Bright yellow sunflowers against a backdrop of dusty-purple mountains and an immense blue sky. The scent of piñon trees, sage and roasting Big Jims over streetside fires. Chile is synonymous with autumn in New Mexico, and disciples of the spicy-sweet peppers flocked to the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta to indulge in the area’s best cuisine and libations. The good news is, they had a luxe new place to stay. The new Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is set on 57 acres in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, and yet is only 10 minutes from the downtown plaza and one of the world’s top art markets, giving guests the best of both worlds.
The much-anticipated annual event, which just finished its 22nd year, took over this eclectic, adobe-filled high-desert town, with tastings, tours (the Georgia O’Keefe house), cooking demos, wine dinners, seminars, auctions and golf. The highlight was the Grand Tasting at the hilltop Santa Fe Opera (with samples from 75 restos and 100 wineries). If you visit next year, be sure to order like a local: “Green, red or Christmas?” from your waiter means your choice of green chile, red chile or half and half. —Michelle Pentz Glave