Style Wines and Be taught to Paint at Festivals »Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico Wine, formerly known as the New Mexico Wine and Grape Growers Association, introduced its Viva Vino branding. (Courtesy Dean Strober)

Just in time for two of the state’s biggest wine festivals, New Mexico Wine is getting a facelift.

The New Mexico Wine and Grape Growers Association recently changed its name to New Mexico Wine. It also changed the name of the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival to the Las Cruces Wine Festival after 25 years. Additionally, the association released its Viva Vino branding, which can now be seen on its ads, merchandise, and more.

“We have been very cautious about our marketing,” said Chris Goblet, executive director of New Mexico Wine. “With millennials being the largest living population of wine drinkers today, I think it’s important that we just let the universe know. Those who know us and already like our wines will stay with us. With this Viva Vino approach, we wanted to expand the universe of the people we talk to. I think the wineries all agree with the idea of ​​making our industry so attractive. It’s not an industry where you have to be a wine connoisseur and have a lot of money; Everyone can approach the wine and enjoy it. “

Both wine festivals are also offering an early access hour for wine lovers this year.

“It has a lot of bells and whistles, and of course it’s the same in the north as it is in the south,” said Goblet of the wine lover ticket. “It comes with a larger sample glass, it comes with early entry, $ 5 off merchandise, some reserve samples so you have wines that you normally wouldn’t be able to taste during the wine festival.”

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There will be 25 wineries at the event in Albuquerque and about 20 wineries in Las Cruces to taste and buy wines. Both events also feature a number of award-winning wineries, local bands, and artisans. Painting classes are new to the Las Cruces event and the Albuquerque Festival. The courses are free. Participants are asked to register in the tent immediately. Both festivals provide a safe area to store your wine purchases while you paint and taste.

Visitors to the Albuquerque Wine Festival sip and stroll at last year’s event. (Courtesy Dean Strober)

Some attendees took part in a paint-and-sip event at last year’s Albuquerque Wine Festival. (Courtesy Dean Strober)

Buy wines from multiple wineries whose products are not readily available outside of the festivals.

“A lot of these wineries I think are worth mentioning because you can’t find them in the shops and some of them don’t even have tasting rooms, so this really is the only opportunity to get to know the wines, buy the wines,” said Organizer Dean Strober from Blue River Productions. “The most exciting thing for me is to meet the winemakers myself. I think that’s what sets our New Mexico wine festivals apart. … If you go to one of these stalls you actually meet the people who make the wine and there really is no shortage of education that I think attendees can gain by just learning how their wines are made. “

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