Wine and then Some

When the phone call came in requesting our presence at a Wine Festival, I assure you the response was a rather quick “Sure”.  This was back in August and the call was from our daughter.  She knew her dad and I were running around Colorado’s western slope and would be in the general vicinity for the festival.  She does follow my blog after all…. she’s such a good daughter!

wine festival

The girls were really excited to be walking among the grapevines….  a real vineyard

Palisade, Colorado is located on Colorado’s western slope and is known for its vineyards and orchards.  This small Colorado town with a population of less than 3,000 sits at an elevation of 4,700 feet.  Colorado’s abundant sunshine, warm days, cool nights, and low humidity provide the perfect environment for growing a variety of wine grapes, as well as peaches, cherries, apricots, and apples.  A recent addition to the area are Lavender fields.

The town of Palisade attracts visitors from around the state to attend their numerous festivals.  The two most popular festivals are the Peach Festival in August and the Colorado Mountain Winefest in September.  Our daughter had attended the Winefest the year before and was rather eager for another visit.  Since Al and I would be leaving Colorado for the winter, daughter wanted one more visit with her mom and dad before our departure.  And the Colorado Mountain Winefest was the perfect venue for a send off.

Palisade Colorado

The ‘guest room’ …. all set up and ready for our daughter and her friend

We once again stayed at the James Robb State Park in Fruita and set up ‘the guest room’ for our daughter and her girlfriend.

Saturday, September 21st, daughter and friend left Denver a little after 5 in the morning and arrived at my brother’s home in Grand Junction around 9:30 a.m. just in time for sister-in-law to make a huge breakfast for everyone before us gals headed over to the festival.

wine tasting

Sister-in-law, friend Tasha, daughter Ashton

By 11:00 a.m. sister-in-law, Tasha, Ashton, and myself are busy sampling some fine Colorado wines…….well not all of us.  It just so happens, I am the designated driver and as such, purchased a ‘non-drinking’ ticket 😦  That said, I couldn’t say no to my daughter the occasional time or two when she exuberantly commented, “Here mom, you just have to try this one”.  “Ok, if you insist”.wine tasting

The Colorado Mountain Winefest is a four-day event with Saturday being the big day of wine tasting.  Thursday kicks off the event with various restaurants offering ‘Food & Wine Pairings’.  Visitors can sign up for activities like Float Trips, Paddle Boarding, or Bike Tours.  Friday evening consists of different events held at various Palisade locations that include; Winefest Demo & Dinner, Chocolate & Wine Tasting, and a Wine & Glass Experience.  Sunday wraps up the event with a Tour of the Wineries.

wine tasting

each guest is given a tote to easily haul around wine purchases.

Since Ashton and Tasha weren’t able to take time off work, we only attended Saturday’s event; the major wine tasting venue.  Our tickets were purchased in advance on-line.  Upon check-in, each guest is given a tote with a commemorative glass to be used for the tasting.  Those of us non-drinkers were given the same tote but with a commemorative water bottle ….. “Oh, joy….aren’t I special?”

The tote is really cute and is sectioned off to easily carry six bottles of wine, which the three winos drinkers took full advantage of.

In addition to the almost fifty different wineries offering samples were; various seminars, live music, crafters, chef demos, grape stomp, and ice carving.wine festival  There was plenty to keep four gals entertained for better part of the day.

wine festival

some guests lounge in the shade enjoying a bottle of recently purchased wine while others take advantage of their artistic abilities with the lovely scenery and venue

The festival is held in a beautiful park setting with mature trees, offering shade beneath a gorgeous Colorado blue sky.  Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, small coolers, and a corkscrew for some mid-day picnic relaxation.  There are numerous food vendors which we counted on for sustenance.  Big mistake, as lines were extremely long.  In retrospect, I wish we had packed a picnic lunch.  Note for next year!

wine tasting

me, my daughter, sister-in-law….share in some delicious orange sherbet

However, we didn’t go wrong in our orange sherbet purchase….. as noted by the above three ladies devouring.  As our afternoon was winding down, this cool little treat was the perfect way to end our already perfect day.

wine festivalI’ll admit, the one thing that stood out the most to me, actually impressed me, was the genuine interest Ashton and Tasha took in the wine.  Here I thought it was all about the drinking and getting a buzz.  Boy, was I wrong and I was duly chastised for thinking that, “Really mother, I am no longer in college”….as if that makes a difference.

