High Altitude Society: Taste of Vail’s Mountaintop Picnic is a rite of spring

Molly and Kevin Furtado and Kathy McNeil were kept busy during the Taste of Vail’s many events including the Mountaintop Picnic on April 4.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — On Friday, a gathering of foodies converged on a Vail mountaintop to celebrate all things culinary, gastronomy and vintners for the Taste of Vail’s epic open-air picnic.

The weather cooperated and the masses ascended for a great end of season ski party for the hearty. Whether they took the Lionshead Eagle Bahn Gondola on foot or skied or rode in via some other lift, all trails led to the Taste of Vail’s Mountaintop Picnic.

This event is a chance for locals to connect and catch up after the long, hard work of ski season.

The countdown to the end of a banner year in terms of powder days and good late season conditions are upon us. The mountains are holding up well, even West Beaver Creek Mountain, including the Arrowhead, Bachelor’s Gulch and Strawberry Park lifts, which close on Sunday. Vail Mountain is in prime condition and will go out with a bang. The Taste of Vail events held throughout Vail were exceptional and brought a breath of fresh air and excitement to our Valley. Thanks goes out to Angela Leavitt-Mueller, who stuns us with her amazing culinary event planning skills each year. There was the rose wine tasting in Lionshead at Arrabelle, the Lamb Cook Off, the Mountaintop Picnic, the Grand Tasting and many wonderful events in between.

Seen and heard amongst the food and wine industry giants were Doug Abel, of Juniper restaurant, and Christopher Hyde, of Hyde Vineyards in Napa Valley. The two were just like old friends.

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“I was at Juniper last night and was impressed with the wine list,” Hyde said.

“Come back anytime,” Abel said.


Here’s looking forward to a safe, productive and fun end of the 2013-14 season and the warmth and promise of spring and another wonderful summer in the Vail Valley. Be sure to go out and support our local restaurants this off season and enjoy the outstanding cuisine that is right here and available all year round.

For more information on ways to elevate your palate, go to and learn why this is the nation’s premiere and iconic food and wine festival that promotes and showcases the Vail lifestyle.

Betty Ann Woodland covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, galas and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at and

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