Locals drink the weekend away at Wine Festival at Island Lake

Emily Pisqui

Two people getting off a small boat.
The Wine Festival at Island Lake welcomed locals to sip wine, enjoy live music and look at a beautiful view. (Emily Pisqui | The Collegian)

On a scorching September day, the best thing for some folks to enjoy is a nice glass of wine. 

Hosted by The Bowers Group, the Wine Festival at Island Lake took place Saturday afternoon at NOCO Islands to bring local wineries and retailers together to promote their businesses.  


Attendees of the festival were given the chance to taste many wines and ciders and receive wine advice from the experts themselves. There was a variety of vendors, offering everything from women’s clothing to dog training to handcrafted caramel sauces. 

Amy Porter, the co-organizer for the festival, said this was a new unique location for them, and they decided to partner up with NOCO Islands along with Island Lake Marine & Sports to give exposure on what they have to offer.

“Everything that is here is produced right here in Colorado, so what that means (is) even if they need to get their grapes from California, they physically make it here; then, it’s a Colorado produced wine,” Porter said. “We’re supporting local. We’re supporting Colorado. It’s a lot of small business owners too, so it’s nice to be able to come out and support local (businesses).”

NOCO Islands provides a beautiful setup for events, as it is positioned at the edge of a lake for attendees to enjoy a nice view as they taste wine. The Wine Festival offered a soundtrack to accompany the view with local Colorado musicians Fall River Road, Denny Driscoll Trio and Amplified Souls playing throughout the day. 

“We’re supporting local. We’re supporting Colorado.” -Amy Porter, co-organizer for the Wine Festival

LuLaRoe vendor Allison Edwards said an event like this is helpful to promote local businesses while combining her two favorite things: wine and clothes. 

“I love wine, and I love LuLaRoe, so why not combine the two of them together?” Edwards said. “It’s such a great chance to really familiarize myself with more local wineries. There are definitely Colorado wineries (that) make some amazing wine. It’s a chance to promote my business a little bit too.”

Although the festival was full of positive energy, some aspects of the event were less enjoyable to some attendees due to the hot weather. 

“If you’re getting tickets from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, it’s just not plausible,” said Casey Gervolino, an attendee at the Wine Festival. “I feel like there should’ve been more shade areas or free water and ice.” 

Despite the weather, Gervolino said it’s nice to have events like this because it gets people interested in local businesses. 

“Everyone has been pretty nice about the (wine) tastings,” Gervolino said. “There hasn’t been a lot of food selections. There’s only like two trucks down there.” 


The organizers of this event also do a handful of other festivals in different locations, including Estes Park and Windsor. 

Emily Pisqui can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @emilypisq15.