Festival History

One dark and stormy night, after a night out with friends, Gary Bean got to thinking that the only thing that our “perfect town” didn’t have was a fun, festive and exciting wine tasting event. Known to be a man of action, Gary spoke to Mike and Weesa Hild, owners of Cork’s Fine Wines and Spirits, about the viability of such an event. No sooner said than done, in June of 2002 Weesa and Gary began to discuss how to start a wine tasting event to help raise wine awareness and benefit local charities.

Gary and Weesa had no clue about how to go about organizing the event, and as they say, “ignorance is bliss” and they forged onward to put together a committee of dedicated wine consumers. First, Shelley Sale of Southern Wine and Spirits, well known sommelier and wine expert, and Eric Fellows who is pretty darn competent with his wines as well, were 2 of the core board members.  Our first break came when Jack Ludwig, then owner of Silver Jack’s Steak House, generously donated his bar area for the event.

The Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club was originally chosen as our key charity and their board and members were enlisted to help with donations and soliciting of sponsors. Year one turned out to be a great success; raising more than we ever imagined possible.

Over the next few years new board members were added and the event expanded to include 2 days of wine tasting and auctions. The idea became a reality and the rest is history. The Montrose Wine & Festival has shown the community what can be accomplished with a dedicated and hard working group of people who have been know to have a little fun while raising money for local charities.

What started as a few, has now grown to many caring individuals and businesses with a passion to support this exciting event. Currently, over $1,000,000 has been raised since its inception in 2003. Now, attendees look forward to this annual event which has become a cornerstone of the community.

Simply put, we BELIEVE in our community! We are grateful to the wonderful group of supporters and sponsors who year after year continue to support the needs of our community and continue to make Montrose a town that chooses to step up to the plate and DO the RIGHT thing!

Thank you to everyone for being a part of this exciting event!

2024 Current Board Members:

Laura Sanders, Sherry Kammerer, Tom Kearney, Jennie Tidwell, Justin Mashburn, Bart Larmouth, Brad Oberto, Sue Frank, 

Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club Liaisons:

Executive Director – Bud Taylor

Executive Assistant – Alayna Akins