The consensus around the Simply Steamboat office is the the Steamboat Wine Festival is our very favorite weekend in Steamboat. It’s hard to choose between the Tour de Steamboat which we hold very near and dear to our hearts, or perhaps even the Balloon Rodeo. I mean, who can pass up sensational weather, sensational wines, scrumptious food in our favorite little town, Steamboat Springs.

Hot Tips to Occupy Every Minute of Your Wine Festival Weekend, Starting Now!

Wednesday

  • 2:00: Steamboat locals and Steamboat lovers alike love to bring out their summer frocks and party dresses for many of the Wine Festival events. So, head to downtown Steamboat to pick out a new party dress. We recommend White Pepper, Chez Nous, Kalis and Moose Mountain Trading Company.
  • 6pm: Farm to Barn Wine Dinner: Featuring an exquisite dinner menu crafted from locally acclaimed Executive Chefs Kate Rench of Cafe Diva, Jason Salisbury of Mahogany Ridge, and Brian Vaughn of bistro cv. This is the signature event of STARS!

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Fuel up! Walk from your lodging to the Paramount at the base of the ski area for breakfast!
  • Morning: You have two choices: Up. Or: Down. Take the gondola to the top of the mountain and hike down to the base area. It’s a long, but breathtakingly beautiful hike. Or, you can hike up to the Gondola and catch the Gondola down (for free!). It’s breathtaking. Literally, but so rewarding!
  • Lunch: Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, stop-in at  Truffle Pig for lunch!
  • 5pm: Wine on the Mountain Kick-off Celebration:  Breathtaking views from the top of the Steamboat Gondola, fabulous wines, heavy apps, one-on-one time with your favorite winery, and music make the kickoff event the talk of the weekend.
  • 7:30: After Wine on the Mountain, let’s keep the party going! Apres Wine is a new event in 2012. Why should the fun end when your evening is just getting started? Enjoy comfort foods, signature cocktails, savory suds and live music under the stars at the base of Steamboat Mountain.

