The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta: An Incredible Story To Tell

What an incredible story this festival has to tell. In the very beginning, Al Lucero, past owner of Maria’s Restaurant, had been looking for an idea to keep Santa Fe’s hotels busy after Labor Day—when historically the market just dried up. Full hotels mean full restaurants, Al figured. So the idea of a wine and chili festival was born – a clever name echoing the chili harvests that define New Mexico and a salute to the state’s fine wineries.

The first Festival was held in 1990 at the Sanbusco mall. I remember that event very well, as David Oberstein and I decided it would be a perfect location for the festival and offered it as a contribution to this great effort. There were about 300 attendees. Unbelievably, the admission price was all of $10. For that, attendees received a booklet with eight coupons good for food and four coupons for glasses of wine. Sixteen restaurants participated in the first festival, as did a dozen or more wineries.

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Given that $10 admission price, it was expected that the event would end up in the red that first year. Still, among its participants and hosts, there was the realization of how much potential this wine and chile deal offered. To everyone.

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Today, over 90 wineries and over 70 restaurants participate in the event. Activities are planned for five glorious fall days now, many are designed to help the greater community. The Live Auction for the Santa Fe Wine and Chili Festival (SFWCF) benefits and helps underwrite culinary classes, including restaurant service and wine and cooking classes. The auction helps sponsor other community events involving restaurants and chefs, for example, Santa Fe’s Cooking with Kids program and Santa Fe Restaurant Week.

This year’s six-day fest includes a film festival, wine and food seminars, a wine auction, wine tastings, and a guest chef demonstration. Features include 2019 Winery of the Year, Tablas Creek; 2019 Champagne of the Year, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte; and 2019 Artist of the Year, Ramona Sakiestewa.

The SFWCF has enriched our lives here for locals and visitors alike. It joins other groups like the International Folk Market, the Santa Fe Film Festival, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center; also relatively new “startups” that have reached national recognition.

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As the leaves are getting ready to don their fall attire, our patio is the perfect place to enjoy both dinner, cocktails, and wine.

¡Bienvenidos!

My First Opera

My First Opera

It was in the early 1980’s when I first attended the Santa Fe Opera, one of the most beautiful and most unique opera houses in the world. It is, perhaps, a side effect of coming of age during the 1960s that I can no longer remember exactly which opera I first saw, but the setting itself has always made an impression on me.

John Crosby, a musical genius from Manhattan (recently biographized by Santa Fe writer Craig Smith in A Vision of Voices: John Crosby and the Santa Fe Opera), had a dream of an outdoor summer opera company that would take advantage of the countless performers, musicians, conductors, and technicians who were annually idle when the Metropolitan Opera in New York City closed for the summer. He found the San Juan Ranch outside of Santa Fe and with his family was able to purchase what would become the location. He found the perfect acoustical setting and the rest is history.

 

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What I remember most from my first opera was the setting.

The house is designed so the brilliantly dying light of the setting sun comes straight through the open but covered stage, a stunning backdrop for any opera.

Photo credit wikimedia commons

To the East, each evening, the image of the reddening Sangre de Cristo mountains attests to the appropriateness of their name. The otherworldly red of the foothills struck the Spanish settlers as evidence of the divine, the blood of Christ made manifest. It is these features that shelter the bowl of the opera house providing an appropriately awe-inspiring landscape upon which the fine arts of mankind can play themselves out. But I digress.

Book your room for any Opera showing now ~ receive a Split of Champagne & 2 slices of Opera cake to enjoy!

Since that first production, I try to see at least one opera per season, always the one recommended by Nancy Zeckendorf, my close friend and co-founding director of the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Nancy’s influence on me cannot be described. It was she who brought me onto the board of the opera in 1986, first to run the business fund drive, later as treasurer and chairman of the facilities committee.

Even still, I cannot remember my first opera’s name! It was a board-known fact that I never developed the deep understanding and knowledge of opera. Nevertheless, it was just as board-known that my enthusiasm and drive more than made up for my other shortcomings.

Besides, I was surrounded by people who knew everything about opera. My speech and drama background from college drove my interests more to the physical plant side of the performing arts, and therein lay the key to my interest in helping create Santa Fe’s finest and most versatile venue: the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Along with Bill and Nancy Zeckendorf, Patricia McFate, and Alexis Girard, the dream came true, a dream that is much more fitting to my strengths as a builder and developer (like Bill).

