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First Colorado Winefest shows promise for future

By Dave Buchanan

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 doesn't suffer suffers growing pains, and even with the few complaints it's great to have more Front Range exposure for Colorado wines.

Sarah Catlin, director of both winefests, already is seeking input for next year's Denver event.

Congratulations to the wineries winning medals during the Celebration of Premier Colorado Wines, held at the Governor's Residence as part of Colorado Wine Week.

Thanks to Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, for supplying us the results.

–  Best Fruit Wine: Colorado Cellars Peach, Rick and Padte Turley, owners and winemaker;

– Best Mead: Colorado Cellars Golden Nektar Mead, Rick and Padte Turley, owners and winemaker;

– Best Rosé: Zephyr Cellars Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Tim Merrick, owner and winemaker;

– Best Dessert Wine: Plum Creek Cellars Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Sue Phillips, owner, and Jenne Baldwin-Eaton, winemaker;

– Best White Wine, Chardonnay: Boulder Creek Winery Chardonnay, Jackie Thompson, owner and winemaker;

– Best White Wine, Gewürztraminer: Carlson Vineyards and Winery, Parker Carlson, owner and winemaker;

– Best Rhone Varietal Red: Bookcliff Vineyards Petite Sirah, John Garlich, owner and winemaker;

– Best Italian Varietal Red: Balistreri Vineyards Sangiovese, John Balistreri, owner and winemaker;

– Best Spanish Varietal Red: Bookcliff Vineyards Tempranillo; John Garlich, owner and winemaker;

– Best Cabernet or Merlot: Boulder Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Jackie Thompson, owner and winemaker;

–  Best of Show (white), Riesling: Whitewater Hill Vineyards Riesling, Nancy Janes, owner and winemaker;

– Best of Show (red), Bordeaux Varietal Blend: Cottonwood Cellars Classic Blend, Diana Read, owner.

More information on all these wineries is available from the CWIDB website at


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