David Walden, district manager for Heck Estates, pours a glass of wine for Erin Dickerson during the 2012 Steamboat Wine Festival tasting in downtown Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Wine Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, and its continued popularity has led to the event's expansion into five days this year.

Photo by John F. Russell

David Walden, district manager for Heck Estates, pours a glass of wine for Erin Dickerson during the 2012 Steamboat Wine Festival tasting in downtown Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Wine Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, and its continued popularity has led to the event's expansion into five days this year.

Steamboat Wine Festival to celebrate 10th anniversary this week

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Steamboat Wine Festival schedule

Wednesday

6 p.m. Farm to Barn, Larson Barn, sold out

Thursday

5 p.m. Wine on the Mountain Kickoff Celebration, top of the gondola, $125

7:30 p.m. Après Wine, Bear River Bar & Grill, $55

Friday

9 a.m. Merrell's Let's Get Outside, Gondola Square, sold out

10 a.m. Bike de Boat, Truffle Pig, sold out

10 a.m. Merrell's Let's Get Outside, sold out

11:30 a.m. What is in Season — A Farm to Kitchen Pairing, Torian Plum Plaza, $65

1 p.m. Belgium Makes it Better, The Laundry, $65

2 p.m. Wine and Chocolate a Heavenly Combination, Chief Theater, sold out

4 p.m. Stroll of Steamboat, downtown Steamboat, $80

Saturday

9 a.m. Merrell's Let's Get Outside Again, Gondola Square, sold out

10 a.m. Merrell's Let's Get Outside Again, Gondola Square, sold out

10 a.m. A Zinful Day of Single Tracks, Gondola Square, $95

10 a.m. Corks and Canvas, Splatz Canvas and Wine, $65

11 a.m. Red Hot Red Blends, The Steamboat Grand, $75

Noon Have you Met Your Match, Truffle Pig, $75

Noon South American Wine, The Steamboat Grand, $55

1 p.m. Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, The Steamboat Grand, $55

2 p.m. Toast of Steamboat VIP Experience, Gondola Square, $130

3 p.m. Toast of Steamboat, Gondola Square, $90

7 p.m. Bourbon-Q, Torian Plum Plaza, $55

Sunday

10 a.m. It’s a Mimosa Morning, Thunderhead, sold out

— Last year was the tipping point with the Steamboat Wine Festival — at least for Event Director Katie Schultze, who works for Team Player Productions.

As the event marks its 10-year anniversary this year and continually expands, moving from four days to five, Schultze said last year really hit home.

“We were just talking about this. Last year, Steamboat hit its tipping point,” said Schultze, whose company also puts on the Taste of Fort Collins and Park City Food & Wine Classic. “We had expanded the marketing. We had television sponsorship with 9 News. I really feel it tipped last year and is starting feel like it’s becoming the world-class event that we hoped it would.”

Part of the charm of the event is it offers something for everyone. From wine, hiking, biking to plentiful amounts of delicious food.

This year, the Steamboat Wine Festival kicks off with the Farm to Barn event, a sold-out fundraising dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday benefiting the festival’s nonprofit partner, Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports. The event, now celebrating its second year, was such a hit last year that Schultze said it sold out months ago.

In nine years, Team Player Productions and the Steamboat Wine Festival have raised more than $100,000 for STARS and other local nonprofits.

Last year, the event raised $41,000 for STARS.

“It’s important that the nonprofit is really tied to the community,” Schultze said.

Event organizers also are expecting record attendance this year.

In 2012, the event saw nearly 3,000 people participate, and Schultze said they are anticipating more than 3,500 participants this year. Last year, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association had more than 12,000 visitors in town for the weekend with 93 percent of the mountain area hotels and 93 percent of downtown hotels being full.

The event will partner this year with more than 20 local businesses and restaurants for its seminars and grand tastings in addition to bringing in 3,050 bottles of 550 kinds of wine.

“We’re hitting 10 with a big bang,” Schultze said.

Thursday’s events begin with the Wine on the Mountain Kickoff Celebration at the top of the gondola at Steamboat Ski Area. On Friday and Saturday, the seminars kick into full gear with hikes, wine-paired lunches and seminars on zinfandel and wine blending.

The Friday evening Stroll of Steamboat begins at 4 p.m. and will showcase downtown Steamboat Springs with tastings at various art galleries and restaurants.

Saturday’s full day includes various seminars and the always popular Toast of Steamboat at Gondola Square. That event begins at 2 p.m. for VIPs and 3 p.m. for the rest of the participants. Sunday wraps up with It’s a Mimosa Morning, which is sold out.

Tickets are available by clicking here.

Tickets for the Steamboat Stroll and Toast of Steamboat also will be available at Central Park Liquor.

“When the event is run well and there is good feedback, patrons and wineries want to return,” Schultze said. “All that just helps to continue the growth.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@ExploreSteamboat.com

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