PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The Colorado Mountain Winefest is Saturday, and it’s one of the most anticipated events of the year. For vineyards, it’s a time to showcase their years of hard work.
"People are coming from all over the world, all over the country, this year we have attendees from 45 states and five countries,” said Cassidee Shull, Executive Director at Colorado Mountain Winefest.
The 27th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest will be at Riverbend Park in Palisade, featuring about 60 wineries.
"The secrets gotten out, and the word's gotten out of what Palisade and Colorado wine has to offer,” said Shull.
It’s a time of year, wineries and vineyards depend on.
"It is in our backyard, so it’s our favorite. It is a big deal because we get to showcase things, new vintages, it's the right time of year,” said Richard Turley, owner, Colorado Cellars.
Colorado Cellars tells me they were the very first winery in Colorado.
"We make everything! I think we might be the only winery in Colorado that makes virtually every category, meaning fruit wines, grape wines, of course, every type of grape wine, sweet, dry, semi-sweet, we make mead which is wine made from honey,” said Turley.
It's fair to say, Colorado Cellars are pretty good at it, with more than 1,000 different awards.
"Some of the medals behind me are national and international medals,” said Turley.
They will be taking about a dozen types of wines to the festival, and hope to sell about 50 to 60 cases. He says our climate is the key.
“So it seems like we are moderating our climate here and making it better for grapes. Now, we are at a high altitude so they tend to ripen faster. That's a good thing, because we can get them picked before the first frost, the sunlight is a little bit more intense because we are at a high altitude and that helps to keep the chemicals balanced in the grapes themselves,” said Turley.
"Winefest is sold out, but don't worry, wineries like this and many others across the Grand Valley will be open to the public for wine tastings.
Colorado Mountain Winefest is so popular that tickets sold out in August and nearby hotels like the Wine Country Inn, were almost completely booked for this weekend back in March.