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Graystone Vineyards
by
Kathy Sullivan

Summary: Graystone Vineyards located in Clifton, Colorado offers a portfolio of three wonderful award-winning ports. Graystone received the only double gold for port in the United States. According to several owners and winemakers at wineries, Graystone makes the best port in Colorado.

Barbara Maurer owned 25 acres in Clifton, Colorado with 100 peach trees. Searching for another agricultural product, she began planting vineyards in 2000. She discovered a niche. The Colorado wine industry did not include a winery that focused on port. A consultant from UC Davis encouraged Barbara to pursue producing port. Today throughout Colorado, people are talking about the wonderful port produced at Graystone Vineyards.

Graystone WineryThe results of this energetic woman are a delightful tasting room with three smooth and tasty ports. The vineyards and winery are located a short distance from the tasting room. Grapes planted in the vineyards include Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The name for Graystone comes from the graystone bluffs on the Bookcliffs that are noticeable after a rain. Both the Bookcliffs and Grand Mesa provide scenic backgrounds to the vineyards.

Graystone WineryTwo lion sculptures on tall pedestals guard the gates to the winery and vineyards. Just outside of the winery door is a metal sculpture of a horse. Years ago, Barbara rescued two Belgian horses destined for the glue factory. Due to Barbara’s kindness, these two horses continued enjoying life for another 16 years. Today wild horses enjoy the Grand Mesa, high above the vineyards. Barbara uses an image of horses on the labels. Anya Bruno, a graphic artist, created the image.

Barrels aging port take up most of the winery space. On the day of our visit, we were fortunate to see port bottles dipped into wax to seal. Barbara uses a double seal on the port bottles. She is very proud of her assistant who has the perfect knack for applying the wax seal.

Graystone WineryTasting the award winning wines we discovered that Lipizzan Port produced from Pinot Gris had a tawny color resulting from skins left on during fermentation. The aroma was port-style with a bit of grapefruit. The taste was of grapefruit, dried fruit, raisins and figs. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Port II 2002, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, had a black color with a ruby red rim. There was an aroma and taste of blackberry. The taste was velvety and the finish was fruity and crisp.

Port III Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot was aged four years in neutral oak barrels. It offered a blackberry aroma and taste. This port was very smooth and the finish lingered.

 

The tasting room has great character. As soon as one steps inside the door, ambience prevails throughout the experience. It was surprising to learn that the building had originally been a filling station. The renovation gave no indication of its previous history. Upon entering a castle-like door, the subdued lighting enhances the view of the oak barrels lining two sides. It is reminiscent of an Italian cantina. At the far end is the tasting counter. To the right, a gift shop offers an array of gifts including freshly made fudge. Discover Colorado gourmet foods, shelves of unusual pieces of crystal and wine accessories. Looking for a unique gift? Be sure to look at the wine bottle holders portraying a giraffe, cow or moose. One can do most of their holiday shopping in the gift shop.

Graystone Winery     Graystone Winery

Graystone WineryEnjoy a visit to Graystone Vineyards tasting room, tasting the quality ports and wandering through the tasting room browsing the gift items.

Graystone Winery
3352 F Road, Clifton, CO 81520

GPS: N 39 05.503’ W 108 25.840’

 

 

 


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