Taste Western Colorado wines at North Fork Uncorked in Paonia, Hotchkiss | VailDaily.com

Taste Western Colorado wines at North Fork Uncorked in Paonia, Hotchkiss

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North Fork Uncorked, taking place June 18 and 19 in Hotchkiss and Paonia, includes wine and food pairings, barrel tastings, music, picnics and winemaker dinners.
Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: North Fork Uncorked.

Featured events:

Saturday, June 18

• Noon — Delicious Orchards barbecue (noon to 6 p.m.), with live music from Mike Gwinn (4 to 7 p.m.); call 970-527-1110.

• 6:30 p.m. — Dinner by the River, with Black Bridge Winery, catered by Flying Fork; call 970-527-6838.

• 7 p.m. — Gourmet Local Foods Winemaker’s Dinner, with Stone Cottage Cellars, reservations recommended; call 970-527-3444.

Sunday, June 19

• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Sunday Brunch with Alfred Eames; call 970-527-3269.

• 10 a.m. — Complementary R/C yacht racing on the pond, with wine available, Azura Cellars; call 970-390-4251.

Where: Paonia and Hotchkiss.

More information: For general information on North Fork Uncorked, call 970-527-3444 or visit westelksava.com. For lodging, visit paoniachamber.com.

PAONIA — Colorado’s summer season is here, and to celebrate, the winemakers of Paonia and Hotchkiss have created North Fork Uncorked, a special tasting event for newly released wines.

Festivities, hosted by each of the wineries of the West Elks American Viticulture Area, will be held throughout the area, including wine and food pairings, barrel tastings, music, picnics and winemaker dinners.

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.

A Wine for Everyone

Alongside the area’s farmers, artisanal cheese makers, microbrewers, hard-cider producers, chefs and bee keepers, these local winemakers hand-craft limited quantity, artisanal wines. Because grape growing conditions in the mountains of Western Colorado are severe, production is extremely limited. This, combined with a tenacious devotion to quality, makes wine availability very limited. Many of the wineries offer their cuvees only out of their tasting rooms and sell out of popular vintages early each summer.

Notably, 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 ideally suited for creating distinctive chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, pinot gris, pinot noir, Gamay, Cayuga and Chambourcin.

Additionally, local winemakers craft wines from Colorado-grown cabernet sauvignon, cabernet Franc, merlot, syrah, Carmena and Tempranillo. Vintners produce wines in all styles, from dry, crisp whites and robust, meaty reds to sweet port-style dessert wines and hard apple cider.

For more information about North Fork Uncorked, call 970-527-3444 or visit westelksava.com.