David Wickham, owner of theTularosa Vineyards Winery, is a native of Watkins Glen, New York. His tour of duty took him overseas and during that time he was stationed in Germany and Turkey . In 1968 he was assigned to Holloman Air Force Base and it was here that he met his wife, Teresita Chavez a native of Tularosa. When David retired from the service they moved back to the quaint village of Tularosa. The years 1978 through 1987 saw David attending college and working as an instrumentation technician at HAFB. After doing research into the history of growing vinifera wine grapes in New Mexico it became evident to David that the Tularosa Basin was an ideal climate for growing high quality wine grapes as the Mission variety was used here by locals since the founding of Tularosa. David Wickham began attending grapegrowing and winemaking seminars held by the New Mexico Vine and Wine Society and by 1985 David purchased 10 acres of land and began planting the first vineyards. What started out as a hobby had now grown into a business venture. The winery opened in December of 1989 with an initial production of 100 cases. Shortly thereafter the winery began winning medals in New Mexico and southwestern wine competitions and it soon became clear that the Tularosa Basin could grow some excellent quality wine grapes. However, it also became quite clear that access to more quality local vineyards would be needed. So Dave actively encouraged local farmers to plant grapes and grape varieties based on his prior grape growing experience. In 1995 Dave's son Chris Wickham joined Tularosa Vineyards as the active winemaker. Ever since, Tularosa Vineyards production has grown steadily with a current capacity of 3,500 cases. Today the winery is producing high quality, international award winning wines.
David Wickham pouring some of the first wines in 1989.
David Wickham planting some of the first vine cuttings for Tularosa Vineyards.