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Uncorked: Two NM wineries to be featured for first time at Las Cruces festival

There is always something new at the Las Cruces Wine Festival, and this year is no different.

“We have two new wineries that haven’t participated in the Las Cruces Wine Festival,” said Chelsea Canon, event coordinator and New Mexico Wine assistant director. “It’s Casa RondeƱa Winery in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, and then we also have Sombre Antigua, and they are off Highway 28 in Southern New Mexico between Las Cruces and El Paso on the old historic highway. They’re two that are coming in that haven’t been before, and so we’re really excited to have them.”

A total of 18 wineries will participate in the event including Heart of the Desert Pistachios and Wines, Rio Grande Winery, Shattuck Vineyard and others that can also be found at the Albuquerque Wine Festival.

Also new this year is a seated VIP four-course wine-pairing lunch on Saturday. The event is open to about 80 people.

The VIP lunch pairing ticket price also includes the VIP early-access hour, a crystal VIP glass, a wine bag, a Viva Vino wine bottle opener, $5 off any one bottle of wine and $5 off at the merchandise tent.

Early-entry ticket holders also will receive the same perks, with the exception of the pairing lunch. General admission attendees will receive a commemorative glass and wine tastings.

“We partnered with a restaurant here in Las Cruces called Salud! de Mesilla, and they are going to do a four-course wine-pairing lunch,” Canon said. “We are going to have wineries, winemakers come in and speak about the wines, speak on the process of the wines, the grapes, for people who are enjoying themselves at the lunch. … It will be nice.”

Each day also will feature “a whole smorgasbord of styles of music” from country to indie and from jazz to reggae, Canon said.

Painting classes will be offered each day of the event for $15 per session. Art Design, an art co-op made up of artists from El Paso and Las Cruces, will display its art, including unique paintings.