Wine Tourism takes off May 11

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If it's good for Woodland Park, it's good for the nation. As major cities in the United States host Wine Tourism Day this month, Woodland Park is way ahead of the game.

Because several businesses already feature wine tastings, the tourism gig May 11 is a natural. “We want to get people out walking around town on Mother's Day weekend,” said Jamie Caperton, co-owner with her husband, Ben Caperton, of The Cellar Door.

With a let's-do-it enthusiasm, business owners along main street, each with a tasting room, offer specials throughout the day, three of them issuing Passports to tastings from various Colorado vineyards.

At Vintage Vines, along with the Passport, Jan Cummer features drawings for a discount on the vintage clothing, an extra tasting, or a gift bag. “I'm really excited about this event; the town is working together to make this a great experience,” Cummer said.

The tasting rooms along the avenue reflect the variety of goods available in Woodland Park. Windows of Heaven, a Catholic Christian bookstore, for instance, features books, jewelry and other religious items.

At Cowbells\Deersnake Gallery, Deb Nichols highlights the broader message. “I think it's a great community project that we are working together on,” she said. For the adventurous traveler/sipper, Cowbells takes off that day with a special wine-flight promotion.

As other Colorado cities promote their own tasting treats on May 11, Woodland Park's main street reflects the ingenuity of the proprietors. “Our tasting rooms are different as each is in a retail establishment as opposed to tastings in a winery,” said Ralph Holloway, who owns Seven Arrows Gallery.

Included in the tasting rooms is Studio West Aveda Salon; up the street a bit, Banana Belt Liquors offers a complimentary tasting from 3 to 5 p.m.

Throughout the day, nearly every merchant in Woodland Park will feature some kind of special. The go-to information site is at http://woodlandparkuncorked.com where the Passport can be purchased for $7.50.

“We are open for business,” said Brian Fleer, executive director of the city's office of economic and downtown development. “This is a pilot project to gauge interest, to take advantage of that weekend and tie it as a special event here for Woodland Park.”