Posted on June 11, 2019 by Chris Klug
The annual FOOD & WINE Classic (June 14-16) is undoubtedly Aspen’s tastiest… and toughest ticket of the summer. Now in its 37th year, more than 5,000 foodies will descend upon the downtown core to indulge in the three-day culinary celebration. The Grand Tasting Pavilion is the epicenter of the festival, with endless food and wine tastings, while lively cooking demonstrations, interactive seminars and panel discussions are held at additional venues. Snowmass Village plays host to a tour stop from Cochon555, an ongoing series of authentic, hyper-local food events in 15 cities across the country focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs. It is unaffiliated with the Classic, but is always a cornerstone of the weekend. The Food & Wine Classic pass has a $1,700 price tag and access is exclusive. But, if you’re a local sans pass or decide on a last-minute weekend getaway, you can still be a part of the action with open-to-the-public events added into the mix of other unofficial festivities. Here are five ways to Food & Wine without a pass:
Heitz Cellar Legacy Dinner
Friday, June 14, 7 p.m., Element 47 at The Little Nell
This evening brings a trio of wine industry titans together for a meal not-to-be-missed. It includes the return of former Little Nell Wine Director Carlton McCoy, in his new role as the CEO of Heitz Cellar, joined by the estate’s winemaker, Brittany Sherwood. Together, they will guide guests on a journey through the decades of the classic wines of Heitz Legacy Collection and share details about the history of The Heitz Cellar, which was founded in 1961 by Joe Heitz whose objective was to make California’s most elegant, well balanced and pure Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines. The evening will be anchored by a seasonal tasting menu from Element 47’s executive chef Matt Zubrod. $1,200, thelittlenell.com
Thursday, June 13, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
The annual Snowmass Free Concert Series has again teamed up with Cochon555 for an ultimate al fresco evening on Fanny Hill to kick-off Food and Wine Classic festivities. Pairing musical guests SEE-I Reggae Funkmasters with culinary experiences curated by the dynamic team behind Heritage Fire. Nationally-acclaimed chefs along with local all-stars, Kyle Wilkins of Home Team BBQ and Michael Coco of Snowmass Tourism, will be loading up wood-fired grills with heritage breed sausages paired with artisanal wines and hand-crafted cocktails from El Tesoro Tequila and Courvoisier. $40 wristband (all-inclusive), free (music only), cochon555.com
Food & Wine Classic 5K Charity Race
Friday, June 14, 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m., Rio Grande Park
Earn those extra calories for later during this early morning jaunt through downtown Aspen with your favorite foodies. Proceeds from registration benefit both the Jacques Pépin Foundation and Wholesome Wave, the national non-profit dedicated to supporting small and midsize farms, and making fresh, healthy, locally grown produce available to underserved communities. This year’s fun run is hosted by chefs Richard Blais, Stephanie Izard, and Michel Nischan. $35 (advance), $45 (on site), foodandwine.com
Saturday, June 15, 4:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
This epic live-fire feast showcases local pitmasters Andrew Helsley (Aspen Skiing Company), Jim Butchart (Aspen Skiing Company), Eddy Chimal (Venga Venga), Alberto Figueroa (Viceroy Snowmass), Kyle Wilkins (Home Team BBQ), Jason DeBacker (The Edge Restaurant) and Dan Foster (Westin Snowmass) along with more than 50 notable others chefs and butchers who go nose to tail on 3,500 pounds of heritage breed meats en plein-air with plenty of wine and cocktails to wash it all down. $150 (general admission), $200 (VIP), cochon555.com
Farewell Feast: Best New Restaurants
Sunday, June 16, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Hotel Jerome
Each year, Food & Wine editors embark on an epic year-long road trip, traveling the country in search of America’s most exciting, important and delicious new restaurants. The July 2019 issue of Food & Wine officially reveals the exceptional list, but this culmination of the festival will welcome the winning chefs themselves to offer up a once-in-a-lifetime walk-around tasting for guests—all at the historic Hotel Jerome. $150, foodandwine.com
For the complete schedule, visit: classic.foodandwine.com and cochon555.com and follow all of the action on social media @foodandwine / #fwclassic and @cochon555 / #heritagefire. For lucky pass-holders, don’t forget to download the official Food & Wine Classic app to help you navigate the tents.
Blog Credit to Katie Shapiro, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's Elevated Living Blog
Posted on June 7, 2019 by Chris Klug
Mud season blues got you down? Think again!
Winter has passed, yet summer is still just over the horizon. While it may seem like a difficult time of year to get outdoors and enjoy all the fun-filled activities Aspen-Snowmass has to offer, spring is actually the most unique time of year in our beautiful valley to combine some of our favorite sports!
Have you ever skied and played golf in the same day? Skied and biked? It’s a rare few who can lay claim to the spring sport trifecta of skiing, golfing, AND biking in one seriously epic day. Aspen Mountain will be opening again for the weekend of 6/8 - 6/9 and rumors are swirling about potentially opening over Food and Wine weekend as well… we’ll have to take advantage of our multi-sport days while we can!
