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Manitou Springs Wine Festival
by Kathy Sullivan

Manitou Springs, Colorado spring waterTraveling from Denver International Airport to Manitou Springs, we discovered that this part of the state is flat and one can see forever. By the time we reached Manitou Springs, we were in the foothills near Pike’s Peak. Today Manitou Springs has a small town atmosphere with tiny boutique style stores, perfect for tourists. Springs around the town have small fountains for individuals to taste the spring water. Each one has plaque listing the chemical makeup of the spring. Compare the taste of each spring.

After stopping for tourist information, we located a parking area. Soon a shuttle bus arrived and within 10 minutes we were at the site of the Manitou Wine Festival. The festival was taking place in a small park, where we discovered Colorado wineries, arts and crafts tents and food vendors. The sun reflected off the tops of the white tents and trees encompassing the tents. A small creek rippled happily under a nearby bridge.

The crowd comprised all age ranges and all were enthusiastic. Of course, part of the enthusiasm could be attributed to the beautiful day. The day was sunny and a friendly breeze kept it from overheating.

Manitou Springs Wine FestivalIf you have ever wondered why people visit wine festivals here are a few of the reasons visitors expressed. “We come to festivals because we did so in Europe.” “People like coming to festivals because there are several wineries here and it gives you a chance to try different Colorado wines.” “People are exploring new wines” and “Events are fun.” It is a “nice day outing.” “People like to taste locally.” “People are exploring new wines.” Although answers varied, everyone appeared to be enjoying their visit.


Manitou Springs Wine FestivalWe tasted several wines at the Manitou Wine Festival beginning with Cottonwood Cellars. One of their offerings included Lemberger, an all estate wine. That had an intense fruit that was crisp. Classic Blend was a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. This a dark red fruit with good fruit flavor. Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for two years in oak and one year in American oak.” Balistrori offered Syrah that had a soft mouth feel with layers of flavor. We noted hot pepper. The finish was sweet and it had a fruit aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon was a dark opaque purple with a dark red fruit flavor and nose. It was smooth and crisp with a tannin finish. Augusitria’s Winery had a Venus de Vino Dolcetto that was ruby red with a red berries nose and taste and a crisp fruity finish. Barton Creek Cellars had a Merlot with a red orange color, little nose and some red fruit on trill. There was a red stone fruit flavor. Di Vine Wine had a peach chardonnay with a peachy flavor. Mesa Park Vineyards offered a Cabernet Franc with an intense fruit nose with dark fruit and pepper. There were good tannins on the finish.

Colorado offers several wine festivals throughout the year. If you have been to one before, you know how much fun they can be. If you haven’t been to a wine festival, check them out. There is something for everyone!


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