Wine events spread to fill the year
TAKE YOUR PICK
Here are some of the larger area wine events awaiting you this year:
Cocktails & Cookie Creations Local wines are paired with unique savory creations featuring Girl Scout cookies from 5:308:30 p.m. April 20 at Two Rivers Winery, 2087 Broadway. Tickets are $35 at the Girl Scout office, 580 241/2 Road, or at Crossroads Wine and Spirits, 611 24 Road.
Grand Valley Winemakers Dinner Food will be paired with wines during this April 27 meal at Two Rivers Winery, 2087 Broadway, to benefit Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado. Tickets are $87.50 and available at tworiverswinery.com.
Barrel Into Spring Wine Tasting A self-guided tour of Grand Valley Winery Association members to sample food, tour wineries and taste wines from the barrel not available to the public. Set for April 2829 and May 1920. A limited number of tickets are available for $70 per person or $75 if purchased less than two weeks before the event. Tickets are available at tworiverswinery.com or by calling the winery at 255-1471.
Viva el Vino Get dressed up in cocktail party attire for a wine-tasting event on May 5 showcasing various wines, including wines from the area, with proceeds going to support numerous nonprofits in the area through the Junior Service League. Tickets are $60 or $90 for VIP tickets with access to special wine and food. They are available at US Bank locations or from any Junior Service League member.
Wine, Buffalo and Chocolate Mothers Day Trail This free tour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 12 in the Hotchkiss area enables people to taste wines, sample food and meet the winemakers and farmers at Leroux Creek Vineyards, 12388 3100 Road; Liliputian Winery, 31424 Colorado Highway 92; and High Wire Ranch, 27497 Buffalo Road, with Steve Rhodes Vineyards.
West Elks Wine Trail People can tour the wineries, vineyards, orchards and gardens of the North Fork of the Gunnison River in the Paonia and Hotchkiss area Aug. 47 to learn more about the local wine and food grown in the area. A slew of special events and tastings is associated with the four-day event. Go to deltacountycolorado.com for information.
Dinner in the Vineyard Barrel tastings, tours and a gourmet meal are part of this Aug. 13 event at Stone Cottage Cellars, 41716 Reds Road, in Paonia. A live concert follows the meal. A limited number of tickets ($150) are available by calling Brent and Karen Helleckson at 970-527-3444.
Food, Farm, Film & Wine Festival The Western Slope and Roaring Fork Slow Food Chapters will highlight the bounty of the Paonia area on Aug. 2021 with tours at wineries and farms, films at The Paradise Theatre and meals in the area. Tickets vary in price depending on the number of activities you wish to participate in. Ticket information will be available at slowfoodwesternslope.org closer to the time of the event.
Colorado Mountain Winefest This Sept. 1316 event offers winemaker dinners and a popular festival in Palisades Riverbend Park where dozens of wines from Colorado wineries can be tasted. This is one of the states largest wine festivals. Ticket information will be available at coloradowinefest.com closer to the time of the event.
Wine has become synonymous with entertainment in western Colorado, and thats not just because Colorado Mountain Winefest swings around each fall.
In recent years, area wine events have expanded to fill the calendar. Whether it is a laid-back tasting tour of area wineries in the summer or a formal gala at Two Rivers Convention Center in the winter, events highlighting or including locally produced wine have become increasingly prominent in every season.
We have an incredibly interesting product year-round, said Debbie Kovalik, executive director of the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau, who has spent 22 years helping promote the local wine industry. Events really stand as a stage to promote wine.
Grande River Vineyards owner Naomi Smith labeled the variety of wine events offered here as agri-tainment. The word is a nod to the notion that wine has both agricultural and entertainment components, and it is no accident that more and more events and festivals featuring local wine have been popping up with regularity since the first Colorado Mountain Winefest in Palisade Town Park in 1992, she said.
As one of the first winery owners in the area Grande River Vineyards opened in the early 1990s Smith has made it a point to create an entertaining aura at her vineyard and winery. She insists she is not alone in that mission.
People from all different walks of life are enjoying going to wineries, Smith said. (The wineries collectively) are striving to bring more people in on a year-round basis.
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Smith finalized plans for the 2012 Hear It Through the Grapevine concert series at the winery. The series welcomes musicians of different genres, encouraging people with various musical tastes, and hopefully a taste for wine as well, to attend the concerts that benefit local nonprofits.
Two Rivers Winery and Chateau owner Bob Witham also hosts a concert series, Jazz Among the Grapevines. His Redlands location near Colorado National Monument, provides a scenic backdrop with a French-vineyard feel for special events and private parties, no matter the time of year.
And both Two Rivers Winery and Grande River Vineyards along with a number of other local wineries participate in events away from their vineyards. Theres Edesia in March, Winefest in September and Barrel Into Spring Wine Tastings in April and May that are put on by eight participating members of the Grand Valley Winery Association.
The spring barrel tasting is one of Parker Carlsons favorite wine events since its inception nearly 10 years ago.
(Tickets are) limited, so theres more food and wine direct contact. People get to taste (wine) out of barrels that youll never taste again because its in process, said Carlson, owner of Carlson Vineyards.
Along with events favoring limited numbers and tickets, such as the barrel tastings and intimate winemaker dinners, those interested can put together their own free tasting room tour.
There are events at about any price point and in all kinds of environments.
Which means, wine novices and experts all can find favorites, come winter snow or summer sunshine, fall chill or spring breezes.
- ^ Melinda Mawdsley (www.gjsentinel.com)
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