Swallow Hill Music will be celebrating local wines, food, and folk music at their second annual WineFest on Sun. May 2 at 71 E. Yale Ave. in Denver. Swallow Hill board member Catherine Teutsch said that WineFest 2010 is a fun event that highlights local businesses and talent.

“It was our mission to have a wine festival that also incorporates local entertainment and I think that makes us unique,” Teutsch said.

Teutsch said the WineFest fundraiser was started last year as a way to help Swallow Hill get through the difficult economic climate. Especially with summer approaching and fewer students taking music classes at Swallow Hill, Teutsch said it seemed like a perfect way to raise additional funds while also supporting local winemakers, farmers, and entertainers.

“Tracy Eliasson, co- owner of Settembre Cellars in Boulder, said she enjoyed being a part of Swallow Hill’s WineFest because it is a small event, so people actually can get a chance to taste each wine and get to know the winemakers.”

We wanted to support the Colorado economy as well so all the wines are Colorado-based, all the food is from local food providers, and all the performers are local,” she said.

With the purchase of a ticket, $35 for Swallow Hill members and $37 for non-members, guest can enjoy wine from five Colorado wineries, appetizer’s made with only Colorado grown ingredients, and music from The Pickin’ Parlor Swing Band. Guests can also purchase tickets for the Kantankerous Bluegrass Band performance at 5 p.m. in Daniel’s Hall at Swallow Hill for $10.

Tracy Eliasson, co- owner of Settembre Cellars in Boulder, said she enjoyed being a part of Swallow Hill’s WineFest because it is a small event, so people actually can get a chance to taste each wine and get to know the winemakers. She said that Settembre Cellars, which opened last year, is still very small and based out of her home, so getting out and doing events and festivals is the only way she can meet people and sell as much wine locally as possible.

“For us, it’s been really fun to have a winery in Boulder and we are just looking for creative ways to get wine out to people,” Eliasson said.

Naturally, they’ve got a Boulder angle on that: Eliasson and her husband Blake use a bicycle delivery system to get wine to some customers.

Eliasson said that, as a member of Swallow Hill Music, WineFest was a great way to engage with the community while helping out a music organization that is dedicated to preserving folk music and culture. “The combination of wine, food, and music is really fun and it’s a great cause,” Eliasson said, “so I wanted to help make big a difference for them economically.”

For winemaker Gussie Walter, of Augustina’s Winery in Boulder, it was the positive atmosphere and enjoyable crowd that drew her back to WineFest for a second time.

“You always wonder how it’s going to be when you do one of these events, but this one really draws a great crowd,” Walter said. “It’s a really upbeat atmosphere and everyone there is having a great time.”

After starting Augustina’s Winery, Boulder’s first winery, in 1997, Walter said she has learned that festivals are a great way to meet new people and make sales, especially after winter, when she said business is usually slow. Walter said wine festivals are also a good way for her to get immediate feedback on her wines so she can get a better sense of what people like and what will sell.

“I like to bring things that are a little more unusual because you can go anywhere and get a Chardonnay,” Walter said. “People are more interested in trying something different.”

While all wine festivals always have their own unique feel, Teustch said, this one is a blast with great food, wine, and music.

“It’s an event that supports a real cultural gem in the Rocky Mountain region and works hard to keep folk music and culture alive,” she said.


Read more: WineFest in Denver celebrates Colorado wines – Boulder Daily Camera

|  by Lindsay Gulisano for the Daily Camera