To paraphrase the quote about food from Julia Child, the best part of attending the Colorado Mountain Wine Fest is the people you meet.  From the new friends we met on the bus tour, to our VIP tent compadres, to the people manning the wine tasting booths, and all the vendors and festival organizers, there was not a bad egg in the bunch.

This year we opted to spring for the expensive VIP experience again because last year it was so worth it.  Just a short line to get into the tent, where we were greeted with a “breakfast” of a deviled egg prepared by culinary students from Western Colorado Community College.  The food kept coming all day, too.  Charcuterie, Chinese steamed buns, mediterranean tuna sandwiches, salmon and avocado, coconut cream, macarons, and on and on.  In the VIP tent, all of the award winning wines from The Governor’s Cup and Mesa County Fair were available for tasting, although we wish they were ALL available ALL day because I didn’t get a sip of my favorite Grande River Sauvignon Blanc until late in the day.

With over 50 participating wineries, our plan was to only visit award winners and people who were are friends.  We stopped in at Black Arts Cellar to try our luck at “Corcko”, say hello to our neighborhood winery, and taste their delicious Le Diable and Le Mort.

There are way too many wines and wineries to mention so we will just mention some of our favorites:  Graystone port (that’s all they do, and they do it well!), Kingman Estates 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Fox Fire Farms Traminette, and our favorite from the bus tour, Whitewater Hill 2014 Shiraz.

Next to our friends at Black Arts and Turquoise Mesa, the award for the friendliest winery of the day goes to Vino Salida, who lured us to their booth with the promise of a mead like we’ve never had.  That was true, but it was their 2013 Petit Verdot and 2014 Stomp Syrah/Zin blend that made us promise to take a day trip out to see them.  What great people.

However, our favorite of the favorites are Mary Joan Bueb and her gang of jesters at Turquoise Mesa.  Just like last year, we ended the day hanging out in their booth, sneaking tastes of the Cabernet Franc with the green chile bouquet, and meeting new friends from Bookcliff Vineyards, who were not officially in attendance, but helped Mary Joan out in the booth.

It was another great day, and we are already saving the date for 2017.  One sad note:  Aspen Peak Cellars suffered a tragedy last week when a semi-trailer failed to negotiate a curve, destroying their building in Bailey, CO.  Our condolences to them, and we sure missed them at the Winefest.