At each vendor the gals asked questions, viewed color, swirled glass, took sips, swirled in mouth, then slowly swallowed.  Notice I did not say they spit.  They weren’t about to spit out perfectly good wine, whether they liked it or not.  After all, it has only been a year and a half since graduation.

After tasting, it was either a thumbs up or thumbs down.  They knew exactly what they liked and what they didn’t.  Their purchases were well analyzed and thought out.  Wow….when did my little girl turn into such a wine connoisseur?

ice carving

ice carving

Wine tasting and venue are over, but the day is not…..let’s go visit an Alpaca farm…..

wine tasting

Palisade, Colorado

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60 thoughts on “Wine and then Some

  1. nothing like family time in the mountains sipping or tasting wine – by the looks of it you all had a wonderful time… take care and enjoy. Will you be watching the Broncos tonight?

  2. I only started enjoying drinking wine when I was in Italy for two years. California, Napa and Central Coast esp. Santa Barbara, boasts for their wine as well. The thing with wine festivals is that they are pricey. 😀 Believe it or not, I’m stingy when I travel. 😀 And I know that you can get your money back with the samples nd giveaways. It’s just that I’m not as big on wine to pay the entrance. I’m always curious though. There’s always a lot of beautiful ladies attending wine festivals. Ooops. 😀 And this post certainly proves. 😀 😀 😀

    • Ahhhh, thank you Rommel. I knew I liked you 🙂 Yes, I thought the entrance was very pricey $50 for drinkers and $25 for non-drinkers. I normally am too frugal to attend such venues, but I wasn’t going to turn down a day out with my daughter. It was way fun and in the end I would pay it again since I rarely do things like this. With time spent in Italy and CA I would think one would definitely turn in a wine connoisseur 😉

      • $50 and $25!!! Ahihihi The ones here in California if I’m not mistaken goes up to $125. I really think it does. Not just Napa, Santa Barbara or LA and SF, even to our little city of Ventura it gets pricey.

        • Yikes……I’d never recoup that kind of fee! For that price, I’d just hold my own personal wine tasting party and you’re invited free of charge. Well maybe not free – you’d have to bring chocolates…..haha!

  3. Lovely ladies all! What a great time you enjoyed together. Mmmmm…….that orange sherbet pic made my mouth water, just imagining the taste. 🙂 Watching the ice-carving must have been a real highlight.

    • Having been the non-drinker in the group, I reached a point of boredom – the ice carving and sherbet quickly rectified that problem 🙂

  4. I’m obviously ill-informed. I didn’t know they “grew” wine in Colorado. Your daughter is beautiful and looks just like you. Love the picture of you two with the orange sherbet!

    • Thank you….you are too kind. Colorado actually grows lots of things in various valleys throughout the state. I know, who would’ve thought!

      • For a few years, we had a winery at the end of our sub-division (corner of Hwy 34 and Morning Drive). We would walk down there, have a nice glass of wine and listen to some live music! Now, there are goats roaming in the big field! 😉

  5. What a great time! You and your daughter to look alike, but I do see some of Al there too…a good combo!..About 12 years ago we went up the California, Oregon coast and tour a couple wineries…They had a “wine train”, but we declined. Being the designated driver would stink..I think you should have put a chauffer’s hat on Al and had him drive all of you…!

    • Oh, trust me there’s plenty of “H” in daughter….sometimes too much like her aunts-LOL. I didn’t mind driving once I found the food trucks. CA and Oregon are on our list of places to visit….just gotta plan the timing AND the budget!

  6. Looks like the perfect way to spend the day and I can’t believe how much your daughter looks like you. Since our visit out there, I’m still grappling with the ability of CO to grow peaches as I think GA.

    • And those peaches are delicious. You’re right, who woulda thought that peaches grow in Colorado or wine grapes for that matter. Soil conditions in the state aren’t always conducive to growing fruits and veggies. Glad you had a great western excursion.

  7. Sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon, Ingrid, and how special that your daughter and SIL could be with you. Just one question, though. How ever did you get to be the designated driver? 🙂

    • Ah, I volunteered to drive – someone had to. I really didn’t mind especially once I found the orange sherbet and the food truck vendor selling gyros 😆

  8. Ingrid, your daughter is beautiful! I have a great-niece with the name, Ashton! Don’t come across that name very often. Enjoyed your lovely photos!

    • Thank you. “Ashton” – hubby and I couldn’t agree on names and then we watched the mini-series North & South; tah-dah…. A name we could agree on. You are right, you don’t hear it very often.

