The NM vineyard adapts because the labor scarcity results in “crucial evil”
Noisy Water Winery is ready for the current harvest season but they said there are no workers. The winery currently needs 40 to 60 workers.
“And we don’t have any of these people. There are currently no people working in the vineyards and farming, ”said Jasper Riddler, owner of Noisy Water Winery.
Riddle said he was frustrated.
“A decade ago I could have reached out to people I know and say, ‘Hey, I need 45 people tomorrow to show up to help with the selection’ and they would be there, they would be ready to roll, they ‘ I’ve done it before, ‘”he said.
Riddle said he had adapted to and accepted a necessary evil: using a huge machine to harvest. He added that they bought just in time – before demand made them nearly impossible.
“We’re moving away from the manual aspects of the vineyards and everything else. We replaced those jobs with automation, ”said Riddle.
The company also has tasting rooms across the state, including a brand new location in Old Town in Albuquerque. They’re all understaffed and have limited hours, said Riddle.
“It’s hard enough being a farmer, so if you run into these problems it can be devastating,” he said.
Riddle said if there are more service and farm workers available on the street, he wonders if there will be far fewer job vacancies because of businesses like his adjustment.
Noisy Water Winery is based in Ruidoso and their wines are available in stores across the state.
It’s made from 100% New Mexico grapes, but it’s no longer endorsed by quite as many New Mexico workers.