Browsing articles in "wine festivals"
Aug 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Colorado Springs is home to several food and wine festivals

- Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, 2215 Paseo Road, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy music, dancing and an array of traditional Greek food. Details: 634-5678, amgoc.org

- Colorado Springs Dance Theatre hosts its Wine Festival at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $50 per person or $90 per couple. Details: 630-7434, csdance.org

Fishing for new place

Joseph Campana, owner of The Rabbit Hole, 101 N. Tejon St., and Supernova, 111 E. Boulder St., is negotiating with owners of the building that housed the former Sandwiches To Go, 103 N. Tejon St., and is still home to P.B. Jellies Deli, 106 E. Kiowa St., to acquire those spaces. His idea is to open a restaurant featuring fresh fish.

“We are negotiating a lease for all four spots,” he said. “The deli has been trying to get out for the last year. And the sandwich place has already closed. If it happens, we take over in October and open in January.”

Crave sweeps battle

Just one more shoutout for Crave Real Burgers because they sizzled in the Denver Burger Battle on Aug. 7, bringing home the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Choice for the Love Stinks burger creation. It’s a first for one burger joint to take both wins.

The burger starts with Crave’s 
signature Colorado Proud chuck patty topped with roasted garlic cream cheese, more roasted garlic, fried onion strings, roasted red pepper, candied bacon and red pepper aioli. A Crave mint was offered with each sample to combat the effect of the garlic.

Crave is no stranger to the winner’s circle: The restaurant owners and staff won the Denver Burger Battle People’s Choice award in 2012 and Crave was the runner-up in 2013.

This is the fifth year for the burger smackdown, which drew around 1,200 beef patty fans who voted for the People’s Choice from 12 burger eateries.

Proceeds from the Denver Burger Battle are distributed to hunger and child welfare charities. Details: 264-7919, craverealburgers.com.

Go global

Take a trip around the world without paying for an airline ticket at GlobalFest, at the Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora, from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. It’s a celebration of ethnic diversity, including entertainment, art and a food court showcasing independent restaurants and caterers serving authentic Filipino, Greek, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Mexican and ethnic America dishes.

Free admission. Pay vendors separately. Details: auroraglobalfest.org

Shuttered

Salud Tequila Bar, 26 E. Kiowa St., is closed.

“KVOR Table Talk”

Guests on “KVOR Table Talk” radio show at 1 p.m. Saturday on 740 AM include:

- Dean Maurry, with Shayden Design in Monument, talks about Papa Lombardi’s Pepper Spread. Details: 
640-9885, salsadilombardi.com

- Katie Sage, Elicia Hulmes and Carly Fortune, who own Good Golly Grub Trolley, talk about their mobile truck business. Details: 749-6587, grubtrolley.com

- Jennifer DeYoung, owner of The Crepe Caper food truck, talks about her business. Details: 358-3024, facebook.com/crepecaper

- Jeff Richard, co-owner of Crave Real Burgers, 7465 N. Academy Blvd., talks about the Denver Burger Battle wins and happenings at his other restaurant, The Old Stone Church in Castle Rock. Details: 264-7919, cravereal burgers.com

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Send tips about restaurant openings,
closings, menu changes and food specials
to teresa.farney@gazette.com, 636-0271,
Twitter@tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.

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Aug 22, 2014
Terri Judson

From the vine to home: Making the most of Michigan’s grape harvest



With the grape harvest kicking off, now is the perfect time to learn more about wine.
Family Features La Crema




Wine is the perfect complement to any occasion whether cooking dinner for a family gathering or huddled with friends around a platter of corn chips and guacamole. It begs a toast, and when paired with the right recipe can pack the same flavor punch as a sprinkling of spice.

But how do you know what wine to serve? With the grape harvest in Michigan kicking off soon now would be the perfect time to learn more about the wine-making/wine-tasting process.

To get you started here are a few tips compiled by La Cremas winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:

1. Train your senses. If youve attended a wine-tasting event youve probably heard your host speak of aromas and flavors including many fruits and spices. While a wine connoisseur can pick a cherry note within seconds, for others it takes practice. Train your nose and your palate by heading to the grocery store or farmers market, says La Cremas spokesperson. Youll soon discover green apple and yellow apple have different scents and flavors and youll start to recognize the distinctions between cinnamon and clove. Then put your knowledge to the test: The next time, you uncork a bottle of wine give it a whiff and see if you can pick out those sensory characteristics.

