Faces & Forums


Wine in the Wild West

November 2009
by Kate Lavin

Palisade, Colo. -- The 2009 Colorado Mountain Winefest kicked off Sept. 17, marking the first annual event since Sarah Catlin took over as executive director.

“The way I see it, half of my job is putting on a successful event, and the other half is to sell Colorado wine,” she said.

Winefest, which raises money for the Colorado Association of Vintners and Enologists, featured wines from more than 50 Colorado wineries, and packed in four full days of events, starting with a golf scramble (new this year), an opening night wine reception and culminating with the Tour of Wineries tented grand tasting.

In between, consumers and members of the trade had the opportunity to attend seminars such as “Resetting Your Taste Buds,” featuring Colorado State University enologist Steve Menke, and a tasting event with Maximilian Riedel, 11th generation glassmaker.

Menke’s session reviewed how acidity, fruitiness, sweetness, astringency and bitterness interact. Riedel, meanwhile, selected Colorado wines for his seminar—Black Bridge Winery 2006 Pinot Noir, Canyon Wind Cellars 2006 Chardonnay, Grand River Vineyards 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and Spero Winery 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon—and paired them with appropriate glassware.

All photos by Jim Cox.

Colorado Mountain Winefest
Sommelier Max Ariza gets ready to have fun following his seminar about Rhône varieties.
Colorado Mountain Winefest
Janie Lee volunteers at a tasting event with Maximilian Riedel of the Riedel glass family.
Colorado Mountain Winefest
Brad Harmon is partner and assistant winemaker for Garfield Estates in Palisade, Colo.
Colorado Mountain Winefest
Bennett Price’s Debeque Canyon Winery is known for its Bordeaux-style blend, Claret.
 Colorado Mountain Winefest
Colorado State University extension viticulturist and enologist Steve Menke (right) works the VIP tent. Winefest raises money for research and education in state grapegrowing and winemaking.
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