'Cutting-edge' partnership results in NMSU wine - Albuquerque Journal

‘Cutting-edge’ partnership results in NMSU wine

Pistol Pete’s Crimson Legacy wine features a short summary of the history of wine-making in New Mexico on the bottle. (Courtesy of NMSU)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

After finding success in the beer business, Pistol Pete has decided to class up his booze collection.

On Thursday, Pistol Pete’s Crimson Legacy wine will be released as part of a partnership between New Mexico State University and the Lescombes Family Vineyards.

“This is kind of cutting edge. We’re one of a handful of the 351 Division 1 schools that have collaborated on their own wine,” said Mario Moccia, director of athletics at NMSU. “Certainly, as the land-grant institute of the state of New Mexico and our ties to agriculture, this is a great thing.”

The red wine, made with a cabernet sauvignon grape grown in southern New Mexico, will be available starting today at all Lescombes locations throughout the state, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Deming, said Rebecca Lescombes, owner and CFO of Lescombes Family Vineyards.

She said the wine, which retails at $20 per bottle, in the future will be distributed to stores that sell Lescombes wines.

The wine will also be available in suites and club seats at future basketball and football games, Moccia said. And it will be on hand at university functions where alcohol is served.

It’s not the first time Pistol Pete’s name has appeared on an adult beverage.

NMSU in 2017 partnered with Bosque Brewing Co. on a blond ale named after the university’s mascot – Pistol Pete’s 1888 Ale.

Moccia said the beer “exceeded our wildest expectations” and quickly became the preferred beverage for Aggie fans imbibing at football and basketball games. The beer is now available in 70 cities and 300 stores throughout the state, he said.

Similar to the deal between NMSU and its licensing partner, IMGCL, for sales of the Pistol Pete’s 1888 Ale, NMSU will get a small percentage of the wine sales. When it comes to the beer, the NMSU’s athletic department has been making between $40,000 to $50,000 per year, university officials said.

“Whenever someone is purchasing a Pistol Pete’s Crimson Legacy bottle or a taste, some monies will go back and they will directly have an impact on the 400 student athletes and 16 teams that we have,” Moccia said.

The wine, which has notes of cherry, berry, toast and oak, will have a short summary of the history of wine-making in New Mexico on the bottle, Lescombes said.

“New Mexico is the oldest wine-making region in the United States,” she said.

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