2. Let your palate be your guide. Instead of buying the same wine as your friends or your parents, pick something different. It could be a bust. You might hate it. Then again it could become a new favorite for you and your friends. I have an adventurous niece who is always introducing the family to a new wine that she discovered through her many travels or via another adventurous friend. This is the same niece whose wedding reception is being held on the grounds of a beautiful vineyard in Ontario. Which brings up another point: Explore the wineries in your own back yard. Yes, Francis Ford Coppola makes great wine, but so does Leelanau and Gills Pier. Michigan and its neighboring province of Ontario are home to many great wineries. Michigans unique glacial soils impart unique boutiques and finishes to please even the most discriminating palate. Oenophiles to budding enthusiasts are sure to discover a red or white varietal that will become their new favorite, according to the report by Pure Michigan.

3. Plan a visit to your local winery. If you really want to discover the diversity of your local wineries, consider taking a tour of Michigans wine trail or attending one of many wine festivals going on throughout August and September. Michigan wineries totaling more than 100 nestled on nearly 15,000 acres of scenic vineyards are a great source for information, accommodations and relaxation. For a full list of wineries visit michigan.org/wineries.

4. You might also check out the Virtual Vinter (v.lacrema.com) program launched by La Crema, which gives guests a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process. The backstage cellar journey led by winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas features video, quizzes and winemaking tutorials designed to be fun and educational.

5. Lastly, consider the best of the best. The following is a list of the top winners in Michigan Wines 37th annual wine competition. Held at the beginning of August, the gold medal competition featured 25 wine experts from around the country judging the entries of 51 Michigan wineries and 50 selections. The best in each category included:

Sparkling: Aurora Cellars 2011 Brut

Dry White: Bluestone Vineyards 2013 Riesling

Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc

Semi-dry White: Gills Pier Vineyard Winery 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling

Semi-dry Red: Lawton Ridge Winery 2012 AZO Red

Dessert: Black Star Farms 2012 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling

Fruit: 45 North Vineyard Winery Peach Cremant

Ros: Chateau de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Ros

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Aug 22, 2014
Terri Judson

WATCH: Wine festivals key to Okanagan’s wine tourism success

OKANAGAN — Wineries can sell a lot of its products, win many awards, but those aren’t the main reasons why visitors keep on coming back,  according to new research.

An Okanagan College professor says he’s learned what attracts people to the valley and spend their money here.

“Wine tourists who visit the Okanagan for wine festivals stay longer, spend more and visit significantly more wineries while they’re in the valley,” says Blair Baldwin, Okanagan College School of Business Professor and Okanagan Wine Festivals Society General Manager.

This research is commissioned by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, the British Columbia Wine Institute and Okanagan College School of Business.

About 900 people were interviewed at different wineries, which were done both during the festivals and at other times of the year when the festivals were not being held.

Now that the local wine industry is earning a higher global profile, other wine regions are thirsty to learn how the Okangan achieved its current success.

The study’s findings were presented earlier this summer at the prestigious Academy of Wine Business Research in Germany.

 

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Aug 21, 2014
Terri Judson

Meet Nancy Oakes at the 4th Annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival






Nancy Oakes

Nancy Oakes

Photo courtesy of HFWF

“If I were making a list of pioneering chefs, Nancy Oakes would be at the top,” writes San Francisco dining critic Michael Bauer. Her flagship restaurant, Boulevard, was one of the first to serve upscale American food, and 20 years later, it’s still beloved by San Franciscans and Oakes’ peers, who bestowed it the James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award in 2012. In 2010, she opened another, more casual restaurant, Prospect. We chatted with her on her current obsessions and her insights on the restaurant business.

What’s the best thing you’ve made recently?
This is an amazing time of year, and we’re fascinated with things like kefir. We have a producer in Sonoma of Italian [water] buffalo milk and so we’re making our own ricotta with gorgeous little tiny ravioli. Now is the season of Australian perigord truffles. I love it. [So we have] little postage-stamp sized ravioli filled with the buffalo milk and toasted Italian pine nuts and really good olive oil. We do complex things, but I love simple, strong flavors. Everybody gets carried away once in a while, but when you’re making your own ricotta, and you have these truffles and really good oil, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Someone in Sonoma is raising buffalo for milk?
Yes! They were making cheese, I don’t think they do that anymore. Now they make ice cream.

