palisade: take two

This weekend, the Denver Village, packed up their suitcases and traveled west on I-70 to Palisade, CO. Mission: wine tasting and endless amounts of shenanigans.

Of course, this wasn’t my first rodeo to this small farming community. Last year, Katie, Tina, Megan, Listy and I ventured to this peached themed town for a quick weekend getaway.  In fact, we had such a blast, we thought another trip was highly necessary, only this time we included the men folk. 
We arrived late on Friday evening and checked into our motel. Yes, I said motel. Before you pass judgement, I’ll quote Aaron Cook, “This is the best, worst place I’ve ever stayed at.” It’s not the Four Seasons, but the motel is clean, quiet, and close to town so no one has to drive anywhere. Smart thinking when your weekend is nothing but a glorified booze cruise. Am I right? Right. 
Even though we didn’t hit the hay until midnight, we made sure to get an early start.  We moseyed downtown for an early breakfast and a little mimosa action at the only full service cafe in town.  Thank Jesus the food was decent (best egg sandwich ever!). 
After our carb-filled breakfast, we crossed the street to the only bike rental place in town, Rapid Creek Cycles and Sports. Mr. B and I rented two cruisers.  Megan and Katie went the tandem route. The rest of the gang had their own setup. I will state for the record, watching two people mount a tandem bike for the first time is the funniest thing I’ve witnessed in a long time. 
Our first stop on the winery tour, Canyon Wind Cellars about 2 miles East of town.  We all knew it was going to be a good day when we received honks, jeers, and hand signals on the way out of town.  After the second honking car and a pit stop, we decided that today we were the “Dirty Dozen”.  
Canyon Wind was an excellent way to start the trip.  The manicured lawn, welcoming terrace and comfortable tasting room really set the stage for a relaxing start to the festivities. The wine was surprisingly good, so much so that we purchased a few bottles of the Petit Verdot and the “Gris” to enjoy while hanging out in the shade.   
With Canyon Wind Cellars on the far end of town, we had a long ride back to get to our next stop on the tour, Plum Creek Winery. Good thing Clark Farms was exactly half way back.  Fresh peaches? Yes, please!
Truth: the last time we visited Plum Creek Winery, I was not a fan. The service was horrible and the wine tasted like dirt, and I don’t mean that in a good way. But on this trip, things couldn’t have been better. Since we had a huge group they put us back in the cask room with all the wood barrels. They were very hospitable to our very large crowd. We ended up tasting at least 10 wines and each one, including the fruity whites were a knock out! 
We left Plum Creek a little buzzed, and giddy about our next stop at Garfield Winery (quick shout out to the girl that tried to steal one of our bikes at Plum Creek. BAD GIRL). Anyway, back to Garfield.  I loved this winery the last time I visited because the lady was a huge K-State basketball fan. Well, this tasting was pretty BAWLS. WTF? The lady, who I swear looks like the librarian in Ghostbusters was a huge Debbie Downer. The wine pours were less than adequate and she really wanted our huge group to leave. Needless to say, we hurried through that tasting. And just to be fair, the wine wasn’t bad at all.  We brought a few bottles home with us. 
It was a hop, skip, and jump over to our next stop. La Belle Vie was just what we needed to perk our spirits up after our disappointing tasting at Garfield. La Belle Vie translates to “the good life”, and this winery definitely lived up to its name. Everyone relaxed under a willow tree, split a few bottles of wine and some cheese boards, and soaked up life.  
The final stop on the wine tour was Grande River Vineyards.  I’ve been on a tour of palisade twice prior to this trip and haven’t made it to this guy yet.  So glad we did.  We bought a few bottles (I’m seeing a trend, no?) and the girls sat in the shade while the boys played with Chance in the front lawn.  
I think everyone was over the wine tour at this point, so where next?  Palisade Brewing Company of course!  We planned on heading over to the distillery, but decided we needed to try out the brewery first.  Good choice because it was happy hour and The Dirty Hippy was on sale.  Yup, you read that right.  One of their best beers is called The Dirty Hippy.  There was no entertainment to accompany our jovial mood, so we decided to provide it!  Enter the BOSE.   Another side note:  when going on a booze cruise in Palisade, bring your own soundtrack!  
The brewery crowd was really into the tunes AC was putting on, but the neighbor lady wasn’t as thrilled.  Not joking.  A stranger came up to Katie while we were packing up to go and started lecturing her on how the brewery promised no music so she could have a yard party.  I think it was around this time that the gangs mood went from merry, to merry prankster.  At one point, Mr. B was riding the tandem alone, from the back seat, someone was doing wheelies on a cruiser, and AC was getting a standing ovation from the brewery crowd.  
After 10 hours of cruising winery’s and a brewery, what sounds better than Vietnamese/Italian food? That’s right, we ventured back to The Red Rose Cafe for a little Pad Thai & Coors Light action. Only this time, the owner welcomed us with open arms because she overheard us say we had eaten their before. Phew.
We recapped the day and decided Canyon Wind Cellars was our overall favorite. Dinner didn’t take long, and before we knew it, we were strolling back to our motel down a residential street without a care in the world.
We had an amazing weekend with our friends! Until next time, Palisade.  
Oh, and to all the folks we met on the road, sorry for partyin’.
–The Dirty Dozen