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Breckenridge Wine Classic returns with seminars and tastings

The Pinot Passport Hike event at Beaver Run Resort is pictured during the 2017 Breckenridge Wine Classic. The 2021 festival is happening Thursday, Sept. 16, through Saturday, Sept. 18, with multiple tastings.
Steve Peterson/TerraChroma

After going on hiatus in 2020, the sixth Breckenridge Wine Classic returns to town next week. From Thursday, Sept. 16, through Saturday, Sept. 18, guests can sample from various wineries, breweries and distilleries with seminars, tastings and luncheons.

Team Player Productions was able to host the outdoor Vail Craft Beer Classic and the Vail Wine Classic last year, learning how to safely produce events during a pandemic by separating into four tasting sessions of 175 masked attendees that had to return to a table before drinking.

Event Director Kristen Slater said each of the four Breckenridge Wine Classic sessions will be capped at 500 people, rather than the standard 1,800 or so at a single grand tasting. Two, two-hour tasting sessions will be held outside of Beaver Run Resort at 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sept. 17 and 18.



“But we’ll have the same number of wineries and restaurants participating, so people can expect a similar experience to what they had before,” Slater said. “But it will be much smaller crowds, which is really nice because there’s never a line for wine or food.”

Slater said there will be roughly 45 wine tables each with six to 10 wines on display — in addition to beer and spirits — and live music will be performed on Breckenridge Music’s mobile AirStage. Attendees can also purchase an extra 30 minutes to extend their experience with winemakers and sommeliers.



Other safety precautions include temperature checks for guests and staff as well as masks, single-use compostable cups and hand sanitizer readily available. All festival staff are vaccinated.

Thursday’s schedule includes the Breck Uncorked series of paired dinners at multiple restaurants. People can enjoy a combination of 7 Cellars wine at Spencer’s Steaks & Spirits, try nebbiolo at Rootstalk, see Carboy Winery focus on Colorado food, try Hearthstone’s red meat and red wine pairings, and watch sommelier Shelly Sale serve up sake and more for Asian fusion dishes.

Friday and Saturday each have unique lunch options like Spanish wines at Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria and Australian bottles at Aurum Food & Wine. Slater noted that the Meat Me in Breck lunch combines barbecue, wine and whiskey for an interesting afternoon.

The popular seminar on Riedel glasses returns with a demonstration on how the different glass types affect the taste of different varietals. Participants receive four Riedel glasses to take home with them after the workshop.

Not returning this year is the festival companion app that allowed attendees to save a collection of their favorite wines for future purchase. Instead, people can simply scan a QR code and directly order the wine from Basecamp Wine & Spirits in Frisco.

“This event is just always such a great time,” Slater said. “It’s in the mountains. It’s fall colors. There’s hundreds of wines from all over the world. It’s really a great sampling event in the heart of Breckenridge.

Tickets range from $75 to $225 and can be purchased at BreckenridgeWineClassic.com. A percentage of sales will benefit the National Repertory Orchestra.


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