Friday

  • Breakfast: You’d better put your drinking boots on because we’ve got a long day of wine guzzling ahead. (Seriously? These wines are too good to spit!) And, you’d better fuel up. Head to our favorite local breakfast spot, Freshies.
  • 11am: Loca Crazy By the Barrell: That’s right. In Lodi, CA fun comes by the barrel, wild nights fill the calendar and an obsession with quality wine spans the map. Come discover the passion of Lodi winegrowers as they go beyond Zinfandel to share their obsession with Lodi’s Mediterranean varietals.
  • 12pm: Secretes of Wine Blending: Alexander Valley Vineyards Winemaker, Kevin Hall, crafted a bottle of wine that sold at auction for $210,000 in 2011. This wine, a tribute to the namesake of the Alexander Valley is called CYRUS. Come taste estate grown component wines and blend along with Kevin as he discusses his process for crafting the latest release of the award winning Bordeaux style blend – CYRUS.
  • 1pm: Have You Met Your Match Food and Wine Pairing: Enjoy an amazing 5-course lunch, prepared by the Executive Chef of the Truffle Pig, paired with an International selection of wines from Constellation
  • 2pm: Tasting the Masters Way: Ever wonder how a wine expert can determine the what, where, and when of a wine? Well Master Sommelier, Ira Harmon, will teach guests how to taste like a master sommelier.
  • Sober up!
  • 4pm: Stroll of Steamboat GRAND Tasting! The Stroll route takes attendees across downtown and along the beautiful Yampa River to mingle, shop, and enjoy wine. Each Stroll stop offers a different variety of wines and delicious culinary samples, allowing patrons to familiarize themselves with the many restaurants and retailers Steamboat has to offer.
  • Between the Stroll and Dinner: The first Friday Artwalk is on too, so take a peak at some galleries and local stores… who may have even more wine and food for you!
  • Dinner: Downtown is going to be buzzing, so we recommend you book a restaurant. At the top of the list, we recommend Bistro CV. For some delicious local fare, head to Sweet Pea Market and Restaurant to dine outside under stars and fairy lights, alongside the beautiful Yampa river. If you are not starving, but would like lots of delicious food, more wine, or cocktails, head to The Laundry.
  • Late Night: Can you hang? If yes, head to Mahogany Ridge, The Old Town Pub or The Ghost Ranch for some late night music.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: After yesterday, you’ll need to find Steamboat’s greasy spoon. (un)Fortunately, there really isn’t one, but we can recommend the eggs bene at Creekside Cafe, or a huge stack of pancakes, bacon, plus the lot at The Shack. Bonus! Better yet, walk around the Farmers Market and pick up some delish Steamboat style street-food!
  • 10am-1pm(ish): (Yep! No rest for the wicked!): Mud Sweat and Cheers! So you decided to attend the wine festival and thought you had to leave your mountain bike at home … think again! This always-popular biking and food seminar takes you on a scenic ride through some of the most panoramic single tracks in Steamboat, trails that make it a premier mountain biking destination. After a quick scenic ride up the gondola, our local guides will break the riders into groups (beginner through advanced) and head out on the best and newest single tracks that Colorado has to offer. Move over Moab, Steamboat is the place to mountain bike! After an exciting, fun-filled day of riding, finish it off with a sumptuous lunch at the Truffle Pig. As for beverages (this IS a wine festival of course!) president and co-owner David Phillips of Michael David Winery, McCay Cellars winemaker and owner Michael McCay, and Joseph Lange of LangeTwins Winery will be joining the ride and bringing the wine to compliment your post-ride luncheon at the Truffle Pig.
  • Afternoon: You’ll need to freshen up, so head downtown to the Old Town Hot Springs for a soak!
  • 3pm: Toast of Steamboat Grand Tasting: The grand finale of the weekend! The Toast is an impressive gathering of domestic and international wines, premium beer and spirits, gourmet food purveyors, and live music. The event sits at the base of the mountain at beautiful Gondola Square.
  • 7pm: BubbleQ: The Bubble-Q is a dashing country gathering pulling together the beautiful, natural elements Steamboat has to offer with that of an upscale garden party.
  • Seriously? You’re still going? Ok, well if you haven’t surrendered to the hot tub of your luxury lodging, head to the Tugboat!

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Treat yourself to a Steamboat tradition with Brunch on the Mountain!
  • Rest of the Day: Lie by the pool! You’ve got some liver rejuvenation to do!
  • Feeling Active? Perhaps head to a yoga class, try stand-up paddle-boarding, or head out with the locals and go for  a hike or mountain bike ride on Howelsen Hill, Spring Creek or Fish Creek Falls.

Too Much? What Are the “Must Do’s”?

If it’s all too much for one weekend, we definitely recommend the Stroll, the Grand Tasting and perhaps a seminar or two! Our favorite fine dining restaurants are Cafe Diva, Bistro CV and The Laundry. The Farmers Market, and First Friday Artwalk are also “don’t miss” events!

Where to Stay?

All of our properties are close to the Wine Festival events, and just a quick drive, or townie bike ride from downtown. Bring your friends and fam, and stay at Edgemont to get a head-start on the hiking trail up the gondola. Edgemont is right at the base of the ski area, and very close to the Truffle Pig, Cafe Diva, and Gondola Square where many of the events are being held.

If you are traveling with just your significant other, Trappeur’s Crossing Resort has one bedroom condos – and if you end up with lots of friends and fam tagging along, Trappeur’s has 2-5 bedroom condos available too!

If you don’t need all the amenities and services of Trappeur’s, but want uber luxury, just across the street from Trappeur’s is Blackhawk Townhomes. If you want views to boot, take a look at the Chadwick!

Not sure which is right for you? Call us! We’d love to chat and help you find the very best lodging for the very best weekend in Steamboat Springs!