The North Fork Valley opens its doors as harvest begins
Mid-August finds us in the midst of harvest and already we’re seeing notice of the celebrations marking this busy time of year.
Plus, August is Colorado Proud month, a promotion from the Colorado Department of Agriculture commemorating the people who bring us locally grown food and agricultural products.
That includes Colorado wine, of course, and there’s no better way to mark the month than to visit your local wineries and go home with a bottle or two to enjoy with your favorite Colorado meal.
It’s all easier than you think, since many wineries somehow find the time during this busiest of all seasons to host special dinners. Here is a partial list, thanks to Jim Brett and the North Fork-based Slow Food Western Slope.
Brent and Karen Helleckson of Stone Cottage Cellars are hosting their second of the summer Fattoria Italiano winemaker’s dinner Sept. 24 as part of the Mountain Harvest Festival in the North Fork Valley.
The five-course meal features Stone Cottage Cellar wines and is the Helleckson’s North Fork homage to similar meals they enjoyed while traveling through Italy this last year.
Seating is limited so make reservation soon. Tickets are $80 per person inclusive. 527-3444.
Hopefully you didn’t miss Tuesday’s Paella Night at Leroux Creek Inn and Vineyards near Hotchkiss. Winemaker and trained chef Yvon Gros again is hosting these occasional dinners at his covered outdoor dining room with a marvelous view of the Provence-like surroundings of the North Fork Valley.
Learn about the next one (and get Yvon’s special paella recipe) here or call 872-4746.
September 10 is the tour of Redlands Mesa, including visits to farms, gardens and some of the area’s talented artisans, including Jack Rabbit Hill Farm and Peak Spirits Farm Distillery.
There also is a farm-to-table lunch and perhaps the closest view you’ll ever get of a live buffalo, thanks to Sue and Dave Whittlesey at High Wire Ranch.
Tickets for the Redland Mesa tour($5), lunch ($10) and happy hour ($15) at Jack Rabbit Hill Winery are available online through the Redlands Mesa Grange.