August 27, 2014

Udall Announces Funding to Help Deming Winery Expand Operations

DEMING, N.M. - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, visited the St. Clair Winery in Deming and announced a $50,000 grant to help expand production of its Hatch chile-infused wines and support New Mexico's agricultural industry, which is creating jobs in Luna County. The funding will help the winery to boost revenues and grow its customer base for its chile-infusted line of wines by reimbursing production, marketing and distribution costs.

"St. Clair Winery's Hatch chile-infused wines are a distinctly New Mexican product, and I'm proud to support funding to help the winery grow its business and expand the market for this unique specialty product," Udall said. "Agriculture is an important part of New Mexico and Luna County's economy, and I was pleased to learn more about the jobs that are being created. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I'll continue to fight for resources to support producers and business like New Mexico Wineries Inc. as they create new products, break into new markets, and generate tourism that strengthens the economies of rural New Mexico communities."

The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant program, which helps agricultural producers grow their businesses by turning raw commodities into value-added products. The grants often support business development for niche and specialty products in rural communities. Funding for the grant program is authorized through the Farm Bill, which Udall helped to pass earlier this year. On the Senate Appropriations Committee, Udall has been a long-time supporter of USDA Rural Development programs, and he continues to push for investments that will promote development in rural communities in New Mexico and across the nation.

St. Clair Winery's Hatch chile line of wines is produced using premium chile from Hatch Valley, creating a uniquely New Mexican product. The family-owned winery's vineyard is located 47 miles west of Deming, and the company operates St. Clair Winery and Bistro locations across New Mexico. Its products are sold at locations throughout the Southwest, and the grant funding will help to further expand its production and distribution.