Grand Junction is considered wine country. However, the area is also known for growing fruits of all kinds –not just grapes. Around the turn of the century, many orchards in Grand Junction began growing grapes which were eventually used to make wine. According to the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, most of Colorado’s vineyards are planted with vitis viniferous varieties of grapes. Merlot accounts for about 20% of vineyard plantings. About 2% of the fields are planted with Pinot Noir.
Except for a brief period during Prohibition when the area stopped making wine out of the grapes, wine has been flowing in the Grand Junction area for years. Enthusiasts and newbies alike love to catch the late summer harvest tour or enjoy the Winefest.
The Colorado Mountain Winefest will be held September 15 through September 18, 2011. This festival is the state’s oldest and largest wine festival. Some of the popular highlights of the festival include wine and food pairing classes, demonstrations by chefs, grape stomps, and chocolate and wine tasting events. There is something for everyone at this festival, even if you aren’t particularly into wine. Participants can shop, look at art work and attend jazz concerts. Visitors are advised to book their hotel accommodations early as they usually sell out quite a while before the festival.
Wine tasting may be intimidating to newbies. Here are some things that will help you feel at ease attending a wine tasting event. Most wine tasting events will have a bucket, some water, and cubes of bread. The water can be used to rinse glasses in between tastings. Buckets are used for spitting the wine or for dumping excess wine after the tasting. Spitting is not considered impolite at a tasting! Most people bring along a notebook and a pen to write down notes about the different wines during tastings.
During a wine tasting, you should start with the lightest wine sample and pour a small amount into your glass. Swirl the wine holding the stem of the glass. Take a small sip of the wine and slowly let the wine flow over your tongue. Swallow the wine and then dump out the excess wine. Write down any notes or things that you want to remember and then move on to the next wine sample.
For more information on Colorado Wine Country, go to the website at http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/wine_country.