How does the Estes Park Wine Festival compare to the other wine festivals? If you will recall, I reviewed the previous festivals in this post. So, using the same categories, we will see how the Estes Park Wine Festival compares. Keep in mind that all of these festivals offer unlimited tastes for one price.
My criteria consists of five categories:
Access to the festival – being able to walk directly to the festival from your place of lodging (campground/cabin) is preferred; driving is not preferred.
Lodging – access to affordable campgrounds or cabin rentals near the festival.
Price – festival admission fee and what is included with admission, such as food.
Quality of Wine – no explanation necessary.
Other/Hidden Costs – hotels if campsites or cabins are unavailable, shuttles, cleaning deposit, additional transportation needed to the festival, etc.
To rate each category I have assigned a value of 1-5. 25 is a perfect score.
Estes Park Wine Festival Review
Access to the festival
The Estes Park Wine Festival is located in Bond Park in the center of town. It is easy to get to the festival by driving (come early to find a parking spot), taking a free shuttle, or walking to the festival if you are staying in town. We camped at the Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake and found that taking the free shuttle was an easy process but you should check the schedule as some routes only come once an hour. Obviously walking from the campground to the festival would be ideal but the free shuttle is the next best thing and is easy to use.
For access I rate this festival a 5.
As mentioned before, we stayed at the Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake. The camping sites were large, can accommodate 6 people and 2 tents in each spot (although we did not see this policy enforced), and the campground has a camp store, free shuttle pickup, showers, and even a pool. At only $35 per night this was an affordable option and we would stay here again. There are plenty of other lodging options in town but definitely not as affordable as the campground. Just make sure to book early because the campground is quite popular and does sell out.
For lodging I give it a 5.
The wine festival takes place over two days, which was a nice feature not seen at other festivals that we have attended. A weekend pass can be purchased for $50 ($57 after fees) that gives you access to the two days and of course unlimited tastings, a wine glass, and a tote bag with space for 6 wine bottles. If you purchase only one day the price is $25 ($32 after fees). The weekend pass was the best deal as long as you purchased early. If you bought tickets on the day of the festival the price went up to $40 per day. Food was not included but there were 3 food vendors with delicious ceviche, pizza, and cheesesteaks. I thought the Estes Park Wine Festival was a good deal and very fun.
I rate it a 5 for price.
Quality of Wine
All of the wine at the festival is from wineries in Colorado. However, the quality of the wine is great and we found very few wines that we did not like. Some of our favorites were the Syrah from Garret Estate Cellars, the American Symphony, Nutty Laporte (Hazelnut flavored Port), and Grenache from Ten Bears Winery, and the Oso Red from Snowy Peaks Winery.
I would rate the quality of wine a 5.
Overall, there were not very many hidden costs. No extra parking fees, shuttles that cost extra, or anything else that comes to mind. The showers at the campground were $2 for 6 minutes and 25 cents for an extra 30 seconds thereafter. There is a $7 additional ticketing fee for the wine festival when you purchase your tickets ahead of time and Reserve America adds a booking fee when you reserve the campground.
For hidden costs I rate the festival a 4.
Total Score: 24
Estes Park Wine Festival is my new favorite festival and scores an almost perfect score.