Las Cruces festival features 15 wineries from around the state

Some wine lovers stop to talk and sip some New Mexico wine at a past Las Cruces Harvest Wine Festival.

The Las Cruces Harvest Wine Festival has become a tradition in southern New Mexico over the last decade.

This year’s event at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds will have 15 wineries from around the state, including Albuquerque, the Farmington area, the Four Corners area, Las Cruces, Ruidoso and the Silver City area, according to Chelsea Canon, assistant director for New Mexico Wine.

“This is primarily how they get their wine out there,” said Dean Strober of Blue River Productions. “They might not have a tasting room. If not for the festival, people who live in Albuquerque and surrounding areas don’t have a way to taste them, find them or buy them. The festivals provide a basis for their success.”

Guests can get in an hour early on Saturday with a VIP Wine Lover ticket, which also features a VIP commemorative glass, $5 off any one bottle of wine, and $5 off any official festival merchandise. On Sunday, Taste of Harvest ticketholders can enjoy high-end cheeses, meats, tapenades, salmon and more from Dragon Fly under a private lounge and food tent.

About 25 arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, live music and other fun activities will be part of the event.

“We’ve got bands who play a wide range of a variety of music, country, jazz and reggae, as well as some salsa,” Canon said. “We’ve got Frontera Bugalu. They do some Latin dance music. Damian Wyldes, he plays country, rock and soul music. It’s something I’ve never heard of from El Paso. He’s a local soloist. We’re bringing a group out called Samba Alma de Fogo. They’re kind of samba, Carnival music. We will have a variety of artists. There’s no repeats at this. Each day is going to be different.”

On-site painting classes with different painting options will be available. Guests can go in anytime and start a canvas, and an instructor will assist. There also will be a DIY class in which guests can create a personalized wall hanging to take home. Attendees can get moving during salsa dance lessons and a grape-stomping competition during the event. A grape-stomping queen and king will be crowned each day.

WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2, noon-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3 WHERE: Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 12125 Robert Larson Blvd., Las Cruces HOW MUCH: $20 general admission, $35 VIP wine lover on Saturday only, $65 Taste of Harvest on Sunday only. $10 designated drivers and ages 16-20, free admission for ages 15 and younger. For tickets, list of participating wineries and an entertainment schedule, visit nmwine.com

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