Tuesday, 14. May 2013
Spero Winery in Denver, CO
The 3rd Annual Colorado Wine Week takes place June 2 to June 8. Events will include winemaker dinners, receptions, wine tastings and cocktail competitions. All week an array of Denver restaurants will provide an appetizer/snack on the menu with a Colorado wine. These will be served at special pricing.
June 2: Farm to Turntable
- Includes farm fresh flavors by EatDenver chefs, an all-Colorado bar, paired with music
June 4: Colorado Wine Cocktail Celebration II
- Four Denver bartenders will make cocktails using Colorado wine and bitters, spirits and other items. Tickets include one complimentary wine cocktail. Other tastings and snacks will be available at a cash bar.
June 7: Governor’s Cup Colorado Wine Competition Awards Reception
- 20 Colorado wineries will have wine samples and hors d’oeuvres
June 8: Colorado Urban Wine Fest
- Many Colorado wineries (more than 30) will participate in the grant tasting of Colorado wines. Attendees will be able to sample the wines with items from local Denver restaurants.
- Special tickets are available that include Uber’s black car service – a great way to leave the driving to someone else
For tickets and more information about Colorado Wine Week visit the CAVE website.
Colorado has numerous delightful wineries to visit. Checkout these articles about Colorado wineries.
Wednesday, 12. December 2012
Wine Trail Traveler is expanding their current website with the addition of Virtual Visits.
Golan Heights Winery, Israel
With so many wineries and vineyards in the world and more wineries opening as much as we would like to we cannot possibly visit all of them. There are just so many wineries we would like to explore and learn about. So, we have started adding wineries to Wine Trail Traveler website under the category Virtual Visits.
These winery articles are based on phone and online interviews. Photos of each winery are provided by the individual winery.
Currently we have three virtual visit winery articles: Halter Ranch, Colterris Wines and Golan Heights.Our latest virtual winery article is Golan Heights Winery in Israel. Check out our article at http://winetrailtraveler.com/virtualvisit/golanheights.php.
Tuesday, 24. July 2012
Today is Charity Tuesday at ONEHOPE Wine. The focus is on helping Colorado victims of the recent terrible shooting tragedy.
ONEHOPE Wine has selected the Denver Center for Crime Victims for their Tuesday charity. “Donations will go directly to the center’s Emergency fund and used to assist victims and their families with medical treatment, transportation of family members, and other urgent services.”
Buy a bottle of ONEHOPE wine online and the Denver Center for Crime Victims will receive a portion of the bottle price. More information is available on the ONEHOPE Wine website. Wine choices include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay as well as sparkling wine.
The ONEHOPE blog post also included other organizations where people can donate to help the Aurora, Colorado community. These include: Aurora Mental Health Center, Bonfils Blood Center, Metro Crisis Services and Safe2Tell.
Kudos to ONEHOPE Wine for their charity program!
Sunday, 17. June 2012
Vino & Notes, a Colorado wine festival, will be fun and help to support Help the Needy.
Save the date August 4, 2012 and plan to travel to the small Woodland Park town near Colorado Springs, Colorado for the 5th Annual Vino & Notes Festival. Travelers and tourist will discover jazz, food and wine. The festival takes place in “Old Towne” Woodland Park’s Memorial Park.
Eighteen wineries and more than twenty vendors are participating in the 2012 festival. Live music will be available.
Tickets are $25 a piece and for military members $20. Tickets for Vino & Notes are available online. Military members need to show their ID at the gate.
Park State Bank & Trust is the festival 2012 Title Sponsor of Vino & Notes. They have chosen Help the Needy as their charity for the event this year. Help the Needy is a charity organization in Woodland Park who helps those in need.
The Vino & Notes festival is brought to you by the owners of The Cellar Door, Jamie and Ben Caperton. The Cellar Door pours wines from Aspen Peak Cellars. They also have wine related products and many local artisan products. Be sure to stop by The Cellar Door when visiting Woodland Park, Colorado.
A variety of sponsorships are available. Some of them include $1,500 Music Stage Sponsorship, $1,500 Wine Glass Sponsorship, $500 VIP Tent Sponsorship and $100 Poster/Website Advertising and more. Group Tickets are also available. Purchase 25 tickets for $625 and get 5 free tickets.
Enjoy a day at the Vino & Notes festival in the tourist town of Woodland Park located about 18 miles from Colorado Springs. Directions are available online.
