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Uncork your plans for the 2012 Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Dave Buchanan

It’s time to uncork your plans for the 21st annual Colorado Mountain Winefest, set for Sept. 13-16 in and around the Grand Valley.

Although most of the restaurant dinners with winemakers are sold out, there still are tickets left for the weekend’s other events, including the always-popular Festival in the Park (general admission $43) Sept. 15 at Palisade’s Riverbend Park.

Winefest executive director Cassidee Shull said Tuesday that seats also are open for the various Sept. 14 seminars as well as the golf tournament that morning at Redlands Mesa Golf Course.

Friday’s seminars include the informative and entertaining “Guided Wine, Dine and Vine” event with state enologist Steve Menke (pictured at right); the “Life of Wine” seminar by Max Ariza, during which the University of Denver instructor and certified sommelier tastes and discusses some vintage Colorado wines; the “Enstrom’s Chocolate & Wine” tasting; and the Celebrity Chef and Dinner.

This year’s celebrity chef is the well-known Glenn Smith of Aspen, who spent 13 years as Chef-in-residence chef at the former Cooking School of Aspen and delighting a private clientele in the Roaring Fork Valley. According to a recent post on the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology blog, Smith now lives in Denver where he is developing an online cookbook with other chefs.

He will be captivating foodies at the Celebrity Dinner on Sept. 14 and also during the chef’s demonstrations at the Festival in the Park.

“We also have a limited number of the VIP tickets to Saturday’s Festival in the Park,” said Shull, who added the VIP tickets normally sell out well before the actual event.

Included in the VIP ticket ($185) is close-in parking, entry to the VIP tent with a special menu prepared by the Culinary Arts program at Western Colorado Community College and a commemorative Reidel wine glass.

Events on Sept. 16 include the “Introduction to Grape Growing” by state viticulturist Horst Caspari plus wineries visits around the valley.

Ticket packages, which include the Premier ($325), the Signature ($190) and the Culinary & Chocolate Delight package ($170), offer you ease of shopping plus make sure you’re set for a variety of events, Shull said. “This year we’ve added more events to the ticket packages, which are great for people who love one-stop shopping,” she said.

Information and prices for all events (the winery tours and complimentary pairings are free) are available on the Colorado Mountain Winefest website.

Colorado Mountain Winefest and the Colorado Urban Winefest in Denver help support the non-profit Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology.



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The first time I attended such a celebration I was on a mission with the American Immigration Service and we went to find a guy who was hiding for some time… I have to confess that it was the hardest thing ever for me not to have a taste of those wines.. so much flavor could be felt there.. the smells were unbelievable!

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