The Festival opens on Friday, August 23, with a true gourmet experience the Winemaker's dinner at Nero's Restaurant and Mediterranean Grill in downtown Cortez. The four-course menu pairs locally sourced meats, fruits and vegetables with Colorado wines carefully selected to match each course. Reservations are required and space is limited. The dinner is $75 per person and includes tax and gratuity. Check out the complete dinner menu at www.mesaverdecountry.com or call 565-8227. Tickets may be purchased at Nero's or can be charged by phone at (970) 565-7366.
On Saturday, August 24, head to Cortez City Park between 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m. to swirl, sip, and purchase wines from these fine Colorado vintners: Guy Drew Vineyards, DeBeque Canyon Winery, Whitewater Hill, Mesa Park Vineyards, Fox Fire Farms, Kingman Estates Winery, Stoney Mesa Winery, Garrett Estate Cellars and Pleasant View Vineyards. Admission to the festival is $20 in advance or $25 at the gate (cash only) and includes a commemorative wine glass and tote. Advance tickets may be purchased at Liquid Assets and West Slope Liquor in Cortez or the Wine Merchant in Durango.
While sampling the fruit of the vine is a delicious highlight, there's more to enjoy at the festival, including music, local artists and food. Wood-fired pizzas will be available for purchase. Sample hand crafted breads, cheeses and infused olive oils, as well as local jams, jellies, and mustards. Don't neglect to treat your eyes as well as your palate; as artists from around the region gather to showcase their work adding a dynamic and diverse visual component to the festival. Throughout the day Thomas Martin Scott will entertain crowds with his brand of heartfelt blues-rock with a touch of jazz.
On Sunday, August 25, from noon to six, journey down McElmo Canyon to Guy Drew Vineyards for an Open House featuring Wine, Food, and Music. Wines will be available for tasting and purchase.