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Time to make plans for Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Just arrived in the mail is the brochure for the 2008 Colorado Mountain Winefest, set for Sept. 18-21 at Riverbend Park in Palisade. That means it's "officially" time to look for seats at one of the very popular dinners with winemakers. Seats are limited and this year might be fewer in number as some restaurants have cut back from two dinners to one. Although you're not supposed to make reservations prior to the publication of the brochure (an attempt to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to secure a dinner) most of the restaurants already are close to being sold out. Grab a brochure and call your favorite restaurant to check on seating, prices and which wines and winemakers will be present. More than 40 Colorado wineries will be featured at this year's Winefest and it's a great opportunity to get to know some new-to-you wineries. Most Colorado wineries are quite small and their production is limited, which means you won't see their wines in local stores. If you can't make it around the state to visit wineries (that's a great in-state vacation), you can let the wineries come to you at Winefest. If you didn't get a brochure in the mail, information and tickets for seminars and the festival are available at www.coloradowinefest.com. Tickets for this year's Festival in the Park are $40 in advance, $50 at the gate. The First Class Pass, which includes close-in parking, a buffet, special seating near the Main Stage, concierge service and other goodies, is set at $175.

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