September 12, 2011
“I’m moving to the country gonna eat a lot of peaches”….
This weekend Katie, Listy, Tina, Megan, and me headed west on I-70 to Palisade, CO.
Our mission: food, wine, peaches, and fun.
The town of Palisade is a small farming community that is known for producing peaches. The city is also home to several award wining wineries. Peaches and wine, yes please!
But before I tell you about all of our shenanigans, lets start from the beginning…mmmkay?
The drive to Palisade from Denver is about four hours long, so we stopped in Vail for dinner. We decided to hit up The Tavern for beer and bar food. Oktoberfest was going on as well so the village was bumpin’.
We ordered every appetizer on the menu. To name a few…waffle fries with bacon and blue cheese, lobster mac and cheese, calamari, tortilla soup, and fish tacos. Hungry much?
Before we got back on the road, we grabbed a couple of roadies. Um, aren’t these koozies epic? Love.
We arrived at our motel around 9pm. Oh yeah, I said motel. See, Palisade is a very small town and there’s not many places to stay. I was a little worried that this place was going to be a roach motel, but it ended up being perfect. It was clean and simple, and the owner was super nice. She actually called us while we were on the road to make sure we were okay and to let us know our rooms were ready. Her name was Rusty. Is that not the perfect name?
Everyone hit the hay early because it had been a big day for all of us.
We woke up early on Saturday morning because we were all eager to get on our bikes and start cruising the streets. The weather was perfect. Seventy-five, and not a cloud in the sky.
Before we started our booze cruise, we biked downtown to the Palisade Cafe for breakfast. Nothing like a mimosa, coffee, and homefries to get the day started.
Then we were off to the first winery, Canyon Wild Cellars.
This place reminded me so much of Napa and Sonoma. Gorgeous vineyards with killer wines. I ended up buying two of bottles of their red wine, a Petit Verdot and a Tempranillo.
Before the next winery, we stopped at a family orchard to pick up a few items. All the fresh produce was beautiful. They had peaches, purple peppers, salsas, and jams. I was like a kid in a candy store.
Next stop, Varaison Vineyards.
This is where we met Andy. Now, Andy is a complete wine nerd and gave us a dissertation on how to drink wine. He was very sweet, but the wine, not so much. In fact, it was pretty awful. I felt bad because he was so excited and enthusiastic about what he was doing, but the wine was just horrible.
After the wine tasting, we quickly trotted out the door, but we didn’t get very far. Poor Katie had a flat tire so we had to go back inside and ask Andy for a bike pump. He was super jacked to help us pretty girls (I think we may have made his
year day). Well, he didn’t have one. But he said that he did have an air compressor in the back of the fermentation shed. Eh, it was worth a shot. To the fermentation shed Andy!
He turned on the air compressor and while we waited for it fill up with air, he gave us another dissertation on wine making. This guy knew his s*%t. There was no way of getting out of that speech because he was kind enough to help us. After 5 minutes of lecture, he tried to fill Katie’s tire up with air and the tire popped. Ooops!
Feeling like a jack ass, he told Katie he would put her bike on the back of his 1925 truck and take her downtown to the bike shop to fix.
The bike shop fixed the tire in about 5 minutes, and then we were back on the booze cruise. Thanks Andy for all your help!
Next stop, Peach Street Distillers. Yes, it wasn’t a winery, but the waitress at the Palisade Cafe said this place was awesome. We had a Palisade Mule, Bloody Mary, and an Island Breeze. We all agreed the Bloody Mary was the best. I’m pretty sure it was 99% vodka with a splash of tomato juice.
Needless to say we were a little krunked when we left the distiller, which complicated things a bit when trying to find our next stop.
But with a quick dash into a grocery for some local help, we were back on the road again.
Next stop, Plum Creek. This place was pretty blah so we didn’t stay long.
Our last and final stop was to Garfield Wines. Great wine! The lady that helped us with the tasting was from Michigan and a huge college basketball fan. She was particularly found of our Frank Martin. Duh, he’s fantastic!
This was the perfect winery to end our booze cruise on. I ended up buying their Syrah, which I think Mr. B is gonna love.
As we left Garfield Wines and hopped on our bikes to head back to the motel, Listy noticed she had a flat! Those gosh darn toad heads are everywhere! Apparently, that’s what the locals call these huge stickers.
We tried to walk back to the motel, but it was way too far. So Tina and Katie were kind enough to ride their bikes back to the motel to get the car, otherwise things would have gotten real ugly. While they were gone, Meg, Listy, and I stopped by this house and asked this lady if we could borrow her bike pump. Well, she had a bike pump, but it was busted. Then she tried her air compressor. What is it with us and air compressors today?
The nice lady couldn’t fix the tire, which ended up being okay because Tina and Katie showed just in time to take us back to the motel.
After all that, we needed to freshen up and down a cocktail. Proseco anyone?
Then we decided to stroll back downtown for dinner.
We stopped at Inari’s Bistro for calamari, salad and wine. It was nice to sit on the patio and breathe in some of that the country air.
We decided to eat dinner somewhere else because we wanted to try everything that Palisade had to offer. The lady at Garfield Wines told us to check out the Red Rose because the menu is half Italian, half Asian. Apparently the husband is from New York and the wife is from Vietnam, and thought it was a good idea to go halvies on a restaurant. Why not?!
The food was actually pretty good. For me, the funniest part was eating tomato bisque soup with a miso soup spoon. Hysterical.
We left dinner stuffed, tipsy, and a little confused. At this point we debated going back to the motel or going out for another drink. Well, we tried to go to the brewery, but it closed at 10pm so we walked back to the distiller for more drinks.
Um, bad idea jeans. Tina and I ordered a dirty martini and it totally tasted like rat piss. So we all made a quick executive decision and walked our intoxicated butt’s back to the motel.
This morning we were slow rolling. We decided to eat breakfast across the street from our motel. The restaurant was a little creep town, but the food was perfect for curing a hangover.
After breakfast we headed back downtown and stumbled on the Farmer’s Market. Super cute. There was tons of produce and of course, peaches! I ended up just buying peaches and mixing and matching with Tina. It’s funny, sometimes I think I know a lot about food, but not compared Tina. She is a rockstar when it comes to cooking and food knowledge. I try to take as many notes as I can when she is around.
We made a few more pit stops before we headed out of town.
Then we waved goodbye to Palisade and their peaches, and hit the road.
The grand finale of our epic weekend was hiking Hanging Lake. Okay, I am just going to say, put this hike on your bucket list because it’s absolutely beautiful. The trail is located near Glennwood Springs so it worked out perfectly to stop on our way back to Denver.
Even though the hike is only 2 miles round trip, it’s pretty intense. The first part is all uphill.
But once you get to the top, it’s absolutely breathtaking. In my opinion, it looks like a picture from Hawaii. From the waterfalls to the clear lake to the green moss it really is amazing.
We finished the hike in two hours. But I am not going to lie, I was exhausted when we finished. Apparently a weekend of boozing can really zap your energy.
After the hike we headed back to Denver.
I was really sad for this trip to be over. These ladies are awesome and I am absolutely blessed to know each and every one of them.
Thanks for an epic weekend ladies!