There’s a road in Southwest Colorado where the rocks take the shape of sculptures, where canyons are speckled by twisted green trees and low-lying mesas are camouflaged by vineyards. In addition to being home to thousands of ancient archeology sites, this is grape growing country.
Located in the western part of Mesa Verde Country, close to the border of Utah, Road G runs from Cortez to Hovenweep, and there are lots of reasons to drive down this winding county road.
I write a lot about beer because Colorado is filled to the brim with great craft beer. However, our wine scene is pretty spectacular too and I happen to love wine, so here’s a collection of five spectacular wine festivals that are taking place this summer in some of Colorado’s most beautiful towns.
Telluride Wine Festival, June 22-25, 2017
Telluride’s remoteness is part of its charm. A trip to this region comes with awe-inspiring vistas that you’ll find nowhere else.
The Telluride Wine Festival has been running for 36 years and features seminars, parties, luncheons, etc. You can pick your level of involvement at this wine festival that includes free events as well.
The Culinary Village in Mountain Village is a new feature this year. It’s free to stroll through Culinary Village where you’ll be treated to culinary demos, bands, wine tasting and more.
Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival, July 15-16, 2017
Having attended twice, Keystone Wine & Jazz is a personal favorite of mine. It’s free to stroll through the event that sprawls throughout the Keystone Village. In addition to the hundreds of wines being served from dozens of booths, there’s endless music on various stages.
Everyone has a good time at this festival, including children who love Keystone’s Kidtopia and the festival’s Kid Zone.
Whether you love wine and want to learn more at one of the festival’s various workshops, or just enjoy listening to great music in the sunshine, the Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival is for you.
Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival, July 26-30, 2017
Without a doubt, Crested Butte is one of Colorado’s most picturesque towns, and while the town has an old-timey feel, the Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival is anything but old-fashion.
This is a first-rate wine event with a Grand Tasting that features more than 500 wines. The five-day festival has a large variety of seminars to choose from and includes outdoor events such as the Standup Paddle Board & Lunch outing on July 29.
Steamboat Wine Festival, August 9-13, 2017
As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Steamboat Springs. While there’s a ski resort, there’s also a lot of real people who call this town home and that gives it a welcoming feel.
Steamboat Wine Festival is a celebration of the town’s refined side. This festival has grown into a destination event that includes master winemakers and culinary celebs.
It’s a “stay and play” sort of event that invites guests to enjoy a long list of wine-centric activities throughout the festival. There’s everything from a hiking outing with mimosas to Wine on the Nine, a best ball tournament with a nice wine finish.
Colorado Mountain Wine Festival, September 14-17, 2017
The largest and oldest wine festival in the state, Colorado Mountain Wine Festival is the granddaddy of all Colorado wine festivals. This year the event turns 26.
Located in one of Colorado’s most fantastic agricultural areas, guests will enjoy a variety of farm-to-table food events at the festival, as well as guided tours of the region. “Festival in the Park” takes place on Saturday during the event and is the highlight with live music, grape stomping, chef demos and seminars.
Being the largest wine festival means that you should purchase your tickets early and plan your attack. Some local hotels fill up months in advance, especially ones in Palisade. Thankfully, Grand Junction is just 12 miles away.
This is only a small list of the many wine festivals that happen across Colorado every year. If you have one that you love, please tell me about it in the comment section.
If you’re planning to celebrate the harvest season, why not do it in one of Colorado’s most bountiful areas? Mountain Harvest Festival takes place in the North Fork Valley, an area that is brimming with small family farms and vineyards.
I didn’t know about the North Fork Valley until three years ago, and the region has stolen my heart. It is located in Delta County on Colorado’s Western Slope. It’s 40 minutes east of Delta, which straddles Hwy 50, the road connecting Grand Junction and Ouray.
Farm-to-table has been part of everyday life in the North Fork Valley long before it became trendy. It is made up of three communities; Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford. Mountain Harvest Festival takes place in Paonia, but celebrates the entire region.
The four-day event kicks off on Thursday, September 22, with a variety of activities including a Farm-to-Table dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Living Farm Cafe.
Things really get going on Friday afternoon. There’s a pumpkin contest, bike parade, a Drink Locally event at Town Park and live music.
