Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Manitou Springs Wine Festival

The place to be this Saturday, June 1 is the Manitou Springs Wine Festival. Here’s an opportunity to sample wine from 25 of Colorado’s wineries, all for the low price of $30. In addition to wine tasting there will be vendors selling wine-related merchandise and  delicious food. I’ll be there selling and signing my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries for a discounted price, and can also answer questions you might have about Colorado’s 105 wineries.

The event is held in Memorial Park, located just east of downtown Manitou Springs from 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Come join the fun this Saturday!

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Plum Creek Winery

Ever wonder about all the various aromas and bouquets associated with wine?? Plum Creek Cellars had an incredible display of “smells” at their “Barreling into Spring” event last weekend — May 18 and 19. (see pictures below) Its amazing to think how many smells and tastes can be experienced in a wine. Plum Creek’s display included fruits such as black current, raspberry and cherry as well as those associated with oak aging such as smoke, tar, chocolate and leather and samples of herbal and floral aromas. Anytime you have the opportunity to experience a “wine aroma wheel” take advantage of this as it will help you increase your nose’s ability to perceive a variety of smells.

But let’s talk about what Plum Creek Cellars really has to offer…delicious wines! In case you are not familiar with Cabernet Franc its a grape that grows very well in Colorado, in fact it could be Colorado’s signature grape. Many wineries here as well as around the world use Cab Franc more in their red wine blends. It was in 1992 that a former winemaker at Plum Creek was the first to bottle the grape on its own in Colorado, and since then Plum Creek has continued this practice. The winery offers a variety of  other wines….Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc for their whites and a wide variety of reds including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah. They are also known for their “Palisade” series….Red, Festival and Rosé and their Grand Mesa Meritage.  Since 1998 all these wines are produced under the watchful eye and expertise of winemaker Jenne Baldwin-Eaton.

Plum Creek is in the heart of Palisade, being one of the first to open up a tasting room and plant their vineyards in the area. Owner Sue Phillips and her late husband, Doug, were pioneers in producing wine from only Colorado-grown grapes. The winery has vineyards in the Grand Valley AVA and West Elks AVA (near Paonia). FYI – AVA stands for American Viticultural Area, a USA  designated area for growing grapes, of which Colorado has two.

The tasting room staff is knowledgeable and welcoming, and Sue Phillips makes you feel like you just arrived at her home to share a good time and a delicious glass of wine. Plum Creek Cellars is a “definite stop” when in Palisade!! Their wine is also available at many liquor stores throughout Colorado, so if you can’t get to Palisade in the near future, pick up a bottle of their wine and hold your own tasting party!


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DeBeque Canyon Winery

Combine tasting wine right out of the barrel, delicious food, talking with the winemaker and what do you have?? “Barreling into Spring!” The Grand Valley Winery Association‘s event is over for 2013 (happens once in April and once in May) but you can put it on your 2014 calendar to make sure you don’t miss it next year. The event is limited to 400 people for each month and sells out quickly, so check the association’s website often for ticket sales.

I had the privilege of selling and signing my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries at both DeBeque Canyon Winery and Plum Creek Cellars during the May event. Today’s blog is about DeBeque and my next blog will highlight Plum Creek.

DeBeque Canyon Winery is one of the “old guys” in the Grand Valley region, having begun their operation in 1997. Owner and winemaker Bennett Price along with his wife, Davelyn (Davy), are two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Bennett was one of the original 12 investors in Rocky Mountain Vineyards, the first winery here in the state to make wine from Colorado grapes. He has also planted many of the Grand Valley’s wineries’ and vineyards’ grape vines over the years, so needless to say…he knows his stuff!!

The Price’s make a variety of wines. To name a few… Chardonnay, Riesling and Viognier as examples of their whites and Cab Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Tempranillo for their reds. They also had two port-style wines they were offering during the barrel tasting…one was a port made with just Merlot that had spent 6+ years in French oak, and they offered dark chocolate to accompany it. I wish my vocabulary had better words to describe it than just “delicious.” I guess you’ll just have to taste it for yourself!!

The first stop/table at DeBeque’s was sampling their white wines, the second stop was sampling a few of their reds. You then stopped at the food table where chicken tacos and lamb puffs were featured to pair with the wine. The food was catered by Craving. Owner and chef Jonathan Rashleigh operates a mobile catering service. Contact him at 970-640-5114 to have him cater your next event!

The next and best stop, and the real reason for the “Barreling into Spring” event is to taste wine right out of the barrel! Bennett explained his wine making process and answered questions. He is thoroughly knowledgeable about what it takes to make exceptional wine in Colorado.

It was a fun day and the people attending the event had a wonderful time. Whether its barrel tasting or just sampling their wines (no fee!!) a stop at DeBeque Canyon Winery is a “must do” when you are in Palisade!!

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Wine Festival – The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey

The place to be Saturday, September 29 or Sunday, September 3o is the Harvest Festival at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.  Wine, food and the arts will take center stage as this year’s harvest and grape crush are celebrated. There is no admission charge to Harvest Fest, and parking is free. The festival itself will be on the winery grounds in Cañon City – 3011 E. Hwy 50. Saturday’s hours are 10:00-6:00 and Sunday from 10:00-5:00.

Wine: enjoy sampling all 15 of the winery’s delicious wines…you can even purchase bottles to take home with you!

Food includes: a Mexican buffet from All Seasons Catering of Pueblo, crepes by A La Carte of Westcliffe, freshly baked breads and local cheeses and BBQ from Island Style BBQ. Colon Family Orchards will roast fresh chili peppers and sell home-grown produce.

