Content sponsored by the Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival. Editor’s Note (9/13/2019): The Car Show on Saturday has been moved to Sunday due to rain in the forecast.
It’s time to break out the pumpkin coffee and UGG boots – the 2019 Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival is coming up, and that means fall has officially started in the Albany area. Recognized as the premier apple festival in the region, the two-day celebration is happening on September 14th and 15th.
The Apple & Wine Festival typically attracts 12 to 14,000 attendees each year, and guests can enjoy a wine tasting, a juried art and craft show, a food court with Pride of NY Specialty food vendors, kids activities, a car show, and more.
Sample and Purchase New York State Wines, Ciders & Spirits
Admission to the tasting building is eight dollars per person and includes a 10 oz souvenir wine tasting glass. If you’d like to just browse and shop in the wine building, there is no charge.
Participants this year include: Adirondack Winery, Americana Vineyards Winery, Ashley Lynn Winery, Black Button Distilling, Cascade Mountain Winery, Crooked Lake Winery, Eagle Crest Vineyards, Freefall Sangria, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Helderberg Meadworks, Hunt Country Vineyards, Idol Ridge Winery, Lakeland Winery, Montezuma Winery, Pazdar Winery, Raymor Estate Cellars, Sundog Cider, Thousand Islands Winery, Three Brothers Wineries & Estates, Tug Hill Vineyards, Yankee Folly Cider, Zugibe Vineyards, and more.
Find Fall Produce and Treats at the Farm Market & Bakery
Festival-goers can check out an extensive farmers market and bakery right on site. It may be all about apples and wine during this fall celebration, but the event organizers believe it’s important to feature local produce from our farmers and community.
Products on sale will include but not be limited to: winter squash, pumpkins, gourds, vegetables, jams and jellies, Concord grapes, mums, spice blends and rubs, olive oil mixes, cheeses, and more.
Apple-wise, be ready for in-season apples, apple cider doughnuts, apple pie, apple fritters, apple turnovers, apple slushies, apple puffs, apple cookies, and even apple coffee cakes. Don’t forget to pick up some apple cider before you leave.
Keep the Kids Entertained With Endless Fall Fun
Make sure you bring the little ones to this event, because there’s plenty for the kids to do!
The festival always offers an amazing selection of children’s activities and entertainment, from face painting and pumpkin painting to a haunted house, bounces and slides, clowns, jugglers, and stilt walkers.
In addition, there will be pony rides by Meadow Hill Farms (12pm to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday), The Amazing Kids Circus (Saturday at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm; Sunday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm), and performances by The Incredible Larry (Saturday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm; Sunday at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm).
The Incredible Larry is a comedic spectacle experienced in staged and street performances, with a specialty in festival entertainment. His acts include juggling, stilt walking, physical comedy, unicycling, and more.
Browse Handcrafted Artworks & Products at the Craft Show
This year’s Art & Craft Show will feature 100 craft exhibitors. The festival strives to present the absolute best craftworks for the public, and all items must be designed, created, and handcrafted by the exhibitor.
If you’re someone who likes to buy local, then this is the perfect chance to purchase completely handmade items from those in our community.
“The people who participate in the craft show are extremely talented,” said Brenda Ladd of Northeast Show Promoters, who is the Show Coordinator of the festival. “This is their business and they work very hard to find worthwhile shows to participate in.”
The Art & Craft Show is a juried show, which means all participants must submit photos of their work before being accepted. Not only will customers be buying local to support the hardworking artists and craftspeople in our area, but you’ll be purchasing quality items as dictated by the high standards of the festival.
Items for sale will include paintings, ceramics, pottery, photography, fiber arts, doll clothing, baby accessories, candles, body products, aromatherapy products, handcrafted wooden furniture, knitted items, and so much more.
Amplify Your Autumn With Live Music
You can’t have a fall festival without live music, and the Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival has an exceptional lineup planned for 2019.