The Lensic offers such a variety of programming. To name a few: the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Lannan and Santa Fe Institute lecture series, the New Mexico Jazz Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Met Live, and Performance Santa Fe. All valuable cultural institutions, all as worthwhile as the opera, and all of which I’ve attended.

As for opera, I have seen dozens since that first one now forgotten, and I’ve always been impressed and had a wonderful evening. And what it’s taught me is how communal and convivial an outing it is—before, during, and after. Operagoers—regulars and first-timers—typically turn a night at the opera into a nightlong experience, with drinks or dinner beforehand (the opening night tailgate at the Santa Fe Opera is legendary), food and libations at intermission (though moderately), or dinner and/or drinks afterward.

Which is why I heartily recommend our own Agoyo Lounge as the perfect complement—to the opera or any of the many other cultural events going on throughout Santa Fe. Come in for an early dinner (starting at 5:30–please call for reservations) or an aperitif beforehand, or if it’s a shorter performance, come by for a late dinner or digestif.

Whatever your taste in the arts, the tastes at the Agoyo are unsurpassed and you will always be pleased, just as I have at the many operas I have attended. I just wish I could remember that first one. No matter. What I do remember vividly is the first time I watched lightning and giant black rainstorms rolling into town past the SFO stage, which now, like the entire audience, is fortunately covered from the elements.

Book your room for any Opera showing now ~ receive a Split of Champagne & 2 slices of Opera cake to enjoy!

Experience the Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe

Experience the Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe

Located at 706 Camino Lejo on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, the Museum of International Folk Art is part of the state of New Mexico museum system and a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The museum holds the largest collection of international folk art in the world, numbering more than 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries. The core collection of 2,500 objects was donated by museum founder Florence Dibell Bartlett.

Since that time, the collection has been shaped in large part by the generous support of individuals, most notably Alexander and Susan Girard, with their gift of 106,000 objects, and Lloyd Cotsen’s Neutrogena Collection, consisting of 2,600 exceptional textiles and objects.

 

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Our collection continues to grow according to the belief that through the traditional arts, we may illuminate human creativity and shape a humane world. The museum is also family friendly, with multisensory experiences and a designated play area for kids.

Featured Exhibit

Beadwork Adorns the World
April 22, 2018 – February 3, 2019

Extraordinary how a small glass bead from the island of Murano (Venice, Italy) or the mountains of Bohemia (Czech Republic) can travel around the world, entering into the cultural life of people far distant.

Hours and Fees

Regular hours for the museum are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from May 1 through October 31.  From November 1 through April 30, the museum is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on Mondays. The museum is also closed on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day

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Admission fees are modest. For New Mexico residents, fees for adults and seniors 60 and older are $7; student fees are $6. Admission is free for children 16 and younger. Free admission for all New Mexico residents is available on the first Sunday of each month. Seniors are admitted free on each Wednesday. For nonresident adults and seniors, admission is $12; admission for students is $11, and for children 16 and younger, it’s free. 

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To learn more about experiencing all that Santa Fe offers, or for help planning your trip to the Inn on the Alameda,

My First Opera

It was in the early 1980’s when I first attended the Santa Fe Opera, one of the most beautiful and most unique opera houses in the world. It is, perhaps, a side effect of coming of age during the 1960s that…

read more
Fishing on the Pecos River

Fishing on the Pecos River

If you love to fish, Northern New Mexico may be your dream vacation. The Pecos River is an excellent location for both fly fishing and regular cast fishing, offering incredible fishing options just a short drive from Santa Fe.

The Pecos River is known for its Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Rio Grande Cutthroats. The river has benefited from extensive restoration and rehabilitation to restore native trout, helping make the Pecos a great place to fish in almost any season.

Inn on the alameda fly shing pecos

From the headwaters high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this cold, clear water flows 926 miles before it empties into the Rio Grande in Texas. The Browns run wild, and the river is continually stocked with Rainbows, making this a prime fly fishing location.  

Featured Exhibit

We recommend checking out the Orvis fishing report here for the most up-to-date information on weather, water and fishing conditions.

The Pecos offers some truly exceptional waters for casting in a beautiful setting. Let us help you plan your fishing trip.

