ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The popular Harvest Wine Festival has been a staple of early fall in Albuquerque for years.
“So far we’re having fun,” said first-time visitor Doug Strawa. “It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful, especially after COVID, and you hear about the disaster man, and seeing the little local vendors here and a lot more vineyards than I expected.”
Organizers say 5,000 people showed up during the first two days of the festival and they were expecting another 2,500 on Labor Day.
“It was a good turnout,” said Sam Aragon, chairman of the New Mexico Wine Association board. “It doesn’t get as strong as some of the other years.”
Aragon said more people attended in late summer 2021 as it was one of the first events after COVID restrictions were lifted.
“COVID kind of knocked everybody out,” he said.
The wine industry also took a beating last year, due to weather conditions and supply chain issues.
“We are seeing a much earlier harvest,” Aragon said. “We may have to change our grapes, or we’ll have to be – we’ll have to be flexible.”
Organizers said they’ve had to adapt and embrace a lot of changes recently, but it’s been worth it to see festival-goers enjoying the literal fruits of their labor. The festival, while showcasing New Mexico’s finest wines, also allowed other local vendors to shine.
“People are selling jerky, there are people selling jewelry,” Aragon said. “You see art.”
Not to mention live music, food trucks and much more. Even though the three-day festival ends on Monday, you can still Click here for a full list of participating local vendors, whose businesses are open year-round.