Colorado Kicks Off Wine Tasting Season

It’s no secret that it’s been a mild winter across most of North America, but seriously, it Colorful wine bottlesseems like just a few months ago we were posting articles that the ski season in Colorado was officially open.

Now, as resorts across the Rockies begin to close and adrenaline junkies begin pulling their mountain bikes out of storage, so begins the lukewarm, half-hearted, between-season time of year commonly known as “mud season.”

This year, however, instead of dodging rocks while snowboarding or fording rivers on your bike, why not liven up the confusing time of year with a little weekend wine tasting?

As outdoors lovers across the state prepare for the historically bipolar month of April, so too does the Colorado wine tasting season officially open across the western portion of the state. Highlighting the season are events taking place outside of Grand Junction, the largest city in western Colorado and the gateway to the Colorado wine country.

Hosted by the Grand Valley Winery Association, the 2012 “Barrel into Spring” will run for two weekends, April 28-29 and May 19-20, and is an event sure to be lavish on gourmet food options and boutique Colorado wines.

Similarly, in what is presumably a nod to being held on Cinco de Mayo, the Viva el Vino bash will feature a rundown of over 15 local wines and help raise funds for local non-profits. Not a wine drinker? That’s OK. There’s going to be a beer booth as well.

Though I’ve sipped on malbec in Mendoza and run through riesling in Alsace, my favorite days tasting are always spent at boutique vineyards located somewhat off the beaten track. So while spring may be an awkward time of year for throwing yourself down the face of a mountain, it couldn’t be a better time for enjoying the desert colors of the Grand Valley and enjoying a peppery bottle of pinot in the Colorado sun.