Reportedly the grape arbor has existed since the 1870’s. The making of wine and apple cider has occurred on the farm continuously except for the 20 years the Winfield’s owned the property. The Winfield’s respectfully left all the winemaking equipment in the basement intact, but never used it. Thus, Carl Londene acquired the press, the crusher, the 6 and 12 gallon fermenting containers, the barrels, bottles and various wine making equipment just as the Ellis family left it in 1947. In 1968 Carl became a vintner.
The grapes in the 1968 arbor were in very poor condition and had grown to the tops of the 30-foot elm trees which had been allowed to take over the grape arbor and other parts of the farm. Upon acquiring the property, the Londene’s began the daunting task of removing 180 elm and cottonwood trees, rebuilding the arbor by restringing the wires and planting new grapes where some of the original had died.
The original grapes still producing in the arbor remain unidentified. The recognized varieties include Concord and Cabernet Franc, the staple grapes planted throughout New Mexico in the 1870’s when much of the wine was produced for Mission consumption as well as in the 1880’s for the railroad. Most of the wine supplied to the Santa Fe Railroad was grown in the New Mexico valleys from Santa Fe to Las Cruces. There is one white grape still producing that no one has been able to identify. It is the last one to ripen in late September produces an excellent sweet juice and makes a great wine with no sugar required. Ending the fruiting season in the sweetest way possible we always look forward to another year of wine making.
1968 is when Carl and Donna Londene acquired the property now known as Red Horse Vineyard 2155 Londene Lane, SW in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along with obtaining the property came their dream to one day build Red Horse Vineyard Bed &Breakfast. Dreams of the future combined with history of the past as told to them by previous owners and in ways they would least expect.As reported to Carl & Donna, the winery began before or around 1912 when the Ellis family acquired the wine press in the basement. Another account is that it was started in the 1880’s when the wooden grape press in the basement was reportedly purchased and still currently in use today. Last, perhaps, it began in 1870 when the property was reported to have been a homestead and the grapes were purchased in Europe then planted where they stand and are still in use today