What do you plan on doing while you’re in Hawaii?
For the [HFWF] dish, Roy really wanted people to use local ingredients, so we’re getting little abalone. We’re going to make a very fun and textured slaw with sea beans (sea asparagus), some Big Island hearts of palm and it will probably have bacon in it. Something crunchy and refreshing to go with the quickly pan-seared abalone.

[Recreationally], I’m part of Les Dames Escoffier (an organization of women in the culinary profession). You have some great Dames on the island. We’re going to go someplace that they’ve chosen. And someone from the restaurant was just on vacation [to Hawaii] and they went to The Pig and the Lady, he loved that. So I’m going to try to do that the night we get there.

So your restaurant has been open for 21 years—how do you keep your restaurant full every night?
The food isn’t static. I don’t really have a signature dish, because it’s all up for grabs and change. And that’s how you evolve and how you stay relevant—you don’t flop on every trend that comes, but you pay attention to what’s going on and how people are eating. And you do the best job you possibly can. And you have to stay involved.

Like cooking at food and wine festivals?
Staying involved in the restaurant. It’s also important to be part of the chef community—I do a fair amount of community work and it’s important to get out and meet everybody and let people know you’re still alive. When you want to know why I go to the food and wine festivals, yeah, it’s to let them know I haven’t keeled over.

What kind of community work do you do?
I’m the chairman of the gala for Meals on Wheels in San Francisco. I’ve been the chairman for about 11 years. I’ve done Meals on Wheels for about 24 years.

You opened Prospect pretty close to Boulevard. Did you worry that it would cannibalize your business or create a synergy?
Well, you have to think about that, and then I had to think about the reality of me and anybody else who is [going between the two], if it gets too far away, you lose touch with them.

The interior is so dramatically different, and the neighborhood is so different, even three blocks away, that [Prospect] hasn’t cannibalized it. And we’ve built a whole new younger set of customers, really. It’s a younger crowd, more casual crowd.

I noticed that the last time I was in San Francisco, there were so many restaurant groups opening restaurants.
That seems to be a trend everywhere, if you look at everything that’s opened in Seattle, it’s almost all the same group of people, the same is true in Portland, the same is true in New York. One of the things is, in my case, the reason I opened Prospect, you have people with you for 20 years, and somehow, thank you isn’t enough, so you make them a part of your business. That happens a lot with [restaurateurs] who are opening a second or fourth. You have a standout person in your kitchen, you open another spot.

It seems like it’s happening all at once.
It turns out, if you open a really small restaurant, it has a really limited scope to it.

Everyone wants to believe that cooking is something different, but in truth, it is a profession and a career and you have a number of years to put yourself together. We’re no different from anybody else who has to put their financial future in order. So that drives people as well.

Where do you like to go in San Francisco right now?
Lissa [Doumani] and Hiro [Sone], they’ve opened Urchin in San Francisco. I want to go there. When I want to take sous chefs out, as more of a teaching dining experience, I take them to Benu or Saison, which is a very different style of food than what we do here, but there’s a lot to be learned in terms of service and presentation and the wine list and that experience.

At the fourth annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, Oakes will be cooking at Oahu opening night event, the Lucky Modern Buddha Belly. For more info on the HFWF and to buy tickets, check out hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com

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Aug 21, 2014
Terri Judson

A Food and Wine Festival For Every Season

A Food and Wine Festival For Every Season

Charles Steadman at Palm Beach Food  Wine Festival

Whether it be paddle boarding in Hualalai with Seamus Mullen, journeying to six countries in seven days via your taste buds in Bangkok, or playing beach volleyball in Palm Beach with Robert Irvine: for more than a decade, various Four Seasons properties have been creating or hosting annual food festivals that offer one-of-a-kind experiences for consumers to indulge their culinary fantasies. This year Four Seasons is working with community partners to spotlight these events through a new program: Four Seasons Hotels Food Wine Festivals.

The newly launched series features events around the world that offer epicureans the opportunity to mingle with globally recognized talent alongside the locally-revered Four Seasons culinary teams.

“Innovation and creativity have always driven the Four Seasons approach to evolving our dining experience,” said Guy Rigby, Vice President Food Beverage, Americas. “Engaging the local and international culinary community allows us to share our passion for creating incredible dining experiences that connect with and excite Four Seasons guests and gourmands alike.”

2014 Festivals

World Gourmet Festival at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok (September 1-7) marks the 15th anniversary for this week-long culinary extravaganza filled with daily lunches, dinners and cooking demonstrations all presented by visiting master chefs from around the world. Participating chefs include: Hong Kong’s Hideaki Sato, Barcelona’s Paolo Casagrande, Paris’ Akrame Benallal and Oakland’s James Syhabout.

