Colorado Mountain Winefest in Palisade an event for the senses
WHAT: Colorado Mountain Winefest
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., Sept. 21
WHERE: Main event will be hosted at Palisade’s Riverbend Park
COST: $25/$45/$190 in advance; prices higher at gate
The 22nd annual Colorado Mountain Winefest isn’t just about the Western Slope’s well-known elixir. It’s also about experiencing wine as pairings with food at local restaurants.
“It’s a fun way to get creative and interactive with wine,” Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology (CAVE) Executive Director Cassidee Shull said.
And starting Thursday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 22, seven Grand Valley restaurants will be offering affordable (think $20 or less) food and wine pairings in conjunction with Winefest this weekend.
According to a Winefest news release, participating restaurants include 626 on Rood, Bin 707 Foodbar, Bistro 743 at the DoubleTree, Red Canyon Grille at Redlands Mesa Golf Club, The Winery Restaurant, Inari’s, and The Tapestry Lounge at Wine Country Inn.
“You don’t need tickets for the pairings,” Shull said. “You’re just going to restaurants and doing something new; try a new glass of wine or new pairing.”
Tonight (Friday, Sept. 20), more wine and food events will be held at Palisade’s Wine Country Inn. The Winefest demo and dinner is already sold out, but Shull said there are still limited spaces for the chocolate and wine tasting, featuring Grand Junction’s own Enstrom chocolates and eight Colorado wineries.
“It’s not just sweet wines being featured,” Shull noted. “A ticket is $40, and that includes sips and chocolate,” including a chocolate fountain.
Then, on Saturday, Sept. 21, the main Winefest event moves to Riverbend Park in Palisade.
“From 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., we are featuring almost 50 Colorado wineries,” Shull said. “Inside the park, there are three ticket options — GA, VIP or non-drinker. Regardless of the ticket, you must be 21 and over this year; no kids are allowed in the park due to it being an adult event.”
A non-drinker ticket is $25 ticket — “You’ll receive a water bottle instead of wine glass,” Shull said.
General admission costs $45 — entrance includes a wine glass, wine samples and a tote to hold bottle purchases. Seminars and demos going on in the park are free.
VIP tickets are $190, though Shull said only a limited number of these coveted tickets are still available. That includes a Riedel wine glass, VIP pavilion access, a wine tote full of gifts, complimentary parking or a shuttle ticket, plus the food in the VIP tent is freshly prepared.
“We expect to sell out soon,” she noted.
Those pre-sale prices are available until tonight (Friday) at midnight. Same-day admission prices will increase.
The annual grape stomp will run Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Sunday, Shull also noted an “Intro to Grape Growing seminar” available for locals and visitors at the Western Colorado Research Center in East Orchard Mesa from 9 a.m. to noon.
Colorado Mountain Winefest is “the largest fundraiser for CAVE, which supports growers and winemakers throughout the state,” a news release noted. “The festival is the largest local wine event in Colorado and brings nearly 6,000 people to the Grand Valley.”
For a full schedule of events going on weekend-long, visit http://www.winecolorado.org/events/mountain-winefest.
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