This festival is a celebration of all things local, including food, music and art. After all, the North Fork Valley isn’t only a great growing region, it’s a place where artists flourish as well, and there are a number of area art schools.
On Saturday there’s a smorgasbord of events planned. Don’t miss the Cirque Bike Farm Tours at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. We did a bike to farm tour with Cirque while we were in town earlier this summer (read all about it here). You can also do self-guided farm and winery tours while in town for the festival.
A festival farmers’ market will take place throughout the weekend and the Drink Locally event in Town Park happens Friday through Sunday. In addition, Mountain Harvest Festival has loads of live music schedule, farm-to-table dinners, yoga, bike Olympics and so much more.
Mountain Harvest Festival is a feast for the eyes, heart and stomach.
And here’s a warning: If this will be your first visit to the North Fork Valley, you may fall in love. Because what’s not to love about a region filled with vineyards, rolling hills dotted with sheep and trees heavy-laden with fruit? In a recent magazine article I dubbed the region “the land of milk and honey,” and that’s not an exaggeration.
If you’d like to experience this Delta County’s North Fork Valley to the fullest, you need to attend Mountain Harvest Festival in Paonia, Colorado.
Mountain Harvest Festival
winner of the Governor’s Award for Best Small Community Festival
September 22-25, 2016
Some events ticketed/Most events are free
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
As alert readers will have noticed, we’ve been riding bikes a lot this summer. I love riding bikes – not any downhill craziness, mind you – I prefer cruising on country roads or trails. Earlier this summer we did a bike to farm outing in the North Fork Valley, located in Delta County, Colorado. This is the story.
We rented bikes at Cirque Cyclery in downtown Paonia. A destination in and of itself, Cirque Cyclery is one of several awesome small businesses under the same roof.
Cirque Cyclery rents and sells bicycles, plus unique clothing and gifts, Shish KaBikes repairs bikes and Remedy Juice Bar Cafe provides refreshments, including adult beverages. The entire place, which was formerly the Paonia Post Office, has a laid back, neighborly feel. Continue reading
In the heart of Cherry Creek, you’ll find a hotel where they celebrate the finer things in life on a daily basis. Whether you’re looking for a weekend spa escape or a girls shopping weekend extraordinaire, JW Marriott Denver has got you covered.
This past weekend, Ryan and I needed a place to stay in Denver after Bru Frou, an amazing culinary and craft beer pairing event held annually at Wings over The Rockies Air & Space Museum. JW Marriott Denver, just 4.5 miles from the venue, graciously offered to host us.
This Denver hotel is the very definition of posh, but you don’t have to take my word for it. In 2014, it made Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice list as one of the “Best Hotels in the West.” Continue reading
This week’s a little screwy, but that’s okay. Radio is not an exact science and neither is blogging. This post usually goes up on a Monday, but this week it’s being posted on a Friday, but that’s okay too because most of what I talk about in this segment are festivals in mid-April.
As you know, my radio segments on KRFC 88.9 FM are now recorded and aired every other week instead of weekly.
In this week’s segment I discuss great events happening in mid-April. In fact, the second week in April is so busy you’ll need a couple clones to do everything. I also share a bit about my trip to Ouray, Colorado.
After a week off, it’s time for another installment of the Mayor on KRFC 88.9 FM, community public radio in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Starting in February, these shows will occur on the 1st and 3rd week of each month. Life is just getting too crazy to do a show each and every week.
Remember, if you’d like to catch the show on the radio, I’m on at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, immediately before Bikes & Beer and on Fridays at 5 p.m.
On this week’s segment I talk about what I’m up to this week – it’s ULLR FESTIVAL – and preview one of my favorite winter festivals in Colorado.
It has been an AMAZING year here in HeidiTown…
and 2013 is going to be even better.