Chef Fest at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (October 22-25) – Today’s top chefs will come together to do more than cook in an intimate and relaxed beach setting at the fourth year of Chef Fest. Complementing the daily interactive cooking classes, guests can connect with chefs in more personal ways from a round of golf with Ben Ford to practicing yoga with Amanda Freitag and Marco Canora, to stand-up paddleboarding with Seamus Mullen all on the picturesque Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii.

The Palm Beach Food Wine Festival at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach (December 11-14) – Considered a distinguished staple event on Palm Beach’s annual social roster for the past seven years, this annual event brings together an eclectic collection of the world’s most illustrious chefs, culinary personalities, authors, winemakers and mixologists in picturesque South Florida each December. With specialty cocktail and hors d’oeuvre receptions, five-course dinners with premium wine pairings, kids’ cooking classes and the final grand tasting and cooking competition, the 2014 Palm Beach Food Wine Festival offers something for everyone. Participating chefs include: Daniel Boulud, Robert Irvine, Marc Murphy, Ken Oringer, and Fabio Viviani.

Also new this year is a dedicated online home for Four Seasons Hotels Food Wine Festivals, housed on the Taste by Four Seasons website. The dynamic platform will serve as a portal for consumers to learn more about each event as they tap into live social media dispatches from the festivals, and articles showcasing highlights and exclusive recipes. Guests can also seamlessly connect to the online tickets portals for all events should they wish to join in the fun.

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Aug 21, 2014
Terri Judson

Okanagan College Unlocks the Secret to Local Wine Success

Photo Credit: Okanagan Wine Festivals Society

Professors at Okanagan College have conducted extensive research to find out what motivates wine visitors to come to the valley, and what is needed to ensure they return.

Along with the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and the British Columbia Wine Institute the team discovered the “greatest influence on visitor motivation.”

“Using interviews with 900 visitors to the Winter, Spring and Fall Okanagan Wine Festivals in 2012 and early 2013, we looked specifically at what impact wine-related events and festivals had on their desire to come to the region,” says leader of the research project Dr. Blair Baldwin, Okanagan College School of Business Professor and Okanagan Wine Festivals Society General Manager.

The execution of the festivals, not just the presence of the events, but the experiences guests had while there was the greatest influence.

Photo Credit: KelownaNow.com

“You may sell out your event or win an award for your wine but if you haven’t devoted enough resources to ensuring a seamless experience, such as having prominent directional signage, good traffic flow to your wine shop, enough tasting room servers, and ample parking, visitors won’t return. And they won’t recommend it to their friends either,” says Baldwin.

Recently the Okanagan was named the number two wine destination in the world, behind Alentejo, Portugal but the U.S’s largest circulating newspaper, USA Today.

The research project was part of a larger body of research originally conducted by the same group in the fall of 2013 that looked at the economic impact of wine tourism to the Okanagan. See www.thewinefestivals.com/blog for more details.

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Aug 19, 2014
Terri Judson

Hawaii Food & Wine Fest to showcase love for the land

Having planted its flag in Oahu and Maui, the 2014 Hawaii Food Wine Festival (Aug. 29-Sept. 7) is expanding to include a third Hawaiian island. Now in its fourth year, the festival will begin with its first-ever visit to the Big Island; the Aloha’ Aina, Aloha Kai (“love of land, love of sea”) gala will treat guests to a six-course feast on the volcanic grounds of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort. Also new to this year’s festival will be the presence of children; Keiki in the Kitchen: Food, Fitness, Family and Fun will feature chef demos, a farmers market, educational booths and fitness activities.

As indicated by its theme, “Taste our Love for the Land”, Hawaii’s biggest annual culinary event takes the farm-to-table approach to another level by having all participating chefs use locally–sourced produce and ingredients. This allows locals to see what big-name mainlanders such as Michelle Bernstein, Charles Phan and Andy Ricker will be inspired to create using the local tropical bounty. Leading chefs from as far as Australia and Japan populate the festival’s events, the majority of which take place in Hawaii’s largest city, Honolulu.

The festival program provides out-of-towners with an ideal introduction to Hawaii’s diverse culinary scene; the roster of local participants reads like a who’s who among the state’s chefs. Many members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement will be on hand, including the festival’s legendary co-founders, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong.