Music includes: Blues, Spanish, Brazilian  jazz, rock-n-roll and Mariachi.

Artists and crafters: Ingrid Willard, who won the winery’s Harvest Fest 2012 art competition, will be on hand to autograph posters. Many other artists and crafters will have their wares on display to sell.

This year’s author, Paula Mitchell of Denver, Colorado, will be selling and autographing her most recent guidebook, Exploring Colorado Wineries. Paula has toured all the wineries in the book, and has a plethora of information about each one.

For the kids: (and adults, too!!) the Corn Maze, planted on 10 acres will be a fun time. Anyone who makes it through the maze can pick out a free pumpkin at the end. Jump-Around of Cañon City is hosting safe, affordable fun for the younger set. Hay rides around the Abbey property are also in the mix of fun entertainment.

For more information, call the winery directly at 1-877-HCA-WINE (877-422-9463) or send an email to

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Wine Festival – Colorado Mountain Winefest

If you love wine, and Colorado wine in particular, there is no where else you should be but in Palisade this weekend!! The 21st annual Colorado Mountain Winefest is taking place on Saturday, September 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is your opportunity to sample wine from 50 Colorado wineries. In addition to all the tastings, there will be live music, seminars, demonstrations and 45 various food, art and retail vendors.

I will also be there selling and signing my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries.

Its not too late to get tickets and hotel reservations. Click here to purchase your tickets.

Below is a picture of me enjoying last year’s festival!!

See you there!





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Wine Festival – Castle Rock Winefest

The 9th Annual Castle Rock Winefest at The Grange is this Saturday, July 21 from noon to 6 p.m.

This is an incredible opportunity to sample some of Colorado’s best wines, all at one location.

Paula Mitchell (me!) will also be there selling/signing my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries-Guidebook & Journal. I’ll also be the presenter at the 4 p.m. Demonstration Tent. You can learn about my winery tour, tasting room etiquette and simple ways to increase your wine knowledge.

Its easy to get to The Grange…take I-25 to the Meadows/Founders Pkwy (near the Castle Rock Outlet Mall), head west on Meadows Pkwy to the intersection of Meadows Pkwy / Morningview Dr /Coachline Rd….. See you there!!

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Festivals – Castle Rock Winefest

For all you Front Range people (and those that live elsewhere!) here is a wine festival you don’t want to miss!! Get your tickets now for the Castle Rock Winefest on Saturday, July 21. The event includes 24+ of Colorado’s wineries from all over the state….your old favorites as well as wineries you may not be familiar with. There will also be food vendors, artisans and specialty retail vendors….and ME…Exploring Colorado Wineries – Guidebook & Journal!!

I’ll be selling and signing my book and will also be the presenter at the 4 p.m. Demonstration Tent. I’ll be talking about my visits to Colorado’s wineries and also providing information on tasting room etiquette. Presenting along with me will be Distinct Cupcakes.

Here is information about the festival…

9th Annual Castle Rock WineFest – A Beautiful State of Vine 

On Saturday, July 21st, noon to 6pm, wine lovers will have an opportunity to participate in a Grand Tasting of Colorado wines at one convenient location The Grange in the Meadows at 3692 Meadows Blvd. Castle Rock WineFest, an outdoor wine tasting event, will offer more than two dozen wineries and over 160 varieties of Colorado wine. This event draws wine aficionados for its tastings, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, food and entertainment. Grand Tasting Tickets cost $27 prior to July 19th, $37 after. First 1,700 WineFest Attendees will receive a free wine bottle tote and wine glass. As part of the WineFest celebration, Winemaker Dinners will be held July 16th, 17th, and 18th.  Dinners feature select wine pairings with signature cuisine at local area restaurants.

For more information, click here.

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Front Page of the Durango Herald!

Arts and Entertainment Editor, Ted Holteen, of the Durango Herald wrote a spectacular article about my new book – Exploring Colorado Wineries – Guidebook & Journal. The article appeared on the front page of the Arts & Entertainment section as I launched my book during the Durango Wine Experience.

Read the article

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Having fun at the Durango Wine Experience

My new book – Exploring Colorado Wineries – Guidebook & Journal – was launched at the sixth annual Durango Wine Experience. The 3-day event took place May 3-5 (so put this on your calendar to attend in 2013). The two most popular events are the Walk-About on Friday afternoon, which consists of taking your special Durango Wine Experience glass, walking around and tasting delicious wines, beers and spirits at numerous locations in downtown Durango.  The Grand Tasting is the culmination of the 3-day event. Positioned under a huge festival  tent in the First National Bank parking lot were 50 vendors and 12 restaurant tables. Samplings of wine, beer and spirits as well as food was offered for one price.

Four out of the five Four Corners Region wineries were pouring their wine – Four Leaves Winery, Fox Fire Farms, Guy Drew Vineyards and Sutcliffe Vineyards. The other vendor tables consisted of distributors who represented “beverages” from all over the world. Many of the local Durango restaurants were on hand to offer some of their delicious fare.

The Durango Wine Experience was a huge success again this year, and provided net proceeds to United Way of Southwest Colorado.

Mark your calendars for the first weekend of May, 2013 as the seventh annual Durango Wine Experience will take place. If you haven’t been to Durango in a while, its a great area to visit and experience its world-class biking trails and blue ribbon water, take a ride on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge train or step back in time at Mesa Verde National Park.


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