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In July of 2001, the Schweers family purchased 135 acres of land located across highway 54/70 and a half mile south from the central store location, with the intent of starting a vineyard. In May of 2003, 12,000 grape vines were planted. The yield of their first crop was encouraging and prompted the addition of another 6,000 vines, planted in 2005, and 6,000 vines, planted in 2011. The vineyard currently has 24,000 vines.
The demand for New Mexico grapes has been steadily increasing as the production of New Mexico wines increases. A required qualification for New Mexico wines is the usage of at least seventy-five percent New Mexico grown grapes in the production of the wines. This is important because the “terroir” of the grapes reflects the soil type, geology, climate, patterns of cultivation, and other various factors that affect the production of grapes. The distinction of the grapes used in the wines influences their individuality, a characteristic which Heart of the Desert Vineyards is proud to exhibit.
The vineyard contains seven different varieties of grape vines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Riesling, Malvasia Bianca, and Gewürztraminer, making the production of a wide range of wines possible. “The choices made in the vineyard and winery, are of relevance… as they directly affect the final product. And today, the array of choices that will affect the way the wine tastes, are unprecedented.”
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