On Saturday, September 14th, The Allstars (featuring a former member of Grand Central Station) will perform on the Main Stage from 1pm to 5pm, Trevor English will perform in the Gazebo at the Wine Tasting Entrance from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and All Star DJ Services will entertain guests at the car show from 11am to 3:30pm.
Then, on Sunday, September 15th, Shades of Grey, a popular local band from Guilderland, will perform on the Main Stage from 12pm to 4pm, and Trevor English will once again perform in the Gazebo at the Wine Tasting Entrance from 12pm to 3pm.
Check Out All the Beautiful Classics at the Car Show
Due to rain in the forecast, the annual Saturday Car Show has been moved to Sunday from 10am to 3pm.
Show cars can enter at the fairgrounds’ Park Street Entrance, which will open at 9am and close at 12pm for judging. There will be two car show classes of 1980 and older, and 1980 and newer.
Starting at 2pm, trophies will be handed out for the top 10 show cars in each class, and awards will be given for the best bikes. The first 50 cars that enter will receive dash plaques and goody bags.
Interested in participating? The cost is ten dollars per car or bike, which admits two people to the car show and the festival. Additional admission tickets for ages 15+ may be purchased for nine dollars each.
What Makes the Apple & Wine Festival Special
The Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival stands out from other fall celebrations because it spotlights both apples and wine – no one else in the area has built an entire event out of those two items.
The other truly special aspect of the festival is what it contributes to the community. Each year, the event raises thousands of dollars for many important service-oriented organizations throughout the Capital Region, such as the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Clowns on Rounds, and the Westerlo Basic Valley Fish and Game Club.
Although you’re helping the local community just by attending the festival, if you want to go a step further, you can bring a nonperishable food item or make a monetary donation to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and receive a $1.00 coupon for your next purchase of $10.00 or more at Altamont Orchards.
The Regional Food Bank booth will be located right inside the entrance.
“It’s so much fun to walk through the show and see people enjoying themselves, bringing their kids to enjoy things like the haunted house, and know that they’re benefiting a nonprofit organization,” Ladd told us.
Learn About the Fascinating History of the Festival
This year the Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival will celebrate its 27th anniversary! The key to their success? The organizers are always changing things up and looking to tweak the festival for the better.
In 2010, the festival underwent a name change: the Capital District Apple Festival & Craft Show morphed into the Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival, to better reflect their expansion into wine tasting.
The date changed as well, from October to September, which is when most apple varieties start coming into season in our area. A few years later, the event moved from its location at Altamont Orchards to the Altamont Fairgrounds for a more extensive layout and a better flow to the event.
Although those are the major changes that have taken place in recent years, the festival also switches up its vendors and activities a little bit each year to keep everything fresh and exciting. And, they only accept the best of the best.
“We have stringent codes to accepting vendors to maintain quality, from the wine to the other vendors to the entertainment,” said Ladd.
Over the years, Ladd has worked hand in hand with Jim Abbruzzese of Altamont Orchards to make the festival as great as it can be year after year. Ladd has been a part of the Apple & Wine Festival since its conception.
“I’ve been involved since day one, so it’s been very exciting to see the many changes that have happened over the years,” Ladd explained. “From moving it from the orchard to the fair, the new layouts, new dates, new name – just seeing it evolve from year to year has been amazing.”
Get Your Festival Tickets
Advanced sale tickets are available at all Price Chopper registers beginning September 1st and ending September 13th. General admission is nine dollars at the gate, with children under 15 free when accompanied by an adult.
While the event is fun for kids and adults alike, please leave the furry members of the family at home.
The Apple & Wine Festival is everything that we all enjoy about autumn, and there’s no better way to embrace the season. Between kids activities, a farmers market, handmade local items, and a wine tasting, there’s definitely something to keep everyone engaged and satisfied.
Come for one day or both, and celebrate the beginning of fall at the 2019 Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival, open on Saturday, September 14th, and Sunday, September 15th!