A wine festival for the common man | SummitDaily.com | SummitDaily.com

Stomp grapes at Copper Mountain wine festival

Wine events are relatively common in Summit County, but Copper Mountain Resort is trying to stand out. This weekend the inaugural Copper Crush wine festival aims to be approachable for a younger audience or those who don't consider themselves wine-savvy.

"We feel like a lot of the younger generation, they look at the wine festival and think they don't know enough about wine to go or it'll be super highbrow," said Stephanie Carson, festival producer and director of SuperFly Fabulous Events. "So we wanted to create an event that's not just for millennials but for people of all ages."

Before the unlimited tasting begins, Friday night and Saturday morning offer opportunities for people to attend a Wine 101 class so that they can familiarize themselves with the beverage and better understand what they'll be sampling. In keeping with the theme of inclusivity, these classes and other workshops throughout the weekend start at $10.

One of the more unique sessions is a wine and candy bar pairing class. "You don't have to have fancy chocolate or fancy cheese to enjoy wine," Carson said. "Have you ever wondered what a Butterfinger paired well with?"

Additionally, the festival wants to set aside snobbery with a boxed and canned wine tasting. It hopes to appeal to a younger crowd and highlight the newer wineries embracing the mountain lifestyle. "Ask a wine drinker five years ago and they would've turned their nose up at anything that wasn't from a corked bottle," said Carson. "The industry is challenging that and trying to make wine more mobile. You can take a can of wine on a hike or have a more accessible glass of wine ready in your fridge."

A few of the Colorado-based wineries and cideries present this weekend include The Sweet Elephant, St. Vrain Cidery, Colorado Sake Company and Boulder-based Decadent Saint, which will host Sunday's sangria tasting.

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The drinking will no doubt work up an appetite so sweet and savory crepes along with tapas will be available to purchase. The Colorado Wine and Development Board has created a wine pairing for each dish to delight taste buds.

To stay busy in between bites and sips, the dog- and kid-friendly festival has various activities such as grape stomping, painting with wine and crafting cork art. Entertainment for the weekend includes trapeze artists, DJ Rude Boi, Ghost of the Highway, The Altitones and the Manuel Molina Latin Band.

Once you're done tasting the fruits of the festival, you can purchase a bottle of your favorite to take home without tracking it down in stores or forgetting about it.

"We're looking to have a good time and leave you a more educated consumer on top of it," said Carson.

IF YOU GO

When: Aug. 17 5-9 p.m., Aug. 18 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 19, noon to 3 p.m.

Where: Copper Mountain Resort, 209 Tenmile Circle.

Cost: $10 for classes and special tastings, $50 for Saturday’s unlimited sampling, $15 for Sunday’s sangria sampling

Visit CopperCrushWineFest.com for a full schedule of events