Festivals: Colorado Mountain Winefest

It’s only May, and while you may want to focus your vacation plans around summertime activities, don’t forget to put the Colorado Mountain Winefest on your calendar for Sept. 17 - 20.

Although the big festival in the park will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19, there will be plenty of other activities on Thursday and Friday to set the stage for the big day on Saturday. On Thursday, many local restaurants will begin offering their special wine and food pairing, which will give diners an opportunity to sample a glass of Colorado wine that’s been specifically chosen to match a small plate food item. Pairings cost just $20, making it an affordable way to experience expert pairings by local chefs.

Because it was such a big hit last year, Winefest is again working with The Palette in downtown Grand Junction to offer two sessions of wine, food and art at the Palette on Thursday. The early session will be from 4 - 6 p.m. and the later one from 7 - 9 p.m. Attendees will be able to drink a glass of wine, paint a wine-themed painting and enjoy some local culinary creations chosen specifically to pair well with both.

Winefest is offering a bus tour of Colorado wine country on Friday which starts at Red Fox Cellars, goes wine-tasting through Hotchkiss and Paonia, stopping for lunch at the Apple Shed before heading back to Grand Junction via Grand Mesa. This brand new event will most likely sell out early, so if this sounds like something that interests you, don’t wait until September to ask about a ticket.

The Winefest dinner at Wine Country Inn will also be held on Friday, Sept. 18, followed by the chocolate and wine tasting with Chocolate from Enstrom.

On Saturday, there will be new seminars at the festival in the park, including a wine and cheese pairing and demo and new tasting seminars that are designed to make wine more fun and accessible for those who don’t know a malbec from a malted milkshake.

There will be changes to the VIP tent this year to create a better outdoor patio and to add live music to the VIP area.

As always, the Winefest will include live music on the main stage, and this year, two Grand Junction bands will be featured. Vintage Voltage starts the musical portion of the festival at 10:30 a.m., with Straygrass headlining the festival at 2 p.m. There will also be live music near the always-popular grape stomp.

On Sunday, attendees are encouraged to check out the Sunday Palisade Farmers Market or take a self-guided tour of local vineyards and wineries.

Although tickets for the main event on Saturday are available at the Colorado Mountain Winefest website, the ticket prices for the shoulder events on Thursday, Friday and Sunday have not been set yet and tickets won’t be available until June.





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