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Mountain Spirit Winery, Ltd.
by
Kathy Sullivan

Summary: Mountain Spirit Winery has a fine selection of wines. Not satisfied with producing only the usual quality wines, Mike and Terry Barkett have sought to make quality wines with a difference. Mountain Spirit Winery offers varietal and unique wines. Be sure to visit the gallery where wine tastings and local arts are available. The art gallery started in 1992 and moved to the new site in 2005.

Back in 1995, Terry and Michael Barkett began Mountain Spirit Winery. The winery is located at 8200 feet elevation and therefore they source grapes from another area of Colorado – the Western Slope vineyards. Currently the winery produces 2700 cases of wine.

Mountain Spirit WineryMountain Spirit WineryTerry and Michael Barkett based the name of the winery and logo on “The Angel of Shavano Legend.” According to the story on the label of the wines, "A princess prayed for harvest rains to end an arid season below the spectacular Shavano Mountain Peaks. Offering herself as a sacrifice, she now reappears annually as the snow angel in the crevices of Mount Shavano, providing life-giving water to crops in the fertile valley below as she melts." Look carefully at the tallest peak in the photo. The tallest peak is Mt. Shavano. Down and to the left of the peak, is the slender angel with her arms stretched out. The painting for the label on some of the wine bottles is by Pat Oglesby.

 

Mountain Spirit WineryMountain Spirit WineryMountain Spirit Winery has two tasting rooms. One room is at the winery. A small tasting counter is close to the barrels and stainless steel and fiberglass wine tanks. The newer tasting room is near Salida and has views of Mt. Shavano. The tasting bar is in a gallery featuring many different works by local artists. Next to the gallery is the Twisted Cork Café owned and operated by their daughter and son-in-law. The restaurant was voted the best restaurant in Salida.

 

 

Mountain Spirit WineryOn the day of our visit, we tasted wines at the winery tasting room. One of the wines we tried included the Chardonnay 2004 that was aged in oak for nine months. The result was a crisp wine with light oak on the finish. Another wine was a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay. This wine had a light residual sugar with a long aftertaste. It would be lovely for a hot summer day and would pair well with quiche. Pinot Soleil 2004 was dry and I could easily visualize a sizzling steak with a glass of Pinot Soleil. Karl, the cellar master, commented about the wines saying, “Each one is your child.” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 offered a fruit nose. It had a very fruity taste and a crisp finish with some tannin on the finish. There was a good balance of fruit, acid, alcohol and tannins. If you enjoy blackberry flavors, try the Blackberry Cabernet Franc 2006. This wine had a blackberry nose and taste with a bit of pepper on the taste. It was crisp with a very strong blackberry aftertaste. The 2006 Raspberry Merlot had a red color with a raspberry nose and taste ending with a crisp finish. The Angel Blush 2007, the first wine Mountain Spirit produced, was a blend of apple, pear, and raspberry. The color was a pale pink. It was light, refreshing and very fruity. The fruit explodes on the aftertaste. Mountain Spirit also produces an Apple ice dessert wine. It has an apple nose and flavor with a crisp finish and apple aftertaste.

According to Karl who has been with the winery since 1996, they want the winery known as the “winery that offers different wines.” When you visit, you will discover besides the typical wines also some unusual blends.

The winery is reliant on purchasing grapes from vineyards approximately five hours from the winery. The winery staff has been able to work out the logistics of the harvesting and receiving the grapes as cold as when they left the vineyards. There is a good relationship between the farmers and the winery. They realize the importance of providing the winery with quality grapes. All grapes for the winery are hand harvested.

Mountain Spirit WineryBe sure to visit the gallery that serves as a tasting room and art gallery for local artists. There are many different items to admire.

Mountain Spirit Winery
16150 County Road 220
Salida, CO 81201

GPS N 38° 53.539' W 106° 16.857'

Mountain Spirit Gallery
8046 West US Highway 50
Salida, CO 81201

Gallery N 38° 52.179' W 106° 02.619'

 

 


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