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2008 Balistreri Colorado Little Feet Merlot Barrel #174 Lovies Vineyard

Balistreri Vineyards offers a remarkably wide range of varietals and styles of wine at the Denver tasting room. It is a fun outing to go, taste and hear John Balistreri and his daughter Julie, talk of how they embarked on a successful wine making business. What was once the site for the family's carnation greenhouses, now serves as the location of a tasting room where the public can sample a generous selection of Colorado Balistreri wines. It is memorable. And you can leave with wine to enjoy later. Recently, we opened the The Little Feet Merlot and enjoyed its New World charms – each sip a powerful, flavorful fruit forward mouthful.

The Balistreris contract with grape growers on the Western Slope for more than eight different varietals, then haul deliveries to Denver to be crushed and made into wine. This method of wine making is representative of many ventures across the United States today. No longer are you required to be connected to the vineyard, hand selecting which grapes you plan to crush. Unlike many who use this new method, Balistreri imprints each varietal wine bottled with the name of the vineyard used for the barrel.

Balistreri sends wine to many competitions in the United States. And they have won many awards, in different categories. Just inside the tasting room door is a table full of bottles with medals won at international competitions. Even local competitions have bottles shipped back east for tasting by an international tasting panel that determines winners.

The Little Feet Merlots are interesting because the grapes are stomped by children at two harvest festivals. Balistreri Vineyard holds an annual Harvest Party, now in its seventh year, where children take off their shoes, wash feet, and stomp away. They also have another Little Feet Merlot made the same way at the Festival Italiano in Belmar. In tasting, one marvels at the wonderful flavor these tootsies add to the wine….

Although these fall events are some way off, you can go to a food and wine pairing event and barrel tasting in May. Perhaps, the event will serve as the perfect event to take Mom to as a Mother's Day present.

Balistreri Vineyards Annual Spring Barrel Tasting Dinner
May 13th, 14th, 15th & 16th, 2010

Friday and Saturday are sold out so make your plans and purchase your tickets for Thursday or Sunday pronto.

You are invited to a preview taste of the Balistreri 2009 wines straight from the barrel. The seven Balistreri wines will be paired with five-course gourmet meals by local executive chefs. This wine tasting dinner is an excellent opportunity to meet a local winemaker, hear how they make their wines, and ask all your wine-making questions.

Tickets include: five courses, seven Balistreri wines, and a commemorative wine glass.

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Time: 6:30pm
Executive Chef Elise Wiggins
Chef: Elise Wiggins- Executive Chef, Panzano, Denver
Location: Balistreri Vineyards
Cost: $72/person, plus tax
Purchase Tickets

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Time: 6:30pm

Executive Chef Sheila Lucero
Chef: Sheila Lucero- Executive Chef, Jax Fish House, Denver & Boulder
Menu: Sunday, May 16th Menu
Location: Balistreri Vineyards
Cost: $72/person, plus tax
Purchase Tickets