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May 31st, 2024

The Perfect Pour: Telluride Food & Vine

By Linne Halpern
Photos by Abie Livesay Photography

Calling all food and wine aficionados, there’s a new festival in town. The Telluride Food & Vine Festival kicked off its inaugural celebration last summer, bringing together culinary and beverage industry leaders from near and far to showcase both new flavors and regional favorites amidst the beauty of the San Juan Mountains. The three-day fête, which this year takes place June 14-16, features various epicurean-focused events in some of Telluride’s most breathtaking locations. What sets Food & Vine apart, says festival founder Meehan Fee, is a desire for attendees to engage on a deeper level, crafting a truly boutique experience for visitors and locals alike. 

“We wanted to create a festival that was interactive, approachable and that really reveled in the lingering joy of a shared meal,” Fee says. As a longtime Telluride resident, successful event planner and town councilmember, Fee’s expertise certainly seems to lend itself well to curating one-of-a-kind experiences that highlight the beauty of the natural environment and the community. 

The ethos behind the fest, according to Fee, is taking away the intimidation factor that can often be present in the food and wine scene, creating an easy, accessible and judgment-free vibe across the weekend, inviting everyone into the conversation with a focus on learning and enjoyment. 

Some stand-out memories from last summer’s festival include a self-blending event where guests created their own custom red wine blends, learning about different grape varietals and familiarizing themselves with their own palette, and an event with famed chef David Bancroft that featured an oyster dish that attendees are still raving about, Fee says. “Just last week, someone came up to me, without prompting, and told me how that grilled oyster topped with brisket was the best bite of food they’d ever eaten. That’s what we want to bring to everything — something unique and outside the box that’ll inspire people to go home and recreate these moments for their loved ones.” 

Fee says this year’s gathering includes a grand tasting featuring well-known and niche winery and spirit producers alongside James Beard award-winning chefs and restauranteurs, a grilling experience with festival favorites David Bancroft and Kelsey Bernard Clark, a curated exploration of regional oyster collectives with sparkling wine accompaniments, a culinary journey through the wine regions of Spain, a day of club sports with sipping and snacking at the Telluride Raquet Club and a brunch at La Marmotte. Guests are encouraged to pre-purchase passes for the entire weekend or individual events that pique their interest.

Fee notes that Food & Vine is proud to partner with brands and products that also share positive mission-driven values — promoting women in the industry, sustainable and ethical production practices and giving back to the community. “We look for partners at that nexus of producing incredible products while also producing incredible good in the world,” says Fee. “We’re bringing together nationally known culinary personalities alongside niche brands to display the amazing talents of our local restaurants and regional producers. The festival really celebrates the spirit of Telluride.”

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