Red Horse Winery
Origin1968 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.
More of the history passed down to Carl and Donna was regarding the homesteading, the farm and dairy, the supposed gold buried somewhere on the property, A pony express turn around station, wagon train mule exchange corrals, The very brief Civil War Battle of Albuquerque when the Rebel army was camped on the property and fired cannon from here to Old Town, stories of the old wood and tar paper house, the construction of the present house in 1922, the building of the irrigation and drainage ditches running through the property in 1930, and the lives of the Ellis family were verbally and historically validated. The remains of the old corrals and building were still in existence in 1968, and pieces of the buildings and horse tack were found. The old house collapsed in 1972, but some wood from the walls still exists and have been preserved or given a new purpose.
The information and dates above were given to the Londene’s by neighbors to the property in 1968 when the property was purchased. One of the neighbors were in their nineties then and had lived here since the late 1870’s, so their stories regarding the history of the property are considered very reliable. History of the property continues to be explored with the Special Collections Library and historical society.
The stories were further substantiated when, in 1969, a son of Charles and Corrine Ellis visited the farm and spent several hours telling about the history of the farm. He was born and raised here in the early 1900’s and helped build the present house. He lived here until 1947 when the family sold the property to Bertram and Barbara Winfield who later sold to the Londene’s in 1968. He verbally substantiated most history. He did say if there was any gold buried on the property he would have found it, because they looked for it extensively as has many other treasure hunters.
Red Horse WineReportedly 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.