About our Family
The Balzano family began farming and ranching in New Mexico in 1912 in the northern part of the state in Maxwell, New Mexico. Tony & Jennie Balzano both Italian immigrants bought a farm in Maxwell where they farmed and raised their family of five. Tony was known for his wine making skills and made wine for neighbors and friends, until prohibition, when he took to bootlegging wine which he sold in nearby Colorado. A series of unfortunate events left his youngest son Bill in charge of the farm at a very young age. Bill raised cattle, sheep, pigs and farmed alfalfa and ranched thousands of acres alongside his wife Mary Jean, three boys Dale, Rick & Gary and his daughter Debbie. Farming was a hard life, filled with years of draught and peril. The family lost everything in 1956 when a tornado hit the farm. Not one to give up or throw in the towel, Bill worked to recover the farm and rebuild his family homestead. He knew farming was a difficult way to make a living so he and Mary Jean made sure that all of their kids pursued careers and educations. Dale became a teacher and coach, Rick a Pharmacist, Gary a Dentist and Debbie an accountant.
Dale and his wife Janie went on to start his own small farm while teaching school in Maxwell. They raised many different animals over the years and encouraged their children in 4-H activities of showing sheep, pigs and cattle. Dale was offered a coaching job in Carlsbad, NM and in 1985 he moved his family south. The family always maintained a small farm as well as a great number of entrepreneurial activities and businesses.
In 2008, the Balzano's purchased the Seven Rivers property and soon after began planting the vineyard, and renovating the 150 acre property which was an old cattle feed lot. The property was filled with concrete feeders, mounds of manure and more rats than you could imagine. Years of renovation, planting and cleaning gave the old rundown property new life.
In 2013, Toni Balzano convinced her dad Dale to allow her to plant the first pumpkin patch and open the farm to the public. In the same year the winery opened. The first years of the pumpkin patch were a labor of love of four generations as Grandpa Bill, Dale, Rick, Toni and the rest of the family all worked the field, planting weeding and caring for the farm. Although we lost Grandpa Bill and Rick in 2015, the farm is still a family business built on our love for the land, the animals and bringing people together.
Today Toni & her husband Johnny operate the winery and own the Pumpkin Patch, Miss Janie is the chef and wedding planner extraordinaire and Dale keeps the whole farm going and growing. You'll see nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other family members working and helping at the farm.
When you visit our farm you're always family, so come on in, let us feed you, entertain you and enjoy spending time with the ones you love.
We are located at 5230 Seven Rivers Highway, halfway between Artesia and Carlsbad, NM. all pickup orders can be picked up at the dates and times listed above. If you have questions please call us at 575-502-3317.