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2nd annual West Elks Wine Trail set for Aug. 6-8

By Dave Buchanan

If you really need another reason to visit the wineries in the West Elk AVA and the North Fork Valley, here's the best one to come along recently: The second annual West Elks Wine Trail is set for Aug. 6-8.

Events include tours of the wineries, vineyards, orchards and gardens that highlight the agritourism industry of the area between Hotchkiss and Paonia.

Participating wineries include Alfred Eames Cellars, Azura Winery and Gallery, Black Bridge Winery, Delicious Orchards, Leroux Creek Winery, Liliputian Winery, S. Rhodes Vineyards, Stone Cottage Cellars and Terror Creek Winery.

At each winery, you'll find samples of their latest vintages along with special food and wine pairings, and if  you visit at least five of the wineries, you'l get a free West Elks wine glass.

Whew.

This is a great way to meet and get to know the winemakers of Colorado's other American Viticultural Area (the Grand Valley AVA is the one here). While the nine participating wineries are enough to keep you busy for three days, there's more.

Along with days filled with art displays, gallery tours and sampling wine, many of the winemakers are hosting special dinners featuring their wines and chef-prepared meals (Chef Yvon Gros of Leroux Creek will certainly have something very special and very French to offer his guests). Contact the wineries for information on their dinners.

A complete schedule along with maps, contact information and list of dinners is available from the Paonia Chamber of Commerce, 970-527-3886.

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