~ Enchantment Vineyards will use LEDA funds to establish full-scale commercial wine production ~
The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) has awarded economic assistance from the LEDA job-creation fund to family-owned Portales-based Enchantment Vineyards, Acting Cabinet Secretary Jon Clark announced. The funds will be used to establish a full-scale commercial wine production facility to better serve Eastern New Mexico.
Enchantment Vineyards was started in 2016 when Megan and Bobby Hamilton, long-time Portales entrepreneurs, and their extended families planted five acres of grapes after visiting Napa Valley wine country in California. Today, the business produces 2,000 cases a year with sales through a wine club, on-site purchases, and a tasting room. The business currently produces Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Cabernet Franc, Crimson Cabernet, and Chambourcin.
The expansion, assisted by $50,000 from LEDA, will allow them to move their wine production fully in house and more than double output to 5,000 cases a year.
“The investment from the EDD’s LEDA fund will boost a small family-owned business in a rural community. This will help sustain year-round employment and diversify the agricultural economy of Roosevelt County,” Clark said.
Other family members also share in the business, including parents Max and June Merrick and Megan’s sister and brother-in-law, Cassidy and Rustin Self. Enchantment Vineyards currently employs part-time and seasonal workers, largely students at Eastern New Mexico University and spouses from Cannon Air Force Base. The new investment will create seven permanent jobs.
“Our dream is to bring world-class wine to Eastern New Mexico. When we traveled to Napa Valley, we saw those long-time family wineries and vineyards and sensed how a business like that could really enhance the economy of Portales,” Megan Hamilton said.
Hamilton added that Eastern New Mexico has a unique climate that can sustain the wine industry. “It’s the famous Eastern New Mexico wind that is the real magic,” Hamilton said. “We have no issues with fungus or mold control because of the wind, plus we have hot days and cool nights and that’s the recipe. We don’t get as much tonnage as places with more fertile soil, but the grapes are really exceptional.”
The City of Portales is the fiscal agent for the LEDA funds.
“Enchantment Vineyards’ planned expansion program will be a prodigious opportunity for the community. It affords them the capacity to bring in their production locally, which is important to our city,” City Manager Sarah Austin said. “This addition to their business will provide additional job opportunities, learning opportunities, and increased tourism. As a city, we look forward to the future activities that Enchantment Vineyards can offer.”
EDD’s mission is to improve the lives of New Mexico families by increasing economic opportunities and providing a place for businesses to thrive. EDD’s programs contribute directly to this mission by training our workforce, providing infrastructure that supports business growth, and helping every community create a thriving economy. For more information about the New Mexico Economic Development Department visit EDD.NewMexico.gov.
*Photos courtesy of Enchantment Vineyards