Bright, plain-spoken Jasper Riddle is not only a successful entrepreneur, He’s a community minded winemaker. Ruidoso, NM is his hometown. And although he couldn’t wait to leave after high school, at 31 years he enjoys a hand in glove relationship with the Village.
He comes by wine production through his meager, Upstate New York, Italian heritage. His mother’s side of the family were orchard farmers, while his dad was from the food and beverage side of country club management. “He gave me escargot when I was 4 years old,” Jasper recalls.
Noisy Water Tasting Rooms
“Our tasting rooms are the best way for us to get our product into the hands of our customers.” In addition to tasting rooms in Cloudcroft and Santa Fe, Jasper offers two Ruidoso choices: Noisy Water Ruidoso is “kicked back” with cheeses, gift shop etc. (and historically rumored to be haunted). The Cellar Uncorked has reserve wines similar to California tasting rooms.
“It’s the best way for us to tell our story,” says Jasper. He loves selling directly to customers. He’s a big fan of college football, growing the New Mexico economy, keeping employees happy, and making wine. So there are plenty of stories to share. “I want people to drink my wine, then talk about Smokey Bear!”
The Mercantile, on the corner of Sudderth and Eagle, is one of Jasper’s latest ventures. It started down stairs. After a reciprocity law passed allowing New Mexico wineries and craft breweries to pour each others’ products, the Hidden Tap was born.
“Where somebody goes to be nobody,” Jasper adds, “it’s the epitome of what everybody likes to do in Ruidoso!” That was so successful, serving food was next. Then, the space upstairs suddenly became available.
Today, the Mercantile houses the Hunt and Harvest restaurant, the Gift of the Mercantile gift shop, and of course, the Hidden Tap (which will soon be offering coffee, fresh squeezed juices, and smoothies!). The Hunt and Harvest boasts a scratch kitchen. There’s no telling what they’re gonna cook up next!
In Alto at the corner of State Highway 220 and Fort Stanton Road is Noisy Water Winery’s production facility, the Enchanted Vine. By this summer, it will host wine tastings, tours, and an events venue. Before long, people won’t be so surprised to hear about award winning New Mexico wines.
“There’s an old saying that ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’,” Jasper adds with a smile.
Jasper describes his business model as “my consumer demands what we want.”
“They’ll show you what they want and you’ll adapt to it. West Texans and locals, how do you cater to both and make them like each other?”
It’s a tall order that appears to be coming true . . .
Do you want to enjoy Noisy Water in a festival setting? Don’t miss the first annual Brewdoso at the end of June 2018!