Event connects wineries to Front Range market

Phil Castle,The Business Times

More than 1,500 people attended the Colorado Urban Winefest set up in Sculpture Park in downtown Denver. Out of 42 wineries pouring at the Winefest, 18 were from Western Colorado. The event offered wineries a chance to connect with Front Range customers. (Photo courtesy Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology)

Western Colorado wineries joined in an opportunity to market their products directly to an important demographic — Front Range consumers.

Out of 42 wineries pouring at the Colorado Urban Winefest set up in Sculpture Park in downtown Denver, 18 were from the Western Slope, said Cassidee Shull, executive director of the Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology.

“The space was perfect and it showcases the growth of the Colorado wine industry in the most central location imagination,” Shull said.

A Palisade-based trade association of grape growers and wineries, CAVE hosts the Colorado Urban Winefest and Colorado Mountain Winefest as fund-raisers.

Now in its second year, the Colorado Urban Winefest attracted more than 1,500 participants. In addition to samples poured by participating wineries, the event included a seminar on the basics of wine, wine and food pairings and an interactive wine aroma wheel.

The Urban Winefest brought to a close Colorado Wine Week and a series of events that included Colorado wine and food pairings at restaurants and other promotions at wine and liquor stores.

“The participation from some of the best restaurants and wine shops throughout the Front Range was remarkable,” Shull said. “We couldn’t be happier with the buy in from more than 40 Colorado wineries, and we can’t wait to grow it next year.”

The Urban Winefest and Colorado Wine Week activities connected wineries directly with Front Range consumers, educating and marketing to an important segment, Shull said. “This was such an amazing opportunity.”

An opportunity of a slightly different sort comes with the Colorado Mountain Winefest scheduled for September in Palisade. More than 5,000 people are expected for what’s become one of the biggest events in the Grand Valley. More than 45 wineries are expected to participate in the Colorado Mountain Winefest.