With the recent openings of Maroon Lake and Independence Pass, those who are slightly less ambitious can go for a leisurely yet stunning drive through the lush green of the valley floor up into the white-capped peaks of winter. Zip on up to the top of Independence Pass and watch the backcountry skiers rip up some spring corn snow, or take a drive up to the Maroon Bells to view some of the avalanche paths that carved their way across the road during this record-breaking winter. Swaths of trees hundreds of yards long were flattened in some of the larger avalanche paths- it’s a truly unique sight that you don’t want to miss.
Whatever adventures you chose to pursue this “mud season,” make sure you save some time for a casual stroll around town. While the people watching isn’t yet quite as entertaining as it will be in July, the puppy watching is on point! Keep an eye out for the cute little fuzz balls wagging their tails around the walking malls.
Skiing, golfing, biking, and puppies! Spring just might be the best time of year in Aspen-Snowmass!
Posted on April 5, 2019 by Chris Klug
Get ready for an epic couple of weeks ahead here in beautiful Aspen! It really feels like springtime today! Tonight, head to the base of Buttermilk for the first ever Après Music Festival! This three-day festival starts with a performance by Umphrey’s McGee tonight, followed by back to back performances by The String Cheese Incident on Saturday and Sunday.The Après Music Festival marks the start of a series of fantastic closing day parties on all four of our local resort mountains. Before the concert on Sunday, participate in Buttermilk’s closing day party, or as locals like to call it, Bacon appreciation day. Starting at 9 am head to Buttermilk for all things bacon, including bacon and waffles from the Cliffhouse Restaurant, bacon doughnuts from ColoraDough, and various bacon samplers scattered around the mountain from 11 am until it’s all gone. From 1 - 5 pm there will be live music, kids games, face painting, and a bacon and beer happy hour at Bumps Restaurant from 2-4!
Personally, my favorite closing day experience is found on Highlands starting on April 14th. I like to start by picking out the most ridiculous costume I can get my hands on. Last year I wore one of those inflatable T-Rex suits, and while dressing up isn’t required, I strongly recommend it. Start your day by hiking the bowl for a free ski patrol BBQ at the top. From there head on down to Cloud Nine for a drink and to watch, or even participate in, a champagne war! Finally, join the rest of the closing day partiers for a beer and a slice of Pizza at the Ale House, the natural conduit for all skiers and borders coming off the mountain. This is great place to mingle with other locals or out of towners to say goodbye until next year.
The next weekend after Highlands Closing Party we also have Snowmass Mountain’s Surf and Snow Beach Party to celebrate the closing of Snowmass Mountain on the 20th, followed by the 80’s Prom Party on Aspen Mountain for their closing on April 21st. What a month to be in Aspen! Happy Friday! Have fun at The Apres at Buttermilk this weekend!
Posted on March 25, 2019 by Chris Klug
It is a beautiful Monday here in Aspen. According to local weather forecasts, it should remain sunny until at least Friday. Finally, we are getting a good dose of the sunshine I’ve promised in my last couple blog posts. Start this week off right by checking out Big Gigantic on Tuesday night. This Boulder based duo is comprised of saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken. Over the last couple years Big Gigantic has accumulated a massive following, and is considered one of the most entertaining shows in the music business. Also on Tuesday night, catch a performance by Wynonna and the Big Noise. Wynonna has over 60 various musical awards, and was once referred to by Rolling Stone Magazineas “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” Depending on your musical tastes, this could be a really tough choice. However, I’m sure neither performance will disappoint! On Wednesday, catch the Fly Fishing Film Tour’s 13thlap around the globe! The Film Tour is filled with great shorts and stories that will get you in the mood to head up the Frying Pan in pursuit of a trophy trout of your own, catch and release of course. It all leads up to the famous Grand Traverse, a night time backcountry ski race starting at Midnight in Crested Butte traversing Star Pass and Taylor Pass and ending at the bottom of Ajax in Gondola Plaza. Certainly not for the faint of heart, this 38-mile backcountry ski mountaineering race actually follows an old mail route, and includes a climb of over 7,800 vertical feet in elevation! Enjoy this week of fun events and warm weather, and end it by cheering Grand Traverse competitors across the finish line in downtown Aspen! Have a great week. Happy springtime from Aspen Snowmass!
