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Bookcliff Vineyards
Terry and Kathy Sullivan

Bookcliff VineyardsSummary: Bookcliff Vineyards' tasting room relocated from downtown Boulder, to an industrial park about four miles away. Be sure to stop by and taste their red, white and dessert wines. All wines are produced from grapes grown at the Bookcliff Vineyards in Palisade, Colorado.

The Bookcliff Vineyards tasting room and winery is located in an industrial park in Boulder, Colorado. It is easy to drive to and park at the winery location. While the winery is located in Boulder where the combined populations of Boulder and Denver are over two million people, the vineyards are about four and a half hours to the west in Palisade, Colorado. The grapes are grown in the "sweet spot" for grape growing in Colorado while the winery is located in the populous area of the state. Bookcliff Vineyards makes affordable wines that can reach many people.


Bookcliff VineyardsVineyards

The Bookcliff vineyard has 37 acres of vines in Palisade, Colorado. The vineyards are located beneath the Bookcliff escarpment. Grapes grown include Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo as well as orange and black Muscat.



Bookcliff VineyardsWinery and Tasting Room

We met John Garlich and Ulla Merz,owners of the winery, while with a familiarization trip that attended the Drink Local Wine Conference in April 2012. When you enter the building, you are in a tasting room. Beyond the tasting room is the winery with rows of stainless steel tanks on two levels and oak barrels on the opposite wall. Of interest was the second level of stainless steel tanks. From the floor level, it appears that there is no access to the tanks. However on closer inspection, the second level tanks are accessed from behind the tanks. All of the winemaking takes place in this winery.

Bookcliff VineyardsThe tasting room is smaller than at it previous location. The Bookcliff Vineyards sign is prominently located on the wall and is the same sign used while at the downtown location. The somewhat "Z" shaped tasting counter has chairs for visitors to sit at while tasting Bookcliff wines. The tasting room offers an intimate wine tasting experience.


Bookcliff VineyardsOur group proceeded to the winery section where we tasted several Bookcliff wines with John. The 2011 Chardonnay was aged in French oak. The was pear and oak on the aroma. The wine had a crisp finish with apple and pear notes. There was oak in the background. We next tasted a Jefferson Cup winning 2009 Petite Sirah. The dark ruby colored wine had a dark fruit aroma and taste. There were bold tannins on the finish with dark fruit on the aftertaste.

We tasted some wines from the tank. John gathers some of the 2011 Zinfandel The wine was ruby colored and very fruity. There were red fruits on the aroma and taste with mild tannins and red fruits on the finish. John also had us try a 2011 Malbec from the tank. The wine had previously been in barrel. There was tobacco on the aroma and dark fruits on the taste. Tannins were on the finish.

Bookcliff VineyardsWine and food pairings are always a great experience. The owners paired their Late Harvest Muscat with a waffle with whipped cream and strawberries. The dessert did not have a high sugar content where as the wine was sweet. The two matched well. The straw color wine had a floral aroma, predominately orange blossoms. There was orange on the taste and the sweet crisp finish matched well with the dessert.

Bookcliff VineyardsA few years ago when we visited the downtown location, we happened to observe an unusual bottle of wine. The bottle was painted by Keith Campbell, an artist in residence at Red Rocks, an outdoor theater, where rock artists perform. Keith painted 100 bottles for Bookcliff Vineyards. We observed similar painted bottles at the new location.

Bookcliff Vineyards winery and tasting room is conveniently located to the Denver and Boulder communities. Check out the tasting room and taste the wines produced with Colorado grown fruit.


Bookcliff Vineyards
1501 Lee Hill Rd., Number 17
Boulder, Colorado 80304



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