Wine Openers | All Blogs

Colorado Urban Winefest coming of age with ‘best showing’ of Colorado wines

By Dave Buchanan

DENVER – Colorado Urban Winefest continues to improve with age, not unlike the Colorado wine industry itself. Final attendance numbers showed around 1,500 wine enthusiasts turned out, including a robust walk-up traffic on a pleasant late-spring day, for Saturday’s third annual Colorado Urban Winefest presented by Westminster Total Beverage.

“I’m really happy with the turnout and it’s really a gorgeous day,” said Cassidee Schull, director of the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology, the event’s main sponsor.

This year’s fest was at Infinity Park in Glendale, a stadium and sports complex better known for its rugby teams, and while there wasn’t any tackling being seen, at least not until after the winefest, Saturday’s weather — mixed sun and clouds with a cool breeze — along with the extensive acres of grass fields, kept fest-goers and winery representatives comfortable all afternoon.

“Yeah, this is a great place,” agreed Mike Thompson of Boulder Creek Winery, one of the 36 wineries present. “I really like the layout here.”

The week’s top wine award went to winemaker Michelle Cleveland of Creekside Cellars in Evergreen (photo at right), winner of the Governor’s Cup Wine Competition with her 2010 Grand Valley Cabernet Franc. Deep dark fruit and a judicious touch of oak highlighted this wine, which was named top Bordeaux varietal, Best of Show, Best Red Wine and Double Gold medal winner.

“I’m really pleasantly surprised at winning,” said Cleveland, who grew the grapes on Creekside Cellars’ 10-acre vineyard in the Vinelands near Palisade. “I only wish I had more.”

Cleveland made only 44 cases (about 104 gallons) of the wine, which sold rapidly. “I have only one case left, and probably not that anymore,” she said, ruefully. “I didn’t think it would sell so fast.”

The label on the wine simply states “Franc,” with “Colorado’s Cabernet” across the bottom. It’s testimony to how much Cleveland and other winemakers enjoy working with what is becoming the state’s signature red wine.

Indicative of the grape’s growing popularity is that two other winemakers also won Double Gold medals for their 2010 cabernet franc – Jackie Thompson at Boulder Creek Winery and John Garlich at Bookcliff Vineyards – while last year’s Governor’s Cup top wine was a 2009 Cabernet Franc from Matt Cookson, winemaker at the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Cañon City.

“I’ve been making a cabernet franc since we opened (2002),” Cleveland said. “I really like oak, but only if it’s balanced with the fruit and this had huge fruit.”

Unlike its genetic descendant cabernet sauvignon, which often struggles getting ripe in Colorado’s short growing season, cabernet franc manages to reach maturity even in the shorter seasons.

“Remember, 2010 was a poor production year” following the deep freeze of December 2009, Cleveland said. “But we had a good crop. Kyle (Schlachter of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board) and I share the same vision of promoting cabernet franc as Colorado’s grape.”

Another notable increase has been the number of winemakers crafting dry rosés. Jay and Jennifer Christianson won a gold medal and Best Rosé with their Canyon Wind Cellars 47-Ten 2012 Grand Valley Rosé, which is priced at $12.95 and shows a well-made wine also can be affordable.

Many people familiar with rosé automatically drift away from what they think will be something sweet but a recent trend among Colorado winemakers (Garfield Estates also offers a dry rosé) to produce a dry rosé with great fruit has revived interest in the wine.

Among the selections Mike Thompson (left) was pouring was the Boulder Creek 2011 Colorado Dry Rosé, and he said, "It takes a little education, and you have to get them to taste it, but once you do, it’s really popular.”

Around 225 wines were judged by the tasting panel of experts including restaurateurs, sommeliers, writers and chefs, most of who seemed quite pleased with their task.

“They showed tremendous excitement over all the Bordeaux red grapes produced in Colorado, including merlot,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB.

One of the judges, wine blogger Jeff Siegel (“The Wine Curmudgeon”), noted the competition “was easily the best showing from Colorado in the decade or so I have judged its wines.”

Youu can catch up with all of Wineopener's Colorado Wine Week news at

(This entry was updated to show attendance numbers and reflect the correct winners in several categories.)


Please Login or Register to leave a comment.

mead wines - A beautiful, pale, sparkling rose made from Pinot Noir grapes grown on the hills of Pavese in Italy.

