Wine Openers - Blog

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A little of everything – even the romance – at Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It’s early afternoon in mid-September as I write this, and the the pewter-colored clouds draping rain across Pinyon Mesa add to the sense that summer is about at its end. While no one is rushing into winter, September and October might be the best months in western Colorado for wine enthusiasts. This month, as you already know but I’m going to remind you anyway, brings the Colorado Mountain Winefest, set for Sept. 15-18 in Palisade with wine-related events across the Grand ...

Hybrid grapes may be key to Colorado’s wine-making future

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When I die ..., Chances are things won’t be this good. Telluride Ski Resort and Rodney Strong Vineyards of Sonoma County have teamed up, bringing together world-class skiing with world-class wines. What’s not to like? According to Telluride spokesman Tom Watkinson, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Telluride will partner for special events at Telluride’s flagship restaurant Allred’s and at the “who-needs-alcohol-when-you're-already-this-high” ...

A rush to ripen as growing season enters final months

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grand Valley grapes are rushing to catch up with a summer that’s soon to end. The catching up comes as a result of a long, cool spring, which included a frost at the end of April that killed some of the valley’s grape crop and set back the rest. That, in addition to damage still lingering from the killer cold weather in 2009, has dropped the valley’s prospective grape crop by 30 percent or more. “It was the 27th of April to the first or second of May and May ...

Salt this away: Boulder bistro serving Colorado wines

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The wrap-up of an intense three-day workshop in Boulder found several of us searching for a dinner place open on Sunday night, a task that can be fearsome in early closing Grand Junction but one that offered many entertaining options in Boulder. We ended at Salt the Bistro on the east end of the famed Pearl Street Mall. One of our small group recommended Salt, in the former Tom's Tavern building, and we weren't disappointed in the reasonable prices, wonderful food and a ...

West Elks Wine Trail flows Thursday thorugh Sunday

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, August 1, 2011

It’s August, which means every garden on the Western Slope is going crazy (even if your tomatoes are a little behind this year) and the winemakers of the West Elks Viticultural Area are looking for some company. Thursday through Saturday is the third annual West Elks Wine Trail featuring nine wineries in the North Fork Valley from Hotchkiss to Paonia. Designed with an emphasis on the bounty of great foods available from a wide range of North Fork farms, gardens, orchards and ...

DrinkLocalWine bringing its message to Colorado

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, July 25, 2011

We (meaning you and I) have known this for several months but now it’s “official”: the Internet-based is bringing its annual conference next year to Colorado. Well, Denver, anyway, since there’s no indication of any formal activities planned for what really is Colorado wine country. Here’s what the press release says about Colorado hosting DLW’s fourth annual event: “The state’s industry is one of the most unique in ...

First Colorado Winefest shows promise for future

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

According to those who should know, the initial Colorado Winefest at Northfield, the Front Range version of the Colorado Mountain Winefest, was a qualified success. While it's promising to hear upwards of 40 wineries hosted more than 1,600 attendees during the half-day event, there apparently were some challenges with what was called "the poor foot traffic" at the upscale shopping mall built at the former site of Stapleton International Airport. But what new event ...

Food & Wine sell-out marks rising economy

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, June 27, 2011

ASPEN – In case you were wondering: A hint the economy is on an (ever-so-slight) upswing is the latest version of the food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen which sold out this year for the first time in three years. However, it’s not time to get your hopes for a full recovery. The Aspen Daily Times reported that Christina Grdovic, publisher and vice president of Food & Wine magazine, told the June 15 Aspen Business Luncheon that the 5,000 Classic attendees are, ...

Besh stars on Day 2 at Food & Wine Classic

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, June 19, 2011

ASPEN – The last time we ran into New Orleans chef John Besh, he was occupied with rejuvenating that city’s restaurant scene following the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Today, Besh still works at letting the world know New Orleans shouldn’t be ignored, only this time he’s admitting the storm helped him discover something more of his city. His 40-minute cooking seminar Saturday morning on the second day of the 2011 Food &Wine Classic in Aspen was titled ...

Thanks for the notice, Governor, but we’ve been here for a while

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, May 19, 2011

In case you haven't noticed, which likely means A: You're not from western Colorado; B: you're not interested in Colorado wine; or C: You're a Republican (or all three), our Democratic ( that's the big D democrat) Gov. John Hickenlooper recently tabbed June 5-11 as "Colorado Wine Week," a welcome but obvious political panegyric to the initial Colorado Winefest set for June 9-11 at the former and much-redeveloped site of Stapleton Airport in Denver. Gee, ...

Colorado Winefest announces chefs for opening dinner

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The lineup of chefs for the "Colorado Vineyard to Table Dinner," the kick-off dinner at the Colorado Winefest set for June 10-11 at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton in Denver, includes Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg, previously of Jax Fish House in Denver. Joining Rosenberg at the inaugural event for this Front Range version of the Colorado Mountain Winefest will be chefs Brian Laird (Russo's kitchen + tavern in Englewood); Dan Witherspoon (The Gourmet Spoon, Denver); ...

April snow catches spring, fruitgrowers by surprise

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Consider yourself lucky if you woke up late Saturday morning to find snow on the tulips. Sleeping in, lingering over a cup of coffee and marveling at the beauty of winter’s final fling wasn’t an option for most of the valley’s fruit growers. Most of the orchardists and grape growers were up well before dawn several times this past week after frost alarms sounded in the wake of below-freezing temperatures. Temperatures in downtown Grand Junction hit a low of 26 ...

Colorado wine ‘wows’ a host and gets national boost

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Guy Drew gets attention, he gets the right kind. The affable and award-winning winemaker and owner of Guy Drew Vineyards in McElmo Canyon near Cortez recently picked up some well-deserved national acclaim when the irrepressible Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV and Daily Grape gave Drew’s 2007 Metate an unqualified “Wow.” Vaynerchuk, who is nothing but enthusiastic and calls his daily online and iPhone apps wine reviews the “Internet’s most ...

Warm weather hastens bud break in vineyards

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, April 15, 2011

Mid-April might be spring to most residents of the Grand Valley but grape growers know better. “Traditionally our last frost here is April 23, but that’s never a given,” said Nancy Janes of Whitewater Hill Vineyards on 32 Road. In what may be a sign of climate change, that last frost is coming earlier, said state viticulturist Horst Caspari of the Colorado State University Orchard Mesa Research Station. “Our last spring frost has moved forward (earlier) by ...

Oh, wait: The Denver winefest is on, after all

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, April 15, 2011

Colorado Mountain Winefest is spreading its vines. The popular 20-year-old event held each fall in Palisade will have a new sister event in Denver this spring when the Colorado Winefest is uncorked June 10-11 at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton. The Palisade winefest isn't going anywhere but the Denver event gives the state's burgeoning wine industry an opportunity to present its wines in a different setting. "I think first and foremost this is going to be different ...

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