I am taking a diversion from the Old Town story because I just realized that an important event is just a week away. Albuquerque hosts the Albuquerque Wine Festival on Memorial Day weekend, and it really sneaked up on me this year since Memorial Day weekend isn’t at the end of May this year.
May 23, 24 & 25, 2009 (Sat, Sun & Mon), Noon to 6pm daily
$15 admission includes wine glass – under 21 free, must be accompanied by parent.
Visit the festival website, (link above) to find tickets so you won’t have to wait in line at the gate.
The oldest and more popular wine festival in our region is held on Labor Day weekend in Bernalillo, 20 minutes North of Albuquerque, but this May festival in Albuquerque is my personal favorite and I never even go to the Bernalillo festival any more. The Albuquerque venue is better – Balloon Fiesta Park, with ample parking and lush lawn. The spring weather is cooler and the sun seems more forgiving in May, making for a more pleasant atmosphere. The vendors are spread out over a larger area and there is less trouble with crowds and all those pesky tent lines that tend to trip the wine-drinking-challenged.
My advice is to go early to beat the heat and the crowds, as the lines for wine tasting get longer as the day goes on, the kids being dragged to the festival by their parents aren’t at their wits end and unhappy, the vendors still have a smile on their face, and parking is an easy walk to the festival grounds. Do you need more reasons to go early?
The musical guests at this festival are always great. There is a nice big tent with plenty of seating to take a break from the sun and rest your feet. There are many quality craft vendors and plenty of good food choices. People watching is a fun time here too, as many folks make a point to dress in the craziest wine/grape related costumes that you could ever imagine, or not.
This event is brought to you by the NM Wine Growers – a name I have always wondered about. Do they grow wine, or grapes? No matter, as NM has been making wine longer than any other region in North America, and believe me…they have it down. Don’t miss this event. Some of the wineries will actually sell out of their best wines.
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!