Several weeks ago, I was invited to a Winery experience with Denver Wine Tours. As, an Event Planner and a lover of wine, I wanted to check out the tour. I also wondered, if this could be a great option for my clients? It just so happens I was also looking for a venue to host a VIP Winery Experience. The venue needed to meet at least four basic requirements: First, be accessible, meaning no parking issues and easy to locate. Second, it needed to be warm and inviting, creating the feeling of an intimate wine tasting experience. Third, the venue needed to be flexible for me to bring in an outside caterer as I already had a partnership with Fresh Tracks Catering. Fourth, it had to be a venue in which I felt it could be a good working relationship. Once the business objectives were clear, the really fun part began….who would be my guest? My husband does not drink, so he was not attending. I elected to take one of my girl friends, that is my road buddy. Now back to the tour and it’s offerings. The tour offers both a lunch and dinner option. Due to my road buddy’s schedule, we elected to participant in the lunch tour. Our adventure began by scheduling the wine tour, which was very user friendly. On the selected date, we both arrived at the RTD Broadway and I-25 park and ride. A few moments later, the tour bus arrived. The driver, Tim was polite and the tour bus was clean and well stocked. Tim took the time to explain everything about the bus, that included highlighting all of the snack options, refreshments, and how to turn the radio station and sound volume. The first stop was Union Station to pick-up more guests. Once the guests were onboard, Tim introduced us, explained the features of the bus for the new guests and provided a summary of the wineries that we would tour.
Once the bus departed from Union Station, we chatted it up with the other guests and enjoyed the 80’s tunes. The first stop was Kingman Winery Estates. This tasting room is located within an industrial area within Denver. Tim pulled the bus to the front of the building and assisted everyone off of the bus. The owner, Karen greeted us warmly as their other guests sat enjoying their wine, conversation and light appetizers. As we continued to enter, it was like a walk into a true Tuscan wine tasting experience with great charm. There was a table with linen and décor reserved for our party bus. The tasting was extremely informative and contained a few reds, whites and dessert wines. We also got to know the other guests on the party bus more and enjoyed each other’s company. Once the tasting was complete, if we desired to purchase any wine for a discount we had the option to do so, while the driver pulled the party bus to the front door. I was holding up the bus as I did purchase a few bottles…
Once back on the bus, the next winery was a very short bus-ride away….Balistreri Vineyard. This was a very different but exciting experience. The overall, atmosphere was more party/bar like as this place was packed. Due to the volume of other guests, the tasting experience was not as attentive, nor was the meal coordination as smooth. We did taste several reds, whites and dessert wines. However, there was a longer wait to experience the wines and our meal was delivered and sitting on the table without our awareness. Once we discovered the potential for the food to be ours, we had to get the attention of the staff that we were going to sit down to eat. Do not get me wrong the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. The wine and food were also great, but the attention to our party was not as strong at this winery. We enjoyed our meal and had an overall good experience. This venue has banquet space to accommodate anywhere from 12 to over 1,000 guests for both corporate and social events. The day we visited, there was a party within the ballroom space. Once we finished our meal, it was time to board the bus and head to the final destination of the day. As we walked out I saw a former bride. It was great to see her and briefly catch-up.
The final bus ride was slightly longer, but not by much. It was great to sit back and enjoy someone else driving us through downtown. Our last winery tour was at Wild Women Wine. Walking into this winery was like visiting an intimate wine tasting space with a café vibe. There was a dedicated area at the tasting bar reserved for our tour and the owner and his daughter greeted us to their slice of Tuscany. There were so many unique décor elements within this winery that it created a great sensory experience for the guests. We were also very happy due to the wine we already consumed at this point. This winery issues tokens to guests at the beginning of the tasting so that they can keep track of your quantities, but it also allows you to taste only reds, whites, desserts or any combination that you prefer. While visiting, we tasted several, red, white and desserts. There was one option that I could not get enough of…Winerita…a wine slushy. OMG this is amazing! Not only did I use most of my tokens on this, I purchased the kit to take home for further enjoyment. During our visit, there was a baby shower and those guests were having a great time as well.
This winery tour was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to have a unique experience that highlights a few great wineries in Colorado. In case you are wondering, I elected to host my VIP winery Experience at Kingman Estates. Kingman had all of the things I needed; an intimate space to host events, no parking issues and accessible, and both Karen and Doug the owners have been absolutely wonderful to work with. The event is this week and I cannot wait to share some pictures from this collaboration with Fresh Track Catering!