Saturday, 28. April 2012
The Colorado Twitter Taste–Off took place during the afternoon session. Twenty-two Colorado wineries poured two of their wines for conference attendees. Everyone voted for the best red and best white wines. Best red award went to Ruby Trust Cellars for their The Smuggler. The best white wine went to Guy Drew Vineyards for their Pinot Gris. The people’s choice award went to Redstone Meadery for their Nectar of the Hops. While the media’s favorite wine was the Guy Drew Vineyards Pinot Gris.
To continue with a theme I began at the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2011, my wine tweets consist of Haikus. Here is a sample of the Haikus written for the 2012 Drink Local Wine Twitter Taste-Off.
Desert Moon Vineyards
Altitude with attitude
Enjoyed the tannins
Carbonated fruit honey
Ruby Trust Cellars
The Smuggler Cab Franc pepper
Spicy dark black fruit.
Holy Cross Abbey
Cabernet Franc red cherry
Pepper and tannins.
Jack Rabbit Hill fruity red
High altitude blend.
Mesa Park Vineyards
Cherries, black pepper blended
Where’s the barbecue?
Whitewater Hill Chard
Zero Below apricot
Drink this all day long.
Cab Sauvignon dark fruit spice
Saturday, 28. April 2012
The third Drink Local Wine session was led by Richard Mauro, Colorado Springs Gazette. The three panelists included Chris Anthony, professional skier; Jennifer Broome, Morning Meteorologist KDVR-TV and host of “Swept Away with Jennifer Broome”; and Jay Leeuwenberg, former NFL player. Richard Mauro began the session on consumer perceptions. He introduced the panel of wine consumers.
The panelists were asked to think about going into a restaurant and deciding what wine to drink. Jay said he would look for a wine depending on what he wants to drink. He doesn’t specifically look for a Colorado wine and he is seldom offered a Colorado wine. Jay does like to try new wines. Jennifer is a California Cab drinker that grew up in Texas. She does like new experiences and likes to step out of the box and try Colorado wine. Chris was impacted by the wines in Italy. In Italy the wines are regional with a story. He hopes that Colorado can become what Italy is when it comes to passion and a story about wine.
Richard then asked what the panel would think about when going into a wine shop. Jennifer seeks out knowledgeable people in wine shops. Jennifer mentioned that Colorado is a patio state. People like to eat outside and have a connection to the local movement. Jay mentioned that it was difficult for him to get into Colorado wines because he doesn’t know the stories associated with Colorado wines. He usually goes into a liquor store and asks them what they like.
Richard asked what the panelists think of when they think of Colorado wines. Chris said he was in awe that Colorado even had wines. He suggests that the industry should tell their story and get the Colorado wine knowledge out there.
In a message to the wine industry, Jay suggested that Colorado needs to make wine so that the consumer will have a good experience. Jennifer suggested that wineries need to get on the social media wagon. Social media opens up the world and wineries need to play in the social world. Chris wants to see Colorado winemakers embrace what they have and not try to be like someone or somewhere else. Chris and Jennifer suggested that the Colorado wine regions need to be marketed in a way that consumers can understand.
Saturday, 28. April 2012
The first seminar focused on Colorado’s Terroir and the Challenges of High Altitude. Richard Leahy, national wine consultant, moderated the session that included a panel with Horst Caspari, Professor & State Viticulturist, Colorado State University; Stephen Menke, PhD, Associate Professor of Enology, Colorado State University; and Bruce Talbott, Vice President, Talbott Farms.
Horst Caspari gave an overview of the state’s grape production areas. The Western Slope produces over 90 percent of the state’s wine grapes. The grape growing areas range in the 4500′ to 7000’ altitude. Site selection is very important. Occasionally there may be vine killing temperatures. Most of the vines in the state are growing on their own rootstock. Challenges of cold and drought are the primary concerns for growers. The reality in Colorado is if you are a grower, you would make more money growing peaches rather than grapes.
Bruce Talbott spoke about growing fruit in Colorado. When he started exiting from growing apples, it opened up the ability to plant grapes. Bruce spoke of the light intensity. It helps peaches; studies need to be done on wine grape benefits. Bruce farms both peaches and grapes and that helps to diversify the farm. Grapes in the high desert need water in the spring. Bruce also spoke of the value of having vines on their own rootstock. Suckers that emerge from the soil are the true grape variety. Bruce stated that if a grower loses a crop, they lose three times. They will lose skilled workers who move elsewhere. They lose the value of the crop and they lose wineries. The wineries will be forced to buy elsewhere.