  9. Another great bonding moment with Ashton! You girls know how to rock.
    This scene really reminds me a lot of our wine escapades while we were still in Tracy CA at our nearby appellation. Steve never spits it out.

    • Somehow the idea of spitting just doesn’t set well with me. I’m sure you had plenty of opportunities for wine tasting in northern CA. And yes, it was a fun girls day out. Ashton and I always manage to have a great time together 🙂

  10. I’m not sure I could go to a wine festival and agree to be the designated driver. What a good mother you are. 🙂 Love that last photo of Palisade.

  11. I love your comments about your daughter doing the actual tasting. Just when we think we know our children, they go and change on us…I love watching the changes and seeing them mature. On the downside, it reminds me that our children are now adults…and I’m a grandma now…but I’ll never admit to getting old.

    Having spent most of my life in the SF Bay area, I have been wine tasting at both Napa and Sonoma…they are quite different and yet the same. If you’re ever in the area…it is well worth the trip. But, hands down the best wine I ever bought was discovered when we had a wine tasting party at our house. But, that was many moons ago, I can’t even remember the name of the wine but we did buy it for several years after that.

    • Yes, they do grow up and change. It’s just as much fun to watch their growth now as it was when they were little. Hubby lived in SF many moons ago (before me) and would like to take me there. One day it’ll be a priority and Sonoma is top on my list. Are you still in CA? Does Grandma live close to grandkid(s)?

      • Sonoma is my preference as well. I live in Florida now and my daughter and grandson live in Santa Cruz (: Thank goodness for Skype and Facebook, otherwise he might not know who I am.

        • Wow CA to FL ….that’s a far distance from grandson, but like you said, thank goodness for Skype. Glad to hear your preference is Sonoma; solidifies my choice 🙂

  12. Loving your post and captures – thanks so much for sharing:) I have Colorado on my travel bucket list and that includes visiting some breweries and wineries. Happy Thursday – Cheers!

    • Oh dear…..not sure the Grand Rapids wine tasting event could come close to the festive feel of the outdoor venue in Colorado. But it probably offers a somewhat entertaining event during a dreary Midwestern winter…..better than no event!

    • Thank you…..I’ve never been to CA wine country, but hope to change that sometime soon. It was a pleasure sharing the day with the gals.

  13. Love this.. specially that daughter came and joined Mom.. pity Mom couldn’t partake in the wine… maybe you should have had Al come along as designated driver…

    • Al and brother went as far away as they could that day. The overflow of estrogen was more than they could handle 😆 The fact that our kids want to spend time with their mom and dad is special and we never decline.

  14. What a wonderful day with your daughter (and friend and sister in law)! Sounds like a great event packed with tons of activities. Wine tasting is everywhere! I so wish I could drink wine and join the fun. I am allergic to sulfites.

    In that first picture of Ashton, Tasha, and your sister in law, at my first glance I thought it was you! Boy does your daughter look like you…beautiful!

    You didn’t spare any expense on that luxury accommodation for Ashton and Tasha! First class all the way…haha!! Oh to be young and sleep on the ground!

    So glad you were able to get in one last visit before the winter. Many of us on the road know how precious those visits with our children, especially daughters, are.

    • Visit with daughter and now I’m in Phoenix visiting with son…..precious time indeed. Al and I used that tent last summer when we camped at 10,000 feet near Crested Butte, CO. They make the best air mattresses these days…..the same as our sleeper couch in the RV. Making it an ok experience for these 2 old folks…. for a couple of nights anyway 😉

      Ah, thank you for the kind comment about my daughter and I looking alike. It’s quite bizarre when she and I travel together the attention we attract from strangers. People come up to us, tell us their life story, or touch our curly hair as if we know them…..very weird but entertaining.

  15. Lovely header photo.

    How nice of you two to have a traveling “guest” room for visitors. The rainbow is a nice added touch.

    What a fun day. I love sharing a day with our two daughters. So glad you had a wonderful day to make tons of memories.

    • Thank you. There’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with my children. That tent has come in real handy. I’m glad we chose to haul it around with us. Rainbows do have a way of adding a special touch.

  16. Looks like an excellent time was had by all. We are taking notes for our next trip West. Thanks for your great pics and descriptions of the Winefest.

    • Thank you. We’ve really fallen in love with western Colorado. There is always something to do, see, or attend and all backed by stunning scenery.

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