Aaron Leise, of Boulder, takes in the aroma of a Freixenet Cordon Rosado wine from Spain during the Wine Festival at Steamboat.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Aaron Leise, of Boulder, takes in the aroma of a Freixenet Cordon Rosado wine from Spain during the Wine Festival at Steamboat.

Steamboat Wine Festival highlights local culture with wide range of events


11th annual Steamboat Wine Festival schedule


Noon Wine & Nine, Haymaker Golf Course, $99

5 p.m. Wine on the Mountain Celebration, top of the Steamboat Ski Area gondola, $135


9 a.m. Take a Hike, Four Points Lodge, $85

10 a.m. Hike & Hops, Thunderhead Lodge, $75

10 a.m. Spoke Too Soon, Truffle Pig, $95

10 a.m. Ladies and the Links, Haymaker Golf Course, $95

11 a.m. SUP & Suds, River Creek Park, $75

11 a.m. Exploration of Food & Beer, $85

Noon Corks & Canvas, Splatz, $75

Noon The Beast or the Bottle?, bistro c.v., $75

1 p.m. Mixology for Soccer Moms, The Base Club, $65

4 p.m. Stroll of Steamboat, downtown Steamboat, $90

Aug. 9

9 a.m. Hike & Hops, Four Points Lodge, $85

10 a.m. Another Zinful Day of Single Tracks, Steamboat Base Club, $95

10 a.m. Take a Hike, Thunderhead Lodge, $75

11 a.m. Vino & Vinyasa, Torian Plum, $75

11 a.m. Have You Met Your Match Yet?, Aurum Food & Wine, $75

11 a.m. Vinos de Espana, The Steamboat Grand, $65

Noon From Field to the Five Senses, The Steamboat Grand, $65

1 p.m. Italian Wine — That's Amore, The Steamboat Grand, $65

2 p.m. VIP Toast of Steamboat, Gondola Square, $150

3 p.m. Toast of Steamboat, Gondola Square, $95

7 p.m. Beer-B-Q, Torian Plum Plaza, $75

Aug. 10

10 a.m. It’s a Mimosa Morning, Thunderhead Lodge, $75

— The annual Steamboat Wine Festival is no longer just a small regional wine festival, but now has earned national recognition as a destination for wine connoisseurs.

Each year, the vision of Team Player Productions, the company that organizes the event, has evolved. In its 11th year, the programming for the festival has developed a focus on getting patrons involved with all the outdoor activities Steamboat has to offer. Those include wine tastings, hikes, strolls, bike rides, seminars and pairings with the new addition of golf events and a stand-up paddleboard demonstration.

“This event has grown so much, and it’s awesome for Steamboat because it shows a lot of culture,” said Katie Vaughn, owner of bistro c.v. and Low Country Kitchen. “It also is a way to showcase how beautiful the valley is and what there is to offer here. It’s a great event for our tourism.”

Adding to the diversity of everything the town offers, the event is meant to showcase various restaurants and to highlight wineries in and around the Yampa Valley.

The festival kicks off Wednesday with the sold-out Farm to Barn Wine Dinner and will continue until Aug. 10. It includes 25 events for wine and beer enthusiasts. Tickets still are available for 18 of those events and can be purchased online.

“It’s great for local Coloradans,” said Chris Rowe, one of the vendors of the event from Old Bridge Cellars. “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, and it’s very low key. It offers the average consumer some great opportunities.”

With a more casual event outdoors, there is the opportunity to allow wine to be a more approachable subject.

“It takes people’s guards down and allows them to relax and have fun,” said Rowe, who has been coming to the event almost every year since it began.

While many of the events combine the love for the outdoors along with education about wine and beer, one particular event is what most of the attendees and vendors look forward to year after year.

The Stroll of Steamboat will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, and tickets cost $90. The stroll will take patrons on a tour to mingle; sip wine, spirits and craft beers; and take in the variety of establishments along the Yampa River.

Event Director Katie Schultze said one of her favorite events is the Toast of Steamboat, which will take place at 3 p.m. Aug. 9. Tickets cost $95. The event features more than 500 unique wines and more than 20 local restaurants that will be present at the base of the mountain in Gondola Square.

“There is something about having this large event right at the base of the mountain, the scenery just can’t be beat,” Schultze said about the grand finale event. “Every time I'm there, it takes my breath away.”

Not just the typical Wine Festival, this Steamboat event has its own outdoor twist equipped with bikes, hikes, golf and more.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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