Colorado Mountain Winefest events set for Palisade Sept. 17-20
Special to the Free Press
WHAT: Colorado Mountain Winefest
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 19, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., Palisade
COST: $45 online or $55 at the gate
The 24th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest presented by Alpine Bank will take place Sept. 17-20 in Palisade and surrounding areas, including Paonia, Cedaredge and Grand Junction. Attendees can look forward to another year of wining, dining and painting at The Palette, chocolate and wine tasting at Wine Country Inn and unlimited wine sampling at the Festival in the Park, as well as several new events. All tickets can be purchased online at ColoradoWinefest.com. Winefest events are only available to those 21 and over with valid identification.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
Food & Wine Pairings will take place Thursday through Sunday at various restaurants in the Grand Valley, including Enzo’s Pizzeria and Italian Cafe, Garfield’s Restaurant, Kannah Creek Brewing Company, No Coast Sushi, The Winery, and 626 on Rood. Participating eateries will offer a glass of Colorado wine to be paired with an appetizer for $20 or less. The full menu list can be found at facebook.com/COWinefest in the photo album titled “2015 Food & Wine Pairings.”
Wine, Dine & Paint ($50 online, $60 at the door), 7 to 9 p.m. at The Palette, 441 Main St., Grand Junction
Attendees will enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvre while painting a vineyard landscape at this ticketed event with Nancy Lewis, 2015 Commemorative Winefest Poster Artist.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
For the first time, Winefest is offering a Scenic Wine Country Bus Tour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The luxury motor coach will depart from Riverbend Park, located at 451 Pendleton St. in Palisade, and head to Paonia and Cedaredge with “a spectacular return trip over the Grand Mesa.” The tour includes tastings at three Colorado Wineries and is currently sold out.
The Wine & Glass Experience presented by Riedel, an Austria-based glassware manufacturer, is fueled by the idea that “good glass makes a difference.” For $80 online or $90 at the door, guests will experience wine tasting in an entirely different way. “This is a really fun, educational event where attendees get to taste wine out of varietal-specific wine glasses,” said Cassidee Shull, Executive Director of CAVE (Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology). A Riedel expert will guide attendees through a two-hour seminar, which will explain all of the different types of glasses and why Riedel makes varietal-specific wine glasses. Guests will leave with a four-piece tasting set (including chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and riesling glasses) and wine at a $120 value.
Friday’s events will also include the Winemaker’s Dinner presented by Fisher’s Liquor Barn from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Wine Country Inn, located at 777 Grande River Dr. in Palisade. The sold out, multi-course dinner will include pairings with Colorado wine.
Chocolate & Wine Tasting will follow the Winemaker’s Dinner and is also sold out. Guests will sample Enstrom and Guittard chocolates paired with local dry whites, reds and sweet dessert wines.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Starting at 7 a.m. at Peach Bowl Park in Palisade, Winefest attendees can participate in the Tour de Vineyards, a 25-mile bike ride through Wine Country. Registration and information can be found at tourdevineyards.com.
The weekend’s main event, the “Festival in the Park,” will take place Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Riverbend Park, located at 451 Pendleton St. in Palisade. General admission is $45 online or $55 at the door and includes wine tasting, interactive seminars, a commemorative wine glass and wine tote, chef demonstrations, a grape stomp experience, wine storage, and live music by local bands Vintage Voltage and Stray Grass.
“We have over 50 wineries in the park on Saturday pouring unlimited sips of wine,” Shull said.
VIP tickets are available online and at the door for $190. Tickets for non-drinkers are $25 online or $35 at the door, and shuttle tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
“The best thing about the Sunday after Winefest (is that) our wineries do a fantastic job of going all out,” Shull said. “A lot of them have live music, they do food, they sometimes have extended hours and they make it a great party to everybody here celebrating Winefest.”
The Palisade Sunday Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is free and family-friendly.
“It’s a true farmer’s market,” Shull said. “We have a ton of our local producers and farmers, our peach orchard will still be out there (and) we have several of our local wineries. It’s the last one of the season, so they kind of go all out for this one while everybody’s in town.”
The Farmer’s Market will start at Third and Main streets in Palisade.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is the Tour of the Wineries, an event in which wineries extend a “special invitation” to tour their scenic vineyards. No tickets are necessary and guests can sample various local wines, appetizers and live entertainment.
The Amateur Winemakers Awards Reception is Sunday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Riverbend Park in Palisade. This event is for those who have entered in the 2015 Amateur Winemakers Competition and their guests.
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