Eighth-annual West Elks Wine Trail coming to Paonia, Hotchkiss in August | VailDaily.com

Eighth-annual West Elks Wine Trail coming to Paonia, Hotchkiss in August

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PAONIA — The wineries of the West Elks American Viticultural Area will host a weekend of self-guided touring, wine tasting and winemakers' dinners during the eighth annual West Elks Wine Trail, Aug. 5 through 7.

Stop by any of the West Elks wineries in the Paonia and Hotchkiss area of Delta County on the Western Slope to pick up a West Elks Wine Trail map for the weekend. The nine wine-tasting rooms will offer a variety of activities, from vineyard tours and art displays to tastings, winemakers' dinners and food pairings.

Each of the winemakers has selected two favorite local foods to complement their wines, with recipes provided. Complimentary wine glasses will be given to those who travel along the wine trail and collect recipes from at least five wineries.

Wines of All Styles

The West Elks AVA is home to vineyards planted at the highest elevation in the Northern Hemisphere. The intense sunlight, warm days and cool nights produce grapes that are suited for creating chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, pinot gris, pinot noir, merlot, Syrah, Gamay, Cayuga and Chambourcin. Additionally, local winemakers craft wines from Colorado-grown cabernet sauvignon, cabernet Franc, Carmina and Tempranillo.

Vintners produce wines in all styles, from dry, crisp whites, to robust, meaty reds, sweet port-style dessert wines and hard apple cider. Many of the vintages from this region are only available at the wineries and are extremely limited.

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Participating wineries include 5680', Alfred Eames Cellars, Azura Cellars, Black Bridge Winery, Leroux Creek Vineyards, Mesa Winds Farm & Winery, Stone Cottage Cellars, Terror Creek Winery and North Fork Cellars at Delicious Orchards.

For general information on the West Elks Wine Trail, call 970-527-3444 or visit westelksava.com. For lodging, visit paoniachamber.com.

If you go …

What: West Elks Wine Trail.

When: Tastings 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 5-7.

Where: West Elks American Viticultural Area, near Paonia and Hotchkiss.

More information: Visit westelksava.com.

West Elks Wine Trail schedule

Friday, Aug. 5

6:30 p.m. — Winemakers’ dinner, Leroux Creek Vineyards (970-872-4746)

6:30 p.m. — Dine in the Orchard: local foods with Chef Dava Parr, Mesa Winds Farm & Winery (970-250-4788)

Saturday, Aug. 6

Noon to 7 p.m. — Barbecue (noon to 6 p.m.) and live music (4-7 p.m.), Delicious Orchards (970-527-1110)

1 p.m. — Barrel tasting, Black Bridge Winery (970-527-6838)

4 p.m. — Barrel tasting, Black Bridge Winery (970-527-6838)

6:30 p.m. — Uruguayan dinner, with music from David Sheppard, Alfred Eames Cellars (970-527-3269)

7 p.m. — Tapas at Twilight, Azura Cellars (970-390-4251)

7 p.m. — Winemakers’ dinner, Stone Cottage Cellars (970-527-3444)

Sunday, Aug. 7

10 a.m. — Complementary remote control yacht racing on the pond, Azura Cellars (970-390-4251)

1 p.m. — Barrel tasting, Black Bridge Winery (970-527-6838)

4 p.m. — Barrel tasting, Black Bridge Winery (970-527-6838)

Call individual wineries for pricing and reservations. Get the latest updates to the schedule at westelksava.com.