Winefest uncorks bubbly crowd

Early-morning rain and threatening skies didn’t stop throngs of wine lovers from spending Saturday in the park during the 2011 Colorado Mountain Winefest.

Event organizers don’t have final numbers, but they said the crowds of people who came to sample the state’s wines appeared to come in record numbers.

“The sun is out, it’s absolutely gorgeous, it’s 75 degrees. We could not have asked for better,” Winefest Executive Director Sarah Catlin said Saturday as the crowds were leaving for the day.

“It rained early in the morning, and then it cleared up, and everybody had a great time. I think we probably had record crowds, and I don’t think anybody looks terribly drunk, she said.”

The annual festival, which draws wine lovers from far and wide, features winemakers from the Grand Valley and elsewhere in the state.

Grand Junction winemaker Tyrel Lawson won best of show for a malbec wine from his Kahil Winery.

Beyond the wine, the event also offered gourmet foods.

This year’s featured chefs included Wayne Smith, a culinary arts professor at Western Colorado Community College.

Other chefs came from as far away as Black Hawk and Denver.

The event also featured jazz music from two Denver-based bands, Matthew Moon and Dotsero.

The four-day event concludes today with a seminar on grape growing, a brunch, tours of local wineries and an awards ceremony for amateur winemakers.


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