Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Wine Festival of Colorado Springs focuses on wines with a conscience this year

By Jen Mulson Updated: February 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

Wine Festival of Colorado Springs: "Wines with a Conscience: Exploring Biodynamic, Sustainable and Organic Wine"

Seminars: "The Right Wine, But Is It The Right Glass?," 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Soir?, 1003 S. Tejon St., $75; "Afternoon Delight: A Farm to Table Experience," luncheon, noon March 7, Manitou Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, $95; "Your Wine May Be Red, White or Pink, But Is It Green?," 5:30 p.m. March 7, The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., $35; "The Goat, The Grape and Ewe," 11 a.m. March 8, Garden of the Gods Club, 3320 Mesa Road, $45; 577-4556, csconservatory.org.

Grand tasting, 7 p.m. March 7, The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., $75; Gourmet wine dinner and live auction, 6:30 p.m. March 8, Garden of the Gods Club, 3320 Mesa Road, $125; 577-4556, csconservatory.org.

Along with everything else in the past few years, wine is going organic and sustainable. The 23rd annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs is jumping on board.

"Wines With a Conscience" is the festival's focus this year, and proceeds will benefit the Colorado Springs Conservatory, which provides performing arts training to students ages 4 to 19. The fundraiser earns about $50,000 to $100,000 each year, says Elizabeth Youngquist, chairperson of the festival.

The weekend includes three seminars, a luncheon, grand tasting and a gourmet dinner with live auction. Five winemakers will be featured, including Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard, Jeff McBride of Benziger Family Winery, Crist?al Undurraga of Koyle Family Vineyards, John Williams of Frog's Leap Winery and Amy Lillard, who grew up in the Springs and is now with La Gramiere.

"They'll talk to various degrees about their wines and they'll discuss the biodynamic aspect of it," says Madeleine Mellini, who does marketing and communications for the conservatory. "The biodynamic concept means you treat the vineyard as an ecosystem, not just a grape that comes out."

Because of the conservatory's involvement, this year there will also be student entertainment at each portion of the weekend.

"It's so much fun. It's such a learning event," says Youngquist. "I've learned so much about wine I would never have learned."

Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette, 636-0270, jen.mulson@gazette.com

OTHER EVENTS

ChitChat 2014: "Lefties & Rum" - With Michael Larkin from University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and Frank Frey of Nosh, 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St., $5-$10, tickets required; 255-3504, uccs.edu/~goca.

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