SEE MORE: Honolulu’s hot new neighborhood dining

Organizers smartly incorporate Hawaii’s world-class scenery throughout the program; locales include the breezy roof of the Hawaii Convention Center and the stunning beach of the Ko Olina Resort (home to Aulani, A Disney Resort Spa). Perhaps the festival’s most unique event, Laulima at He’eia, will see attendees work side-by-side with the likes of Jose Garces and Hubert Keller on the restoration of an 800-year-old fish pond while assisting with the cultivation of the most Hawaiian of roots, taro.

Since its inception, the not-for-profit festival has provided nearly $1 million in net proceeds to beneficiaries including the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation and the Hawaii Seafood Council.

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Aug 15, 2014
Terri Judson

Stars of LA return to fourth annual food and wine fest

The fourth annual Los Angeles Food Wine Festival presented by FOOD WINE takes place August 21-24, and in just a few years the festival has become the City of Angels’ premiere culinary gathering. More than 100 of the country’s most decorated chefs, sommeliers and mixologists will participate at events in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Santa Monica, with the majority of happenings taking place in the region’s most dynamic dining neighborhood: Downtown LA.

“The very footprint on Grand Avenue that hosts the festival each year is an exciting testament to what’s happening in Los Angeles,” explains David Bernahl, CEO of event organizer Coastal Luxury Management. “This year’s festival has expanded to take on another block; the construction of the highly anticipated Broad Museum will tower over the thousands of foodies we will welcome to the festival. The food scene around the city is exploding at the same pace. It’s special to be able to celebrate LA’s culinary scene in such a dramatic way.”

New to this year’s festival is the Ultimate Bites of LA presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred®. Hosted by Graham Elliot and Fabio Viviani, the event will see some of LA’s most popular chefs pack Grand Avenue, dishing out inventive bites while providing “the most comprehensive way to taste the best LA has to offer,” according to Bernahl. Similar walk-around events such as Lexus Live on Grand and a pair of Lexus Grand Tastings will see hungry hordes of festivalgoers descend on Downtown LA to sample top-notch wines alongside bites from a kaleidoscope of culinary titans.

A highlight of every LAFW is the Tribute to a Legend; this year’s event will honor the local icon Nancy Silverton. Decadent types will make a beeline to the rooftop of the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel for the I Heart Champagne and Caviar bash, while this year’s Dinner with the Michelin Stars will honor one of France’s biggest culinary names, Pierre Gagnaire.

This being an entertainment capital of the world ensures that the big names on hand won’t just be limited to the food world; Fergie of Black Eyed Peas (showcasing her namesake Ferguson Crest wines at the Lexus Grand Tasting) is just one of the stars who will be on hand throughout the weekend.

“The whole weekend experience is as important to us as the food, and that includes the cocktails, wine and music,” explains Bernahl. “It’s essential that we deliver more than guests could ever expect, like once-in-a-lifetime tribute dinners, extraordinary music performances and so much more.”

RELATED: The complete culinary guide to LA
SEE MORE: The rest of summer’s food (and drink) festivals

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Aug 14, 2014
Terri Judson

Four Seasons launches food-and-wine festival program

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Aug 13, 2014
Terri Judson

Collio wine country: Italy’s undiscovered region

If any area within Italy can be described as “picture-perfect,” the bucolic wine country of Collio with its rolling hills and vibrant mosaic of emerald green-hued vineyards is a destination worthy of that artistic depiction.

Located about an hour-and-a-half drive from Venice, in the Province of Gorizia, Collio is a crossroads of cultures, sharing a border with Slovenia and close to Austria. Situated in the northeastern-most part of Italy — between the Alps and the Adriatic sea — this region is a bit off the beaten tourist path and still considered ‘undiscovered,’ yet offers an ambiance of familiarity, warmth and naturally, plenty of wine.

The area specializes in crisp white wines, along with some reds as well. Collio’s indigenous grapes are malvasia, ribolla gialla, pinot bianco and friulano, which is one of the most famous varietals in the community (formerly referred to as ‘Tocai’). Another local grape, picolit, is considered rare, emitting a smooth, mellow and complex flavor. The region’s most distinctive offering, “Collio Bianco,” is a blended white that is made at over 100 wineries – and synonymous with the territory.

In addition to vineyards and vintages, this picturesque region is steeped in history and the landscape is dotted with castles and farms, as well as an array of taverns, wine shops and restaurants. Collio’s residents are friendly, and many of the wineries offer lodging, ranging from basic rooms to luxuriously appointed accommodations. Most are passionate about agritourism and provide a homemade breakfast or other meal options and feature stunning vineyard vistas from patios and balconies.

