The vintners at Wild Women Wine make it their mission to throw back the curtain on the mysteries of the winemaking process. The team invites visitors to concoct a personal wine batch of their own, modifying favorite house varietals with touches of oak, tannin, spice and other flavors. Each custom wine culminates in a bottling party, where the wine auteur, along with family and friends, can bottle, cork and label their bottles instead of just drinking it out of a communal bucket like usual.
For less hands-on pours, the boutique winery's wine list hosts a vast array of already-bottled varietals. Wines range from dry reds and whites, sweet wines, and a fortified dessert port.
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An intimate, family-operated musical haven, The Loft Music Venue shares its passion for the performing arts by showcasing singer-songwriters and a variety of different genres, including acoustic pop, jazz, indie, blues and more. Designed to emulate the quaint gems peppered throughout New York and Chicago, The Loft’s cozy ambiance of exposed brick walls and wooden floors has coaxed accolades from ColoradoSprings.com, which lauds the venue as “a little sanctuary above the bustle of Colorado Ave.”
Mile High Farms introduces visitors to the fun side of farming, teaching children about the importance of agriculture and delighting families with seasonal activities. In the springtime, schools and youth organizations flock to the farm for lessons in harvesting, soil preparation, and dressing scarecrows in the latest designer trends. Those who awake from their summer hibernation can visit the farm in the fall to take home pumpkins and other bounties from the autumnal harvest. When the farm's trees begin to shed their leaves, families arrive to traverse a corn maze and bask in the brisk fall air on antique-tractor hayrides.
For one weekend each year, Taste of Fort Collins offers a chance to come face-to-face and mouth-to-fork with some of the best food, artwork, and music from vendors throughout the area—plus a few nationally known guests. The aromas of grilled meats, Cajun seafood, and international cuisine waft over the festival grounds. Trying lots of things is also encouraged at Wilbur's Wine and Beer Pavilions, ready to cool down the crowd with wines from around the world and Colorado microbrews.
As for the soundtrack, everything from reggae to hip hop to classic rock graces the main stage. A couple dozen acts perform each year, and the grand finale of each evening is a set by a national rock band cunningly lured to Fort Collins by wafting the scent of barbecue into its tour bus.
The rest of the festival's grounds showcase local artwork and goods, Kidz Zone rides, and a little friendly competition. An eating contest challenges its competitors to down pounds of hamburger in just a few minutes, while winners of a home brewing competition get their beers featured on tap during next year's festival. Proceeds support the Kiwanis Club of Fort Collins, which run many programs to benefit young people in the community.
Visitors to Blue Moon Yoga might imagine that they've stumbled into a piece of history. With a location at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design Rotunda Building, a historic rotunda building, Carrie Sonneborn uses the cozy environs reflect her overall mission to foster a peaceful, welcoming escape from the stresses of everyday life—which is also championed in her yoga classes. She specializes in Iyengar-inspired yoga, a gentle practice that consists of standing postures and emphasizes a custom proper alignment pose for each student, as well as pranayama, or deep breathing, and relaxation. An avid yoga practitioner for more than two decades, she touts her own health as proof of yoga's benefits. "Yoga and massage are like my fountain of youth,” she says. “I'm more flexible and, in some ways, better shape than I was in my 20s—I'm obviously a convert."
To make yoga accessible to students of all experience levels, Carrie recruits props such as blankets, straps, blocks, and bolsters. She limits her classes to 12 students so that she can personally attend to each one, carefully monitoring their form and offering physical adjustments when needed. The poses in her classes are adapted for each student, so beginners practice the basic form of the pose alongside more experienced pupils, then move into a more advanced version of the same pose.
Rock Hard Fitness' certified, degree-slinging, and firefighting instructors lead classes designed to encourage and support exercisers as they stretch toward individual goals. A weekly schedule of one-hour yoga and Zumba classes entreats physicality to burst forth from the pores of participants like so many erupting volcano monsters. Power yoga classes provide rigorous stretches, and core and restore yoga classes urge participants into gentle stretching. Zumba classes seamlessly blend Latin-inspired rhythms and cardio-dance fitness into one fun, convenient package. The weekly classes all take place in the warehouse-like facility, where large garage doors may be opened to provide gentle cooling, outdoor air, and roaming wolves thirsting for sports drinks.