Taos Ski Valley’s Summer Wine Festival: What’s it all about?
Taos Ski Valley is hosting its first ever Summer Wine Festival this coming weekend, August 18th-20th. Late summer is the perfect time to escape up to where the air is crisp. Set against the backdrop of the luscious, and romantic, Sangre De Cristos, who could ask for anything more? Now, I could feed you a line about how acids and tannins sparkle on the tongue and dazzle the palate at higher elevations, but as some of you may know from earlier posts, I’m really more of a beer girl. I absolutely don’t feel qualified to talk about wine at any elevation. The reality however, is that Taos Ski Valley’s Summer Wine Festival is for everyone. And before you scoff, read my lips: chocolate, mushroom hunting, fly-fishing, yoga, hot air balloon rides, horseshoes, live music and some of best wine and food Northern New Mexico has to offer. If that doesn’t encompass something for everybody, um, you may be living in the wrong town.
Assuming that you’re not, and I had you at chocolate—if I didn’t, keep reading anyway—I asked Cecila Cuff, TSV’s Food and Beverage Director, a couple of questions about what the Taos Ski Valley’s Summer Wine Festival is all about. I was most curious about what makes this event special. Even though this is the first Summer Wine Festival at the Ski Valley, Taos is no stranger to wine events, which Cecilia herself admits. “As is the case with most things in Taos, I have heard that this event has definitely been done before my time by several people and moved from in town, to the ski valley, and back a few times!” Word. Who hasn’t heard that about events in Taos before?
So, why do it again?
Cecilia so eloquently replies, “The idea came from the desire to showcase all the amazing things that make Taos & Taos Ski Valley so special. We are such a multifaceted community that not just one realm can be used to to express the beauty that we are lucky enough to experience each day!” Okay, I’m listening …
She went on to say, “My vision for Taos Summer Wine Festival is an opportunity to INDULGE in Taos for a weekend instead of just another wine tasting. This vision [was] birthed over a beautiful glass of wine with Andy Lynch from Common Fire as he demanded my why’s for yet another wine event. We want to show our attendees what makes Taos special, which is our mountain activities, talented musicians, inspired and pace-making artists—locally sourced and hand crafted food & the amazing wines are just the icing on the cake!” Indulge is, fittingly, the name for the main wine tasting event.
She says, “The biggest differentiator that will make the ambiance so special are the people who are coming to this event. We have invited and stressed to all the wineries, restaurants and beyond that this is an event not only for those who buy tickets, but also for the participants to have fun. I’m personally calling out Michael from Aceq to take the weekend off and come Indulge with us. Everyone in Taos works really hard to create this amazing experience for our tourists and for our locals and [we] have to remember to take time for ourselves. You may see the Alexander Family Winemakers playing a game of horseshoes against Turquoise Tours or Taos Fly Shop! This event is for everyone and that’s what will make it special.”
Well that’s refreshing. Yes! I, (hard core beer girl), am in!
Taos Ski Valley’s Summer Wine Festival Schedule of Events
So let’s talk about the events. For a full schedule of the weekend’s festivities definitely visit Taos Ski Valley’s website. Cecila makes sure to mention that “the fun part of this weekend is that everything advertised is included in the ticket price. With a weekend pass or day ticket, all food and events are included!”
Here’s what we can all look forward to, folks. Cecilia highlighted just some of the festival’s many happenings. “The Open Hearth dinner by Chef Mark May Friday night with live music from Ry Taylor will be an amazing start to the weekend. Attendees are invited to come come “crush a cup of wine” at family style dinner tables under under the stars. “Everyone will leave with new friends and full bellies.”
“Saturday morning activities; yoga with Blue Sky Retreats, fly fishing with Taos Fly Shop, the mushrooming hike with Turquoise Tours, have all been set up so winefest goers can roll out of bed, grab breakfast in 192 and go to the Taos Ski Valley plaza where they will be whisked away to some realm of morning adventure to get their blood moving!”
Cecilia goes on to say, “Wine and Swine up at the Bavarian on Saturday afternoon will be fun! Chef Gabe Farkash will roast a couple whole pigs donated by La Montanita Food Coop paired with free flowing Sonoma Cutrer wines.” Whole pigs, you say? Huzzah!
“The Tummors will play on the stage while guests are invited to play life sized yard games like 6 foot tall Jenga, cornhole & horsehoes.”
“INDULGE, our grand tasting event, will take place Saturday from 5pm-8pm at the base area. Accompanied by the sultry sounds of Sol Connection, Taos Ski Valley will host 30 wineries, 15 local restaurants, 10 breweries & 8 spirits for attendees to taste! There will be plenty of lounging area for people to sit, enjoy & look out on the mountain with a glass of wine.”
But wait, there’s more. It doesn’t end on Saturday night. Cecila says, “With the weekend ticket, champagne brunches on Sunday are included and are a must do. They will be available at 192 at the Blake Hotel accompanied by plenty of sparkling wine by VARA and Claudio Toulouse and live flamenco guitar.”
Need I say more? Get your ass up to Taos Ski Valley’s Summer Wine Festival this coming weekend August 18th-20th, hang out with some friends and enjoy. Need tickets? Just click right HERE! A three day pass is $150 and a single day pass is $65. If this is too steep, no pun intended, Cecilia has asked Live Taos to put out a call for volunteers. She’s insistent that “this wine fest is for everyone! If you don’t want to drop $150 for a weekend ticket or $65 for a day ticket, we are happy to offer some 4 hour shift opportunities that will land you a free weekend ticket and help you be a part of putting together an awesome event!” To volunteer just sign up here or email Cecilia at [email protected] for more info.
Yep, she’s serious. Taos Ski Valley’s Summer Wine Festival is for everyone … even beer drinkers like me! See you there.