Posted on March 15, 2019 by Chris Klug
Even though it may not look like it, spring is here. It feels like today is the first day of springtime! In the days ahead we will have more back-to-back sunny days than we have had all winter, allowing some of the feet of snow we’ve received the past weeks to start the melting process. While the skiing and snowboarding has been fantastic, I am excited for some Colorado blue bird sunny days ahead. I have a feeling this spring will be similar to that of 2016, when the snow stuck around so long that Aspen Mountain was reopened in June. Aspen Skiing Company announced today that Aspen Highlands will remain open for two bonus weekends April 19-21 and April 26-28. All this snow means a huge spring runoff and hopefully decreased wildfire danger this summer. The fly fishing and boating are going to be great this summer. Get ready for better rafting conditions, cooler mornings, and sitting around campfires again this spring and summer. For most people in Aspen, spring is our secret season. Off season will set in once the lifts close in late April. Springtime and off-season provides front row parking and dining at restaurants that have been crowded all winter, and skiing bluebird days in one layer. With Easter Weekend late this year the lift access spring skiing season is extended until April 21 and possibly beyond with the huge winter we’ve had. Aspen Snowmass received over eight feet of new snow in March alone. The down valley mountain biking trails will dry out again soon and be ready for some fun riding. Get ready for lower hotel rates, closing day parties, and spring skiing and boarding. The calm before the preverbal summer storm of activity is approaching. Enjoy it!
Posted on March 1, 2019 by Chris Klug
The snow is coming down hard in Aspen Snowmass today! I am excited to share a few of my March top picks for best real estate deals in Aspen and Snowmass. 71 Pitkin Way is a great lot opportunity on lower Red Mountain, sold with CCY plans to build and 8,600 square foot home. Permits ready to pick up and break ground, saving a buyer about two years of designing, planning and approvals. 50 Pine Lane, listed by Coldwell Banker Mason Morse, is a fantastic ski property at the top of Wood Run. 174 Twining Flats is also one of my favorite riverfront properties. This 2.6 acre lot to include the plans from KA DesignWorks for for a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath, 4,245 sq. ft. residence with a 923 sq. ft. 3-car garage and detached barn. For a few ski-in/ski-out condo opportunities, check out 130 Wood Road Unit 341, Unit 716 and Unit 506.
Please call or email anytime if I can be of help. I study the market every day. I'm here full-time, ready to help you. It's going to be a great spring season ahead with more powder days to come! Have a fun weekend. I hope to see you out racing the Power of Four!
Posted on February 27, 2019 by Chris Klug
February is coming to a close and spring is right around the corner, even though it definitely doesn’t yet feel like it. This week there is an awesome lineup of musical performances around town. At the Belly up, catch performances by awarding winning DJ DEADMAU5 (Joel Zimmerman), who will be preforming Thursday night, and Matoma, who will be preforming tonight. A winter performance by pianist Marc-Andre Hemelin will take place at the music tent on Thursday night. Don’t miss Ola Onabule on Friday and Saturday night at the JAS Café at The Little Nell. As always, there will also be historic pub crawls, ski tours, and Hotel Jerome tours. More snow is expected this weekend in Aspen Snowmass, which should make for an interesting Power of Four SkiMo Race on Saturday morning. Cheer on the competitors as they skin and descend 24 miles over 10,000 vertical feet from Snowmass Village to the Base of Aspen Mountain. Recreational and cultural opportunities abound this weekend in Aspen Snowmass. Enjoy the final days of February!
Photo Credit: Aspen Skiing Company
Posted on January 18, 2019 by Chris Klug
Posted on January 11, 2019 by Chris Klug
Happy 2019 Wintersköl from Aspen! The 68th Annual Wintersköl takes place January 10-13, 2019. This is an incredible community event with fun activities for kids and adults. Get excited for snow sculptures, a bonfire at Wagner Park, music, fireworks, an evening torchlight descent on Aspen Mountain, and much more! Check out the full Schedule of Events Here. I hope to see you around Aspen this weekend at all the great events.
Posted on July 21, 2016 by Chris Klug
Aspen is an adventurous place with incredible surroundings and an active community. Our alpine community is chock-full of wilderness, world class hiking, and biking. However, every so often you need some motivation for that last trek up the mountain or push up the hill. If conveniently placed, local taverns and restaurants can be the perfect source of that motivation. Here are a few hideaways to help you earn that greasy burger and ice-cold brew.
Hike to the top of Aspen Mountain. Take switchbacks or the steep face up to find incredible views, giant chess, frisbee golf, ping-pong, and the famous Sundeck. Feed camp robber birds french fries from your hand, while surrounded by a beautiful mountainous view. It is a somewhat challenging hike that can take up to 3 hours, but the spectacular views, games, cold drinks, music and good food make it worthwhile. Don't miss live music on the weekends.
For the cyclists, there is a simple ride to the Woody Creek Tavern. A bar made famous by the legendary local writer Hunter S. Thompson, and his mad run for Mayor of Aspen. It is a simple casual ride that is about 4 miles down the Rio Grand Trail. Today, the restaurant offers a mix of American and Mexican influenced dishes and is ideal for an icy margarita on a sunny day.
Lastly for those looking for a challenge, consider riding the distance to the Pine Creek Cook House at Ashcroft. A stunning mountain dining experience complete with spectacular views of the Elk Mountain Ridge, and gourmet lunches and dinners.
Enjoy our beautiful summer while it lasts and take advantage of the plethora of outdoor activities, refreshing drinks, and fantastic food.