BOSQUE FARMS — Licensing for a new wine tasting room and package sales location — Bosque Farms Vineyard & Winery — has been approved in Bosque Farms.
Julius Harrington began the application process for a tasting room and wine sales at his property at 1110 Lillie Drive in late 2019, but as with many projects, the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on his ambitions.
“My wife and I have health issues, so we put it on hold,” Harrington told the village council at the March 16 meeting. “Now we are just starting back up.”
The vineyard is about four acres, Harrington said, and the project is a one-man operation.
“I grow the grapes and make the wine. We can seat about 15 to 20 people,” he said. “It’s primarily me and a couple of people part-time doing the pruning and irrigating.”
Bosque Farms Councilor Ronita Wood asked if the “package liquor” sold at the property would be just Harrington’s wine. He indicated it would be.
Since consumption would be allowed on the premises, Councilor Tim Baughman asked if someone could buy a bottle of wine and then sit and drink it.
Harrington said bottles can’t be bought and consumed at the tasting room. He explained like any other liquor establishment, he would be checking IDs of those coming to the property, and those who were of legal drinking age could purchase two, 5-ounce glasses of wine.
Since it is a tasting room, Harrington said small samples — or flights — of three wine varieties could also be served.
“It’s just a smidgen in each glass,” he said.
Mayor Russ Walkup asked if the property was sold whether the licence transferred to the new owner. Mike Montoya, the village code enforcement director, said the license would remain with Harrington.
“It has to be sold by him through the state,” Montoya said.
Residents of the neighborhood were supportive of Harrington’s plans, with neighbor Lori Whitener saying the business was “a plus for the community.”
Lee Wharton said Harrington has been a great neighbor and “very careful to do everything legally and properly.”
“This is one of the best things to happen on that corner,” said long-time village resident Lillie McNabb. “This is what we need to keep.”
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.