Brewery helps closed winery with pop-up event

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s no clear timeline on when New Mexico wineries could reopen. Now, a local brewery is stepping in to help New Mexico’s largest winemaker.

On Sunday, Broken Trail Brewery hosted a special pop-up wine event, with hopes of doing more to help struggling businesses. It’s still unclear when wineries in the state will be able to welcome customers again.

This, while breweries are open at half capacity, with the ability to sell New Mexico wine by the glass at their locations. “We were shocked and really surprised by the decision of the governor to separate breweries from wineries,” said Toni Balzano with New Mexico Wine. “We’re the only state in the country where that’s happened. So we have no idea why.”

So to help with business, Broken Trail Brewery bought cases of wine from Gruet Winery, to serve up Sunday and to support an industry they feel should be open, too. “Even though I personally think they’re very similar, wineries and distilleries are not,” said Balzano.

“So because of that we outreached to the wine community and with our business being able to be open, they should be able to have some sales, as well.” Balzano said there are about 50 wineries in the state and about 30 of them are still closed because they don’t have dine-in services in which they make the majority of their sales from food.

They’re trying to make do with bottle sales via curbside pickup. “We have no traffic. We’re not even hitting half the numbers we were doing last year,” said Justin Pichardo, tasting room manager Gruet Winery. “And we had to furlough our employees.”

Staff with Gruet said they are grateful for the support from a fellow business, with hopes of a partnership moving forward. “You’re not alone,” said Cortney Ferrari, Bar Manager, Broken Trail Brewery. “There’s a whole community out there of local businesses and I think a lot of people would like to help each other out.”

KRQE News 13 reached out to the governor’s office Sunday for an update on when wineries and bars could reopen but did not hear back. The governor during her press conference last week said the next phase of reopening the state is on hold. She said she could have an update in the coming days or weeks.


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