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Unquarked wineries a perfect grouping

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Business Spotlight > Customer base at its Central Park Square location is strong

By Gina Velasquez

Three New Mexico wineries have combined efforts to become “Unquarked.”
The winery serves vino from Black’s Smuggler winery, Anasazi Fields and Vivác winery.
All three wineries have the collective attitude of bringing their wineries from smaller New Mexico communities to reach out to a larger audience and expand business.
In fall 2013, The Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation called out to wineries across the state for interest in becoming part of joint tasting rooms.
“These wineries are from smaller, remote locations,” said Jim Fish, owner of Anasazi Fields, which operates out of Placitas. “It is an opportunity to bring wine to a larger, untapped market.”
The owner of Unquarked is Tony Black, CEO and president of Black’s Smuggler Winery in Bosque. He said since the soft opening on Nov. 24, business has been positive and the customer base has been substantial.
“We already have regular customers,” said Veronica Black-Stepp, manager and Black’s sister. She moved from Albuquerque in November to help with the business venture.
In addition to a large selection of wines, Unquarked serves food catered from local businesses such as Pajarito Brewpub and Manhattan Project.
“We are trying to use local businesses for the food service,” Black-Stepp said.
One private party recently hosted by Unquarked was Susan O’Leary’s get-together after her swearing-in ceremony.
Also, tickets are now on sale for a New Year’s Eve four-course dinner with wine pairings. Anyone interested can buy tickets at the shop, however there are a limited number of tickets available.
Another event in the works is salsa dancing on Wednesdays. Christmas wine bags are sold for $1 and any work of art on the walls are also for sale.
Anasazi Fields Winery comes from the small community of Bosque in Socorro County.
Fish took over the Sabinal Winery building a few years ago. Having this opportunity has extended the reach to the community, Fish said about bringing Anasazi Field wine to Los Alamos.
“It is an opportunity to bring this wine to a broader customer base,” Fish said.
From the rural area of Embudo, comes Vivác Winery. Owned by two brothers Chris and Jess Padberg, along with Jess’s wife Michelle, the entrepenuers own two tasting rooms — one out of the winery in Embudo and one in the Santa Fe Railyard.
Vivác has been operating for 13 years and Michelle Padberg sells Hot Mama wines at various places. The winery uses grapes from Dixon.
“The family is very excited to have this opportunity,” said Christelle Sanchez, special events coordinator. “It is a chance to give more exposure to the wine and branch out. They are young and filled with fun energy.”
Vivác is a mountaineering term for a high altitude refuge.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting was celebrated Dec. 20. The hours are 2-9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Sunday is open for special events and private parties. The winery is located at 145 Central Park Square.
For more information and to view the calendar of upcoming events, visit unquarkedwine.com.