Winning the grand prize for your wine must be amazing, there is a lot of work for that wine to be produced so it’s no wonder the winery owners are so proud of their work when they receive it! If only there would be a similar contest for berry fruits, I intend t grow a berry garden, I’ve ordered the plants I need on and I’m really excited about the project!

Pensi che stai cercando sito web che fornirà TAG Heuer? Ci sono molti siti Internet in modo da provde coinvolti e aiutarlo ad ottenere un buon replica orologio, anche dalla comodità della vostra casa il resto degli aiuti. Ma perché non si considera la vostra copia orologi Hublot popolo britannico di persone ora. Potrebbe essere necessario fornire il vostro attuale TAG Heuer.

I would likewise persuade pretty much every individual to spare this site page for any most loved help to support posted the appearance.
pos software

I don’t have sufficient energy right now to completely read your site but I have bookmarked it and likewise include your RSS channels. I will be back in a day or two. much obliged concerning an incredible site.             
residential painter service nashville

If you ever want to discover new wines, winefests are the way to do it. Looking for the perfect premium wine there will increase your chances of finding it, you’ll really start appreciating wine after giving it a try.

This site is a leading resource for information about the Race dePriest Text That Girl PDF book and complete guide on how to text girls that teaches men the exact messages that will make her laugh, flirt, and even get turned can i get my ex back now

The Wineopener’s festival is a very appreciated yearly event! Many people travel to Colorado each year for this, from all over the country and even from abroad! The whole state is filled with tourists that period and, the services provided by the authorities are very, very well adjusted to satisfy everyone. The airports are usually very crowded, but the shuttle system is doing it’s job well so people don’t have to wait very long for a ride to the hotel. It’s almost as efficient as the Honolulu airport shuttle service but that’s only because there are fewer people in the Colorado airports then in Hawaii… Overall, a very well organized and great to see festival.

very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. G reat work - See more at:                       

This is an excellent post I seen thanks to share it. It is really what I wanted to see hope in future you will continue for sharing such a excellent post.

I concur with you. This post is positively rousing. I like your post and all that you impart to us is present and exceptionally useful, I need to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have made an awesome showing .. - See more at:
free garcinia cambogia pills

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
צלם לחתונה

This is a superb post I seen because of offer it. It is truly what I needed to see trust in future you will proceed for imparting such a magnificent post.

חוקר פרטי בצפון | חוקר פרטי במרכז 050-9200-299
א.חפץ מספר אחד במעקבים. 03-9443000
חפץ אלירן, מייסד החברה ומנהלה בפועל, הינו חוקר פרטי בעל רישיון מטעם משרד המשפטים, אשר מספק את שירותיו במשך 16 השנים האחרונות, הן בקרב המגזר העיסקי והן ללקוחות פרטיים. את הכשרתו הראשונית במסגרת תחום החקירות רכש עוד בשירותו הצבאי, כאשר שירת ביחידת המודיעין אמ”ן מחקר, יחידה אשר חרף היותה יחידה צבאית, עוסקת במחקר מודיעיני אסטרטגי הנוגע בעולמות תוכן כלכליים, טכנולוגיים, חברתיים ופוליטיים. מאז ובמשך השנים, נחשף לטכניקות, שיטות פעולה ופיתוחים טכנולוגיים, אותם בוחר בקפידה לשם התמקצעות אולטימטיבית בתחום וכן צירוף מיטב המומחים לרשות החברה.

חוקר פרטי בצפון

I basically need to let you know that I am new to weblog and most likely loved this online journal website. Likely I’m going to bookmark your web journal . You totally have grand stories. Cheers for imparting to us your site.             
pest control san fernando valley

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.Black Diamond Strings shirts

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed.
Scottsdale Electrician

You have raised an important issue..Thanks for sharing..I would like to read more current affairs from this blog..keep posting..
Ahwatukee Electrical Contractors

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots moroccan bath of great information and inspiration. Thanks for the great information. And thanks for sharing

You actually make it look so easy with your performance but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never comprehend. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

Recent Posts
By Nic.Korte
Saturday, June 3, 2017

By Nic.Korte
Sunday, May 14, 2017

By Nic.Korte
Sunday, April 23, 2017

By Nic.Korte
Friday, April 7, 2017

Tech Education a Must for Tech-Starved Mesa County
By David Goe
Friday, March 31, 2017


734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy