(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., June 18, 2009) -- Vintage Albuquerque events, from wine tastings to gourmet dinners prepared by top chefs, are scheduled for June 24-27 in a number of locations throughout the Albuquerque area.

Funds raised from these popular summertime events will be designated for the music education activities of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO). Each year, the NMSO conducts music education performances and clinics for more than 50,000 K-12 students across the state. In the past 17 years, Vintage Albuquerque has raised more than $3 million to benefit NMSO music education programs.

“Pairing great art and wine, plus offering gourmet food from the area’s best chefs, is a wonderful way to enjoy the first week of summer with friends and family. And it’s even more enjoyable when our participants know that they are helping support music appreciation and education for our state’s youth,” said Colleen Harris, vice president of development for NSMO.

Each year, Vintage Albuquerque designates a featured artist who creates artwork that becomes the signature piece for the four-day event and is sold at the live auction. This year’s featured artwork, “Flor de la Luz,” is a stunning sculpture by Greg Reiche, a New Mexico artist whose sculptures draw upon both ancient and contemporary forms.

More artwork will be displayed from other area artists, including Dennis Liberty, Sarah Hartshorne, Nancy Young and Victoria Martinez Rodgers.

“Vintage Albuquerque offers four days of special events showcasing great art, music, wine and food,” said Greg O’Byrne, executive director of Vintage Albuquerque. “We especially encourage those who haven’t attended one of our events in the past to try at least one of our activities during June 24-27.”

Vintage Albuquerque Events:

Opening night gala: Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m. – Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
The opening night for Vintage Albuquerque on June 24 at Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro is a five-course meal prepared by Joseph Manzare, chef/owner of Globe in San Francisco, and paired with Calera wines. Honorary chair for the gala is Josh Jensen, owner of Calera Wine Company. Cost: $175

Winemaker dinners: Thursday, June 25, 7 p.m. – Participating area restaurants include Artichoke Café, Chama River Brewing Co., Jennifer James 101, Marcello’s Chophouse, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, Prairie Star, Savoy Bar & Grill, Scalo, Seasons

Area restaurants will serve gourmet dinners, paired with wine from renowned vintners. Cost: $90

Grand Food and Wine Tasting: Friday, June 26, 6-9 p.m. – National Hispanic Cultural Center

Participants will enjoy food samples from 27 of Albuquerque’s best independent restaurants and wine samples from 28 world-class wineries, plus a silent auction of wine and crafts. Cost: $85

Live Auction Dinner: Saturday, June 27, 6 p.m. – Prairie Star Restaurant
After a Gruet Winery reserve tasting and silent auction, an elegant dinner for 450 will be served. An exciting live auction will include bidding for rare wine lots, special winery trips and artwork. Cost: $200 or $160 when combined with another event

For more information about attending Vintage Albuquerque events, please visit www.vintagealbuquerque.org or call 505 944-2551. Seating is limited for some events, and sell-outs may occur. Portions of ticket costs are tax deductible.