We were lucky enough to turn around after Hawaii and head to Telluride, CO, for the first annual Wine Beserkers Ski, Wine & Dine Festival. Foursight Winemaker Joe Webb is part of the Beserkers forum, and when he heard ski and wine, we were booked for the weekend.
We drove out this time, lugging five pairs of skis and four cases of wine. It's been a long time since I've driven through Nevada and Utah, and I forgot how long, straight, and high (altitude) those roads are. It does have a certain beauty, though, especially as you drive in and out of little pockets of rain and snow, which disappear as soon as you hit them.
We arrived in Telluride (actually, Mountain Village, next door to Telluride) and it was as ski town as I was expecting. Log chateaus, snowy mountains, and lots of people gimping around in ski boots. Reminded me of Squaw Valley on steroids, actually.
See a few of my photos at the link below.
The Ski, Wine & Dine event kicked off Thursday evening with a welcome dinner. People brought some great bottles of wine, and it was a pleasure to chat with everyone (you know it's a good event when you hold the same plate of food in your hand for an hour).
Friday started the formal tastings at The Peaks Resort, with a small group of distributors and wineries pouring their bottlings for attendees. A winemaker dinner followed at 221 South Oak in Telluride proper. This was a beast of a dinner. I've never seen so many choices for the attendee. Everything was delicious, however -- so much so that I was full way too soon. A great evening altogether with some great table-mates!
Saturday was our final tasting at The Peaks. We took advantage of our morning down time to ski and relax, which was a lot of fun given the scarce snow in Lake Tahoe up until recently. The mountain is impressive, with lots of runs, countless restaurants and wine bars ON the mountain, and even double blue runs -- totally my comfort zone.
We actually paused on our last ski day and went into Alpino Vino -- the highest restaurant in North America, they claim, at 11,966 feet. It's a cute little restaurant where you leave your skis outside and relax in the warmth inside. It's a wine bar and restaurant, and the selections impressed even us (I mean, ON a ski resort? Seriously?). We ordered a Pinot Noir flight and old-world white flight and an antipasto platter with cured meats, cheeses, truffle honey, chianti mustard, etc. Delicious and highly recommended.
Overall, Telluride was gorgeous. Very high -- we were staying at 9,000 feet -- but lots of amenities open seven days a week, which is much appreciated on a vacation schedule. I can understand the allure.