For transportation around Collio, travelers can hire a local driver, or choose to rent sunflower yellow bicycles or Vespa scooters to zip through the towns and explore the undulating rural hillside, stopping at wineries along the way. The region also has a number of picnic tables situated at various scenic points on the main roadways, inviting guests to take a break, have a snack or just relax and soak in the views.

“This area of Italy is very nuanced, as many cultures are in close proximity and are blended together,” says Elda Felluga, president of the Association of Wine Tourism in Friuli Venezia Giulia and owner of winery Livio Fellugia. “I believe that because we have the influence of diverse traditions and rich history, our wines and culinary offerings are especially wonderful.”

This year, the Collio Wine Consortium is celebrating 50 years of the region’s distinctive wine culture. Robert Princic, Consortium president, explains, “The Collio region is a territory with great traditions and many important historical influences. Our producers are truly unique because they are genuinely motivated by their passion for the land, and for making the highest quality wines possible. Their dedication and innovations have permitted grape harvesting in Collio to continue its successful growth.”

The region’s “Wine and Cherry road” leads travelers past the area’s many wineries, each with its own distinctive character and unique wine offerings. Most offer vineyard and cellar tours, with tasting rooms open to the public, although some require advance reservations, depending on the day and the season.

Here are several we recommend:

Villa Russiz

With nearly 100 acres of vineyards, Villa Russiz’s history dates back to 1868, when the land was given as a wedding gift to French count Theodore de La Tour and his wife Elvine Ritter von Zahony. Today, this award-winning winery specializes in several wines, including: pinot bianco, pinot grigio and picolit. Visitors fortunate enough to meet general manager Giordano Figheli will be greeted graciously and treated to an exceptional and memorable tasting experience. In addition to winemaking, Villa Russiz is dedicated to the community and has been supporting a children’s home (Fondazione Villa Russiz) through its charitable contributions for many years.

Livio Felluga

Renowned throughout the Italian wine community as the man who reinvented the area’s winemaking heritage in the 1950s, Livio Felluga’s vineyard today stretches over 400 acres amidst the sloping hills. Some of the wines include: illivio, friulano, terre alte and more. In addition to a contemporary, chic tasting room, the family has an affiliated tavern and inn a few steps away, called Terra Vini, with a rustic interior and a lovely outdoor garden terrace. The small hotel has eight charming guest rooms with modern amenities and private balconies. The restaurant is the real deal – offering fresh, regional specialties daily with locally sourced cheeses, prosciutto and produce.

Livon

Family-owned Livon has grown tremendously over the years, expanding throughout Italy and opening wineries in Tuscany and Umbria. Livon uses the latest technology in the winemaking process, incorporating natural and innovative vineyard management methods. Their winery features a tasting room where guests can sip a robust array of white and red wines, such as: pinot bianco, fenis (ribolla gialla), merlot and others. Nearby, the Livon family owns Villa Chiòpris, a winery with an adjacent upscale bed and breakfast situated on a picturesque vineyard. It houses nine stylishly designed rooms with and a swimming pool. This winery often hosts special events and wine tastings.

Tiare

A well-respected winery with a tasting room and a trattoria featuring homemade traditional local cuisine, Tiare invites guests to enjoy a leisurely meal in the countryside while tasting a selection of their top quality vintages. In fact, Tiare’s unoaked 2013 Sauvignon blanc was awarded a gold medal at the 5th edition of the World Sauvignon contest, held in Bordeaux, France. Chosen from nearly 500 wines from 21 countries, this was highest honor ever given to an Italian wine at this major international event.

Paraschos

Known throughout the area as “the Greek winery,” Paraschos was founded in 1998 by the winemaker Evangelos Paraschos. Today, this popular, family-run vineyard produces a variety of local wines through traditional and organic methods, harvested by hand without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Perched at the highest point in the region, Paraschos offers six spacious guest rooms with mesmerizing views overlooking the tranquil, sprawling vineyards. Guests lucky enough to stay at Paraschos are greeted in the morning with a delightful, abundant homemade breakfast – a delicious way to begin a day of Collio wine tasting.

When to go: The Collio region hosts a number of wine festivals and celebrations throughout the year, such as the upcoming Spirito di Vino event, set for September 13, 2014.

SEE MORE: Explore Italy’s Prosecco province

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