vineyard. The trellis is the main support structure of grape vines in the vineyard; it must be sturdy enough to support canopy and wind loads that exert forces on the catch and cordon wires,line posts, and end assemblies. The vineyard trellis, and especially the end post assembly, must be properly constructed to support canopy and wind loads. The mechanics of the end post assembly involve simple physics. Cordon and catch wires support the grape vines. The end post assemblies at the end of each row anchor these wires. The weight from the vines and fruit exert a downward force (tension) on the wires. Tension from the trellis wires transfers to the end posts. This force, along with resistance between the end post and the soil, keeps the post in place and prevents the trellis wires from sagging. Improperly installed end posts can bend and/or pull through the soil, causing the trellis wires to sag.
[Printable version]

Soil sampling with respect to salinity in New Mexico vineyards.

Excessive soil salinity, which is related to the amount of soluble salts present in the soil, can be a serious yield-limiting factor in New Mexico vineyards. It is therefore important that grape growers monitor soil salinity levels to prevent yield and quality loss. Soil salinity is a concern in vineyards due to grapes moderate sensitivity to saline environments.
[Printable version]

Grape Powdery Mildew.

Powdery mildew, caused by the fungus Erysiphe necator (syn. Uncinula necator), is one of the most prevalent and easily recognized plant diseases afflicting grape vines in New Mexico. It appears as a dusty white-gray or greenish-white coating on leaf surfaces or other above-ground plant parts. The disease is most commonly observed on the upper surfaces of leaves, but can also affect the lower leaf surface, young stems, buds, flowers, canes, and young fruit. Severely infected leaves may exhibit mottling or deformity, including leaf curling and withering. Infected fruit turn grayish-white at first and ultimately exhibit a brown russeted appearance. Infected fruit may crack, shrivel, or drop from clusters).
[Printable Version]

Pruning Grapes to The Four-Arm Kniffin System

Proper pruning is key to good production. Learn the purpose of pruning and the importance of a good training system tailored to the particular variety. Pruning Grapes to The Four-Arm Kniffin System, a publication put out by Extension Plant Sciences at New Mexico State University, explains the particulars of using this training system. - [Printable version]

A publication from the NMSU cooperative extension Service, Growing Grapes in New Mexico discusses the cultivars best suited for New Mexico as well as planting, training, and pruning. Other important information on preparation of soils, fertilizers, disease, grape insects, and weed control can be found in this publication. - [Printable version]

Cultivars (varieties) are best selected based on climate conditions. Grape Cultivars for North-Central New Mexico are described in this publication put out by the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics Cooperative Extension Service. - [Printable version]

Vine growers can use their own cuttings to expand their vineyards. Vineyard Propagation From Cuttings describes how to select the appropriate vines to take cuttings from, as well as when and how you should do it. Information about storing cuttings and planting them later on down the road can also be found in this publication put out by the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics Cooperative Extension Service. - Printable version

Economic and Consumer Issues Impacting the New Mexico Wine and Grape Growing Industries

A publication from the NMSU Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, Economic and Consumer Issues Impacting the New Mexico Wine and Grape Growing Industries by Phillip J. La Vine, a graduate research assistant at New Mexico State University in 1999. and Dr. William D. Gorman, Professor , New Mexico State University Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, is a comprehensive look at the wine industry in New Mexico. The report provides the industry and interested parties with the following:

The estimated economic impact of the winery and grape growing businesses in New Mexico.

Summary of winery operations including wines produced and marketing programs by New Mexico Wineries.

Summary of grape production in New Mexico including acreage, yields and needs.

A summary of buying habits and consumers attending wine festivals in New Mexico.

Other Institutions

Access to resources and publications from other Universities and programs.

Midwest Grape Production Guide. Ohio State University.

The Cost of Growing Wine Grapes in Colorado. Colorado State University.

The Mid-Atlantic Wine Grape Growers Guide. North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech University.

2005 Wine Grape Research Report- San Joaquin Valley. University of California.

Growing Wine Grapes in Maritime Western Washington. Washington State University.

Bird Control In Vineyards Using Alarm and Distress Call. Colorado State University.

Home Fruit Production: Grape Training Systems. Missouri.