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Black Bridge Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Black Bridge WinerySummary: When you visit the Black Bridge Winery tasting room, you will also get a chance to shop at the Orchard Valley Farms & Market, a fresh produce market located in the same building. Wine and food go hand in hand in this area of Colorado. The Black Bridge name came from the historic bridge that is nearby. Orchard Valley Farms & Market was established in the 1970’s and it was in 1997 that the owners began to supply wineries with grapes. By 2005, Black Bridge Winery had their first bottles of wine available.

Black Bridge Winery tasting room is located along the fast moving North Fork of the Gunnison River. Inside the tasting room, we noticed that aside from the wines to taste there were products from Colorado also on shelves to browse.

Numerous old oak barrel halves were filled with petunias and Gerbera daisies brightly nodding in the breeze. Inside is a tasting counter created from slabs of wood that have been finely finished but leaving bark on the outside edge. In another area of the tasting room, you will see Butter Pecan Gourmet Honey Syrup from Durango, Colorado. Look for more gourmet products such as salsas, jams, mustards and vinegars. Fresh fruit is available during the season as well as the opportunity to pick your own fruit. What a treat to visit here especially during the summer months.

Black Bridge WineryBlack Bridge WineryBeyond the tasting room and market are the vineyards bursting forth with bright green leaves. Tiny bead sized grapes in bunches were gathering sunlight. In a few months, they will be mouthwatering and ready to harvest. The distant terrain paints a background for this high altitude winery.

From the start, it was obvious that these winery owners and winemakers like each other and work together and with others in the valley. At a picnic, several winery owners were gathered while our group was able to talk, ask questions and eat lunch with foods from the area. One owner claimed, it’s a “life style.” We “support each other.” The camaraderie between them was wonderful.

The West Elks AVA area also enjoys the pairing of their wines with food. Many local restaurants carry the local wineries wines. A local caterer using local food catered our picnic lunch. The flat bed of an old truck served as a table for food and the river in the background rippled with a calming quietness. The spot is perfect for a picnic and a bottle of Black Bridge Winery wine. At the picnic we tasted the Black Bridge Chardonnay that was crisp and nicely balanced. It paired well with a vegetable platter and dip.

Black Bridge WineryBlack Bridge WineryBack in the tasting room, we tasted several wines including a Pinot Noir 2006 that had a mushroom and dark cherry nose with a fruit taste and a long cherry aftertaste. The 2005 Farmer’s Ditch Red was a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot. This wine had an earthiness on the nose with a fruit taste and a long cherry aftertaste. Beaker Row Red was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with an earthiness on the nose, fruit taste and a very smooth lingering aftertaste.

Here is an area where the local restaurants carry the local wine. The wineries of the area rely on visitors coming in and taking wine out. Don’t miss a visit to Black Bridge winery where you can enjoy a market and wine tasting room together. If you have plenty of time, prepare a picnic lunch and purchase a bottle of wine from the tasting room. Enjoy the food and wine on the shady banks of the North Fork of the Gunnison River.

Black Bridge Winery
15836 Black Bridge Road
Paonia, Colorado 81428


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