Crested Butte Wine + Food Festival

The Crested Butte Wine + Food Festival is an annual four-day epicurean celebration bringing world-class chefs, winemakers, brewers, distillers, sommeliers and spirits experts together.

Now in its 10th year, the festival promises to be more incredible than ever in 2019, with over-the-top winemaker’s dinners, brunches and lunches; a new Reserve Tasting featuring only premium and highly rated wines; and a wide range of educational seminars for the novice and connoisseur alike.

While the enviable lunches, brunches and winemaker dinners are already sold out, there’s still plenty for everyone to get a taste of the festival with a variety of educational seminars covering everything from rosé and weird wines to dabbling in spirits from tequila to whiskey.

Kick off the festival strolling through the Afternoon on Elk: Colorado Creative District Wine Walk, sampling wines from the best in the state in pop-up tasting rooms throughout Crested Butte’s galleries. Don’t miss the capstone celebration of the Grand Tasting—now with a special Reserve Tasting the day before with only select premium wines.

Whether you’re a dedicated oenophile or someone who would just like to make it through a wine selection list at a restaurant without feeling lost, there is an event at the Wine + Food Festival for you. Whether you’re drawn to a summery melon undertone of the Chardonnay or a tobacco richness of the Syrah, you will find something here to excite your palate. So cheers—and let the tasting begin!

Special Featured Events

Thursday, July 25, 4 p.m. Afternoon on Elk. Colorado Creative District Wine Walk Sample wines and chat with winemakers from some of the state’s best wineries as you enjoy a leisurely stroll down Elk Avenue in this self-guided tour. Discover why Crested Butte is a designated Colorado Creative District as its galleries and shops become pop-up tasting rooms. Pick up your wine glass and map in the lobby of the new Center for the Arts building and then wander and taste your way up through stops at Scout’s General Store, Redline Gallery, Shaun Horne Gallery, Rijks Family Gallery, Studio West, RAModern, Midnight Gallery and Crested Butte Fine Art Gallery. Featured wines from Buckel Family Wine, Vinnie Fera, Black Arts Cellars, Fenceline, Sutcliffe Vineyards, Chill Switch, The Storm Cellar and more. Meet at the Center’s lobby. $50

Friday, July 26, 3 p.m. Reserve Tasting. New this year! Enjoy a wide variety of the very best of the festival as you sip only premium wines and spirits with 90+ point ratings and high retail values with bites from local restaurants. $125

Saturday, July 27, 2 p.m. VIP Grand Tasting Admission. Get in before the crowds! $125

3 p.m. The Grand Tasting. The hallmark culmination of the Crested Butte Wine + Food Festival is the impressive Grand Tasting held Saturday, July 27 at the Big Mine Ice Arena. Sip, swirl and saunter your way through more than 25 wineries and distributors and more than 500 wines. With this remarkable selection, you are sure to discover a new favorite or boutique vintage to suit your particular palate.

There’s an exciting new layout with seating areas; public art installation; biergarten with classic Ford beer truck; “cocktail corner” with mixology demos; “mini seminars” with sommeliers; live music; a wine auction and the infinitely fun photo booth.

Wineries range from family operations concocting hand-crafted artisan wines in small batches, to distributors producing more than 32 million cases of wine throughout the world. The main focus, however, is on the exceptional and premium wines (many of them award-winning) of the day. Featured wineries range from Sonoma and Napa Valley in California, to Oregon, New Mexico and even Salida and Paonia. There will be imports from Chile, Italy and Australia. Some have produced wine for more than 30 years. Others are on oenophiles’ “up and coming” list. One winery may specialize in Bordeaux or Pinot, while another presents a full bouquet of the fermented grape. Peppery Zinfandels. Pinot Gris with hints of pear. Cabernet Sauvignons rich with chocolate. Honey-tipped Reislings. A Gewürztraminer lilting on lychee. Voignier wafting of peaches.

If you taste a wine you love, skip the hassle of trying to find the winery later with on-site ordering of your favorites through Mountain Spirits Liquors. At the Big Mine Ice Arena. $80

Seminars + Tastings

Thursday, July 25, 1:30 p.m. Seminar: Master Class–Aromas and Impact Compounds. Master sommelier Sean Razee breaks down important aroma and structure compounds in wines in this advanced blind tasting. $50

2 p.m. Monet + Rosé. In collaboration with the Visual Arts Department of the Center for the Arts, artist Karen Hill teaches you to paint in the style of impressionist Claude Monet as you sip on that most classic summer wine—rosé. With Sommelier Aaron Tomcak. $45

3:30 p.m. Seminar: Weird Wines–Unusual Varietals & Unexpected Growing Regions. Expand your horizons trying obscure wines from regions that will surprise you. With Sommeliers Judy Byron and Diane Kresley (Grand Vin). $50

3:30 p.m. Seminar: Be Your Own Bartender. Learn the secrets and stories behind classic cocktails, stocking your bar, elements of a great cocktail and more. Samples with Zyr Vodka, Whitley Neill Gin and Gin Infusions and The Pogue’s Irish Whiskey. With Spirits Expert Chelsea Noble (Zyr Vodka). $50

Friday, July 26, 12:45 p.m. Seminar: From Wine Lovers to Winemakers. Emerging winemakers Richard Saperstein (Viña Andrico) and Michael Evans (Vines of Mendoza) share their journeys from oenophiles to winemakers with tastings of a wide range of Mendoza, Argentina wines. Light snacks provided. $50

12:45 p.m. Seminar: Rectify My Love–A Story of American Whiskey. With J. Rieger & Co. co-founder Ryan Maybee, learn the complex history of American whiskey beyond bourbon and taste through the three different whiskey components that comprise the Rieger’s KC Whiskey blend, all at cask strength. $50

2 p.m. Seminar: Let’s Talk Tequila with Código 1530. Taste several different Código 1530 tequilas as you learn about why it’s special and how tequila is made. With spirits expert Channing Dial (Código 1530 Tequila). At Bonez, providing light snacks. $50

2 p.m. Reserve Tasting. New this year! Enjoy a wide variety of the very best of the festival as you sip only premium wines and spirits with 90+ point ratings and high retail values with bites from local restaurants. $125

Sunday, July 28, 10:30 a.m. Vino and Vinyasa. Get your flow on with yoga instructor Theresa Schaul (Yoga for the Peaceful) on the Center for the Arts Terrace. Then, enjoy fresh juices, light brunch bites and brunch cocktails. With chef Rose Reyes (Montanya Distillers). $65

Festival passes and tickets

Many passes are already sold out. Still remaining is the Tasting Pass! For $285 gain VIP entry to Grand Tasting; entry to Reserve Tasting; and entry to two seminars. Tickets to individual events are also available. Purchase both passes and tickets at Reservations required for all ticket and pass holders. The Crested Butte Wine + Food Festival is a benefit for the Center for the Arts.

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