Stephen Menke spoke about the promising grape varieties and new varietal grapes that may do well in Colorado. Stephen pointed out that the grape growing industry needs to expand, however there is competition for land with those planting peaches. Stephen sees the possibilities of hybrid grapes in Colorado. Stephen likes Traminette and Noiret grapes and how they express themselves. The challenge is to discover the varietal grapes that consistently do well year after year.
Friday, 27. April 2012
We flew to Denver a couple of days ago to visit some of the wineries south of the city prior to the start of the Drink Local Wine Conference. Later today we will check into the Denver Sheraton and register for the DLW Conference. On Wednesday we visited Spero Winery and The Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery. Both wineries are located in Denver and make some nice wines. We then hit the road and traveled to Colorado Springs to spend the night at the Broadmoor, one of the world’s finest hotels. I wish we had more time to spend at the Broadmoor and explore the property. We had an excellent dinner that evening at the Summit Restaurant and met the most interesting and enthusiastic sommelier that we have ever met, Tim Baldwin.
We had a full schedule yesterday, visiting the Black Forest Meadery then onto Woodland Park to visit tasting rooms in galleries. We visited Cottonwood Cellars at Cowbells and sat on saddles. We really saddled up to the bar. At Seven Arrows Gallery we tasted Tourquoise Mesa wines. When we arrived at Seven Arrows there was a local reporter who wanted to write about our visit to Woodland Park. Then it was onto the Wines of Colorado, a combination tasting room, retail shop, restaurant and unbelievable site next to a creek. We spent the evening at the Cliff House in Manitou Springs.
On our way to Denver today, we’ll stop at Ruby Trust Cellars and Desert Moon. Our impressions of Colorado wines over the past days is positive. Winemakers are trying to improve their craft and vineyards are producing some nice quality grapes. We look forward to the Drink Local Wine Conference and more Colorado wines.
Monday, 23. April 2012
Prepping for the Drink Local Wine Conference in Denver on Saturday. So exactly how does one prepare for a conference? Well, I looked at several hundred vineyard photos that I took a few years back while visiting wineries and vineyards in Colorado. Then another way to set your mind is to drink wine from the state. I searched the wine cellar and retrieved a bottle of a Balistreri 2007 Little Feet Merlot. The little feet name on the wine refers to a September festival at the Denver winery. Merlot grapes arrive from the Western Slope and during the festival children have an opportunity to press the grapes, thus the ”little feet.”
Another observation is the alcohol level of the wine. At 15% alcohol, one can surmise that red grapes do ripen in Colorado’s high altitude. Of course some Coloradans like to point out that they are closer to the sun. Some may be able to pick up some of the alcohol on the aroma. There is a bit but just a small bit of heat on the finish. The dark ruby wine offers dark fruits on the aroma with a touch of oak. Cherries and dark fruit predominates the taste however the fruit yields to wood characteristics on the finish. The wine has tannins and a hint of earthiness on the finish.
Previous perceptions of Colorados’ wines is that achieving 14.5% and higher alcohols is common. With some of those wines you can’t notice the alcohol. Colorado wines are very food friendly. We are enjoying the Little Feet Merlot with a pasta meal with a red sauce.
One way to prep for the upcoming conference is to drink a Colorado wine. Hopefully they will announce where the 2013 conference will take place so I can acquire some wine from that state.
Saturday, 21. April 2012
The 2012 Drink Local Wine Conference takes place in Denver, Colorado. Many of Colorado’s vineyards are growing in altitudes between 4000′ and 7000′. These photos are from two previous visits to vineyards and wineries in the breath taking beautiful state of Colorado.
The Colorado Rivers runs past the vineyards at Canyon Wind Cellars in Georgetown, Colorado.
Jack Rabbit Hill in Hotchkiss, Colorado has some of the highest vineyards in the state. Occasionally they will lose some vines due to harsh weather conditions.
Plum Creek Winery in Palisade, Colorado has vineyards between 4700′ and 4900′. The Bookcliffs provide a dramatic background.
Garfield Estate Vineyard and Winery also in Palisade, Colorado can produce grapes that have achieved good brix levels and phenolics.
From the parking lot at the Wine Country Inn in Palisade, Colorado clouds skirt the Bookcliffs. Vineyards surround the Inn that in addition to providing lodging and offering space for private events also produces their own wine.
Kathy and I are looking forward to tasting many Colorado wines at the 2012 Drink Local Wine Conference in Denver.