Wine, Food and Art Festival coming Aug. 24-26

The Mesa Verde Country Wine, Food and Art Festival will be held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 24-26, in Cortez. The festival opens Friday, Aug. 24, with a true gourmet experience, the Winemaker’s dinner at Nero’s Mediterranean Grill in downtown Cortez. The four-course menu pairs cheeses, swordfish, “Kobe” beef, and dark chocolate with Colorado wines carefully selected to match each course. Reservations are required and space is limited. The dinner is $75 per person and includes tax and gratuity. Check out the complete dinner menu at www.mesaverdecountry.com or call 565-8227. Tickets may be purchased at Nero’s or at the Mesa Verde Country office in the Colorado Welcome Center. On Saturday, festivities move to the Cortez City Park from noon and 5 p.m. where visitors can swirl, sip, and purchase wines from nine Colorado vintners. Admission to the festival is $15 in advance or $20 at the gate, price includes a commemorative wine glass. For those not tasting wine, admission is free. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Mesa Verde Country office or at Liquid Assets in Cortez. There will also be music, local artists and food available including wood-fired pizzas for purchase as well as handcrafted breads, cheeses and infused olive oils, and local jams, jellies, and mustards. Artists from around the region will be showcasing their work at the festival. Throughout the day Thomas Martin Scott will entertain crowds with his brand of heartfelt blues-rock with a touch of jazz. On Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., Guy Drew Vineyards, located down McElmo Canyon, will host an open house featuring wine, food, and music. Wines will be available for tasting and purchase. For more information, call 565-8227.