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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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Wineries are returning to Old Town. Noisy Water Winery opened its doors earlier this month in a former gift shop near the Romero House in Old Town Plaza. The new owners of the iconic space have transformed the space into a tasting room with an impressive array of local wines and an art gallery. 

“Our hope is to bring a unique New Mexico experience by putting 100 percent New Mexico-made wine in a bottle for people to try in our tasting rooms from across the state,” President of Noisy Water Winery Jasper Riddle said over an interview with The Paper.

The Ruidoso-based winery first opened its door in the southern New Mexico mountain town nearly 12 years ago. They began operations with a staff numbering no more than four employees. Fast-forward 12 years later, the winery now boasts locations across the state and over 100 employees. According to Riddle, their growth has only continued to fuel their drive to source their products from New Mexico and sell the best that this state offers. 

Riddle and Noisy Town Winery have been patiently waiting to open operations in Old Town for some time. Riddle noted the long history of wineries around Albuquerque’s Old Town, citing that more than 10 wineries were based around Old Town at the turn of the 20th century. Now, he and Noisy Water Winery hope to bring that tradition roaring back to life. “Old Town is one that we’re really excited about, and it has been a location that we have been looking at for years. Mainly because Albuquerque being the largest city in the state and Old Town is a really cool district that drives a lot of international traffic. But also, there’s a stronghold of Albuquerque and my favorite plaza in the state of New Mexico,” Riddle said. “It’s cool to see that wineries are going back into Old Town and back into Albuquerque. It’s just great to showcase our products to locals and tourists alike.”

Noisy Water Winery is seeking to attract both wine aficionados and those who are new to the culture alike. They offer nearly every wine imaginable, along with a few ciders and other eclectic options associated with wine, all sourced from New Mexico. “Whatever it is that you want to try we have that experience for you and that is our hope. You can go in there being a wine aficionado or not a typical wine drinker, or even someone who has not had much alcohol at all and find something that you are going to enjoy and that you can take home with you. And that is what we pride ourselves on,” Riddle said.

 The Plaza Don Luis will do an official opening on October 30 and that will be an opportunity to experience the winery, galleries and breweries. “Please shop locally. ‘Think globally, but drink locally.’ New Mexico producers need New Mexicans more than ever to help keep these businesses thriving coming out of the pandemic. Please support your local wineries, distilleries and breweries.”

Noisy Water Winery’s Old Town location is at 301 Romero St. on the west side of the Plaza.

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