I have so many great memories from this past year, like emceeing a freezing/cold/snowy Berthoud Oktoberfest, attending the Great American Beer Festival for the first time and speaking multiple times at Metropolitan State University. There were some real standout moments however, so without further ado, here are my Top 10 Memories from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado for 2012 (in pictures):
March – MyHandleBar HeidiTown ride in Fort Collins, Colorado
May – The HeidiTown banners are revealed
June – Champagne in the gondola & dining at the top of Keystone Resort during TBEX
June – Being a judge at the kick-off of Loveland Loves BBQ , Bands & Brews
July – Gorging ourselves on food cart delights & wine at Unwined Denver
July – Enjoying a really big pretzel and German dancing with my main squeeze at the Biergarten Festival
August – My first hot air balloon ride at Sweetheart Balloon Rally in Loveland
August – Ziplining at Copper Mountain & riding the chairlift with beers
October – Staying at One Steamboat Place for the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Steamboat Springs (via Moving Mountains Chalet)
December – Laughing our butts off at the Cripple Creek Jail Museum & winning on Elvis at The Rush Casino
Thank you to everyone who has helped make this year so special & now? Bring on 2013!
P.S. A special thank you to my husband, Ryan, the person I most enjoy taking adventures with – now and always!
HeidiTown is about festivals, events and destinations in Colorado, and this post falls under the “events” category. Last month, we were invited to a friend’s birthday party at one of these new drink while you paint studios that are popping up all over the country. Google “paint & drink studios” and you’ll get about 1 million results.
When we got invited to this party, I was not exactly excited. I am a creative person, but I am not an artist. I draw stick people and bubble flowers. The fact that I could drink wine while painting, however, made the idea more bearable.
The concept behind this type of event is to expose people to painting in a relaxed and nonthreatening environment. For the price of admission (usually between $30 and $50) attendees get a blank canvas and the use of the studio’s paint and paint brushes. A teacher stands at the front of the room and walks the group through a painting, step by step. Drinks are available for purchase – wine, beer and even cocktails at some establishments.
Our session was on a busy weekend evening and every chair in the place was full. Our birthday party of six, each a husband/wife team, had three professional artists in the mix, including a successful graphic designer, an art teacher and my husband, a furniture designer.
As someone who draws at a six-year-old level, this made the evening even more daunting, but I ordered a glass of wine, squirted paint on my paper plate palate and got ready to make some art, or something akin to art.
The painting we were to produce on this evening was called Twinkle Tree, and looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book. Once things got underway, and I started working on my second glass of wine, things began looking up, not because I was good at this – I am not – but because it was a blast.
An hour or two later, everyone in the room had completed a painting that looked more or less like Twinkle Tree. Of course, some of the artists in our group had given the tree their own amazing twist – show offs.
I don’t think this is something I’d ever choose to do by myself, but with a group, it’s an entertaining way to spend an evening. The painting that I created won’t ever find its way on to the Antique Roadshow, and in fact, probably won’t even make it on my own wall, but despite my apprehension, it turns out that painting and drinking wine is a lot of fun. I highly recommend this event for your next girls’ night, birthday party or date night.
Didn’t win a pair of tickets to Wine Fest in Fort Collins in last week’s HeidiTown contest? Well, here is your chance to buy tickets and get treated like a star! Wine Fest has created a special incentive package for HeidiTown readers.
If you purchase tickets through the link provided below, you will receive the following:
1. Two free raffle tickets for the Grand Wine Fest Prize, a handmade wooden wine rack with a gift certificate to fill it with wine. Check-in at the Wine Fest Will Call Table and show your badge (printed or smart phone version) to receive your bonus raffle tickets.
2. A wine sample exclusive to blog partner fans. Visit the Synergy Fine Wines table and show this badge, either printed or on your smart phone, to Mark Eppel, the Synergy wine expert, to receive your sample of Scott Base Pinot Noir, 2009, Central Otago, New Zealand, from the Allan Scott Family Winery.
Click the logo below to buy tickets.
Your tickets must be purchased through this link
to receive these special perks at Wine Fest.
This is the 30th Anniversary of Wine Fest in Fort Collins, a wine tasting to benefit Disabled Resource Services. DRS provides support for those living with disabilities in Larimer and Jackson counties. As one of the ten centers for independents in the state of Colorado, DRS provides resources to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum level of independence through advocacy, awareness and access to the community.
Wine Fest features 500 different wines paired with food from Fort Collins’ restaurants. The evening also includes prizes, music, entertainment and a silent auction that raised $12,000 last year. For those who prefer beer, that delicious beverage will be available as well.
This year’s Wine Fest is being held at the Hilton located at 425 W. Prospect Road in Fort Collins, Colorado. The event is scheduled for Friday, March 23 with general admission at 7 p.m.