Harvest Wine Festival sees big turnout at Balloon Fiesta Park

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The popular Harvest Wine Festival has been a staple for the start of fall in Albuquerque for years.

“So far we’re having fun,” first-time visitor Doug Strawa said. “It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful, especially being after COVID, and you hear about the disasters man, and to see the little local vendors here and a lot more wineries than I expected.”

Organizers say 5,000 people showed up for the first two days of the festival, and they expected another 2,500 on Labor Day.

“It’s been it’s been a good turnout,” said Sam Aragon, president of the New Mexico Wine Association Board. “It’s not getting as strong as some of the other years.”

Aragon said more people attended in the late summer of 2021 because it was one of the first events after COVID restrictions were lifted.

“COVID just kind of brought everybody out,” he said.

The wine industry also took some hits this past year, due to weather conditions and supply chain issues.

“We’re seeing a lot earlier harvest,” Aragon said. “We may have to change our grapes, or we’re going to have to be—we’re going to have to be flexible.”

Organizers said they had to adjust and embrace a lot of change recently, but it has been worth the effort to watch festival-goers enjoy the literal fruits of their labor. The festival, although highlighting New Mexico’s finest wines, also allowed other local vendors to shine.

“People are selling jerky, there are people that are selling jewelry,” Aragon said. “You’re seeing art.”

Not to mention live music, food trucks, and so much more. Even though the three-day festival ends Monday, you can still click here for a full list of the local participating vendors, whose businesses are open year-round.