To learn more about the Santa Fe area, or for help planning your trip to Inn on the Alameda, visit our website.

My First Opera

It was in the early 1980’s when I first attended the Santa Fe Opera, one of the most beautiful and most unique opera houses in the world. It is, perhaps, a side effect of coming of age during the 1960s that…

read more
White Rapids in the Desert!

White Rapids in the Desert!

Here in the arid Southwest, people naturally think of the desert.  And while New Mexico boasts some of the most striking desert landscapes and scenery in the country – white-water rafting is also prominent. In fact, this region boasts some of the finest white-water rafting in the country! With outings available for every skill level, white-water rafting represents an ideal way to cool off during the hot summer months!

The Racecourse

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The Racecourse is New Mexico’s most popular rafting trip. This half-day trip is ideal for beginners or rafters who have limited time available, while providing exhilarating, extended white-water runs. This trip is usually Class II-III but goes to Class IV when the water is high. This outing is suitable for nearly all ages except during periods of exceptionally high water.

Rio Grande Gorge Full-day

The Rio Grande Gorge Full-day rafting trip features lush habitat scenery along the Orilla Verde section of the Rio Grande. A calm first-half float allows rafters the opportunity to enjoy the scenery. After stopping for a riverside lunch, the second half features the exciting Racecourse white-water runs. The minimum age for this trip for most of the year is 5 years old, which makes this a fun outing for the entire family.

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Rio Chama 3-day

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This multi-day rafting trip is regularly available for most weeks from April through August, thanks to regularly scheduled releases from El Vado Reservoir. This trip covers 33 miles through sandstone and limestone canyons on the river, starting outside of Tierra Amarilla and concluding at Abiquiu, a renowned artist village. The spectacular scenery along the route includes desert cliffs and beautiful pine trees reminiscent of the work of New Mexico’s own Georgia O’Keeffe and outdoor photographer Ansel Adams.

These are just three of several white-water rafting outings accessible from the Santa Fe area.

For more white-water rafting ideas:

My First Opera

It was in the early 1980’s when I first attended the Santa Fe Opera, one of the most beautiful and most unique opera houses in the world. It is, perhaps, a side effect of coming of age during the 1960s that…

read more
Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

Our region of the country is blessed with a bountiful variety of flavorful foods – and the Santa Fe Farmers Market provides the ideal showcase for all manner of fresh vegetables, fruits, and tasty treats on Saturdays year-round and on Tuesdays May 2nd to November 20th.

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Voted one of the “Top Ten Farmers’ Markets” by Sunset Magazine, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful growers’ markets in the country.

Serving more than 150 farmers and producers in 15 Northern New Mexico counties, the Market brings fresh food, education, and fun to our community and promotes small farms and sustainable agriculture in Northern New Mexico. With specialty shops, local crafts and ad hoc performances this farmers market has provided family-friendly fun for nearly everyone since 1968!

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Hungry for something to do mid-week? In addition to the freshest produce around, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market will host fun family activities, provide multiple farm-fresh dinner options, and offer a diverse array of programming from Joe Hayes (author and storyteller) to Wise Fool New Mexico (circus entertainment.) And, we are proudly partnering with multiple businesses in the Railyard (including Blue Rain GalleryEVOKE Contemporary and Tai Modern galleries; Second Street Brewery and other restaurants; and the Violet Crown) to bring you the weekly “Wednesday Eve @ The Railyard” event series. July 4th through September 26th, 3pm-6pm.

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The Food

There is nothing like the taste of fresh locally grown produce. The Santa Fe Farmers Market features produce native to the region for locals and visitors to sample – and take home. The Saturday market is open year-round and features the widest variety of foods. The Tuesday market is open from 8am to 1pm daily from May 2 to Nov. 20. Along with farm fresh fruits and vegetables, the market features festive music and tasty burritos. Yum! Market, open from June 21 to Sept. 27, caters to the summertime after-work crowd. Hours are from 3-7 p.m.

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Mark your calendars for several visits to the Santa Fe Farmers Market this year. And afterwards, relax at the Inn on the Alameda for a drink – or for the night!

My First Opera

It was in the early 1980’s when I first attended the Santa Fe Opera, one of the most beautiful and most unique opera houses in the world. It is, perhaps, a side effect of coming of age during the 1960s that…

read more
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