Recap: Taste of Vail 2023

The Taste of Vail is one of the most anticipated festivals for foodies each spring. More than 50 of the nation’s highly ranked wineries and more than 30 local restaurants participate in this multi-day affair that takes place each year in the Vail Valley.  This year marked the 31st annual event that took place from April 5th-8th, with one-of-a-kind signature events and in-depth seminars all about the culinary scene. Rated one of the top food and wine festivals by Forbes, USA Today, and The Travel Channel, Taste of Vail celebrates the incredible dining scene and lifestyle in the Vail Valley.

Taste of Vail is unique to other food and wine festivals held throughout the country because it is a foodie destination and a skier’s paradise all in one. In April, the days are longer and warmer, providing the perfect conditions for spring skiing and outdoor parties along with all the other outdoor activities the area has to offer. Individual events for Taste of Vail are hosted at the top of the mountain and in Vail Village to provide unique tasting experiences. Taste of Vail draws industry experts and winemakers for an elevated experience for visitors that still feels personal to locals. 

Thinking about adding Taste of Vail to your travel itinerary for next spring? Here is a recap of the experiences featured at this year’s festival:

Not to Miss Signature Events

The Taste of Vail kicked off this year with the Debut of Rosé on Wednesday, April 5th, at the Lodge at Vail. More than 80 varietals of just-released 2022 Rosés wine were made available to taste. Rosé has a wide range of styles and a mild flavor profile that pairs well with meals or on its own as a summer sipper. This lighter flavor is easy to enjoy and very palatable, especially after a day of spring skiing.

A local’s favorite, the Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Challenge and Après Tasting took place in Vail Village on Thursday, April 6th. Tents lined the cobblestone streets for the best après party of the year. Chefs battled for the best dish using Niman Ranch products, with over 25 local chefs competing. Participating wineries also offered a variety of red and white wines to sample. Pork dishes and wine pairings were available for individual purchase, or as event passes with unlimited tastings included.

The Taste of Vail’s most unique event took place on top of Vail Mountain. The Niman Ranch Mountain Top Tasting was held at Eagles Nest on Friday, April 7th this year. Guests of the event were impressed with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges while enjoying delectable small tasting plates and a wide variety of wine, beer, and spirits. Getting to the event was an experience in itself, as guests had the option of taking the Eagle Bahn Gondola from Lionshead or skiing to this outdoor feast at over 10,000 feet. This was an outdoor event, snow or shine, so participants attending in the future are encouraged to dress appropriately. 

The week wrapped with the event finale, the Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 8th at The Hythe Vail. Attending guests were able to put on their best attire and dancing shoes for this premier event of the festival. Featuring all the participating restaurants and wineries, along with live music, the Grand Tasting was the biggest production of the weekend. Chefs aimed to impress, pulling out all the stops, and flavors, for their dishes. If you are already marking your calendar for next year’s festival, remember that the Grand Tasting is the event you should not miss.

Specialty Seminars

Over a dozen seminars were available throughout the weekend, offering guests a deep dive into the world of wine. The seminars at Taste of Vail provide an intimate and interactive experience from top industry experts to learn more about a region or variety of wine or spirit. 

There are typically numerous classes and topics to choose from. This year, guests could get personal with the owner and winemaker of CSB Wine Company in Oregon as she explained the three ways to make rose. Also available was a mini master class on West Coast Pinot Noir with Moshin Vineyards and Belle Pente Vineyard as they explored how the soil in different regions throughout California and Oregon produce various flavor profiles in pinot noirs. Penta Tequila even hosted a seminar on the history and origin of the popular spirit. Other experiences included a classic pairing of wine with four types of Sturia caviar from the leading French caviar producer, lessons on Colorado as a wine destination, and tastings of some of the top wines from around the state. 

Additionally, après pop-ups were hosted by different wineries at various locations daily throughout Vail Village.

Where to Stay

With action-packed days during this renowned event, it’s important to find peaceful and comfortable accommodations for opportunities to take it easy and settle in. The Inn at Riverwalk offers modern amenities and is close to the adventure, yet away from it all. Located on the Eagle River in the heart of Edwards, this independent hotel encourages guests to unwind in well-appointed rooms with plush bedding, soak in its riverside pool and hot tub, and take advantage of complimentary access to its gear garage, stocked with snowshoes, sleds, board games, and bikes. 

If you are planning to visit the Vail Valley for next year’s festival, staying in Edwards will ensure that you fully experience all that the area has to offer for full immersion into the local culture. If the flavors you experience at Taste of Vail leave you wanting more, Edwards boasts a world-class culinary scene where there are numerous bars and restaurants just steps from the centrally located Inn at Riverwalk’s doors. Guests at The Inn also receive exclusive discounts for shopping and dining, providing an added bonus to your vacation experience.

Relax during your mountain stay and enjoy the essence of the Rocky Mountains. There’s no need to rush home either with The Inn’s Stay and Save Program, offering discounts when booking more than one consecutive night. Book your stay at The Inn at Riverwalk to experience all of the Vail Valley today.