Wine Openers - Blog

Page 9 of 18

It’s feast among the beasts at High Wire Ranch

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If you've never dined among the beasts, here's your chance. I'm not talking about lunch at the local animal shelter but Yvon and Joanna Gros's third annual Wine & Buffalo Feast dinner at the always interesting High Wire Ranch. The ranch, owned by Dave and Sue Whittlesey, raises grass-fed buffalo and elk, and what you'll be eating might have been on the hoof a short time earlier. The address is 257512 North Road on the Redlands Mesa near Hotchkiss. The feast is ...

Wine of the Week

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

OK, it's got to be spring somewhere, so in celebration (it's rainy and windy here in Grand Junction) we're trying two new ready-for-spring releases from the Woodbridge line of Robert Mondavi. This is the line of wines Mondavi created in 30 years ago to bring everyday, affordable wines to the American table. You can read an interesting history of Woodbridge here. The first of my two samples is the 2009 California Pinot Grigio ($7.99 SRP) with hints of citrus and plenty of ...

Grape growers face challenges after repeated frosts

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, May 10, 2010

For many grape growers around the Grand Valley, it’s too late to save this year’s crop. Hit by repeated frosts, from last October to as late as this past week, many growers and winemakers now are thinking of the future, planning what needs doing to have something to harvest next year. There still will be grapes to pick and wines to bottle this fall, particularly in the east end of the valley. That’s where the steady wind, what Norm Christianson of Canyon Wind ...

Mother’s Day means wine, chocolate and, umm, buffalo sausage

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You'll never celebrate a Mother's Day such as the one planned for May 8-9 at Leroux Creek Vineyards near Hotchkiss. The weekend festivities include wine and chocolate tasting at Yvon and JoAnne Gros' Leroux Creek vineyards (12388 3100 Road) and Lilliputian Winery (31424 Colorado Highway 92), and a tour of the High Wire Ranch, where Dave and Sue Whittlesey raise buffalo and elk. Their buffalo and elk sausage and other products will be available, too. While at the ranch, ...

Wine of the Week

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Looking for a white wine but something different from the sauvignon blanc style, and inspired by a Vernaccia recently served at the home of winemakers Neil and Diane Guard, I stopped at Fisher's Liquor Barn and purchased a bottle of La Carraia 2008 Orvieto Classico DOC ($10). This is a crisp, dry white wine composed of Grechetto (40 percent), Malvasia (30 percent) and Procanico (30 percent), the latter a local clone of the Trebbiano grape, which reputedly is the second-most planted ...

Growers still cautious after December freeze

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unruly stems shoot off in multiple directions, like lightning trapped in the veins of a plant. Normally, by this time grape vines are close-cropped and orderly, simply awaiting the hot days of spring to burst out of the winter doldrums and turn sunlight into grapes. But this year has been far from normal. Two frosts, one in October and a double-digit below-zero zapper in December, has made this spring a period of wait-and-see for valley grape growers. What they’re ...

April is the time to check your summer wine calendar

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It’s mid-April but not too early for planning summer’s wine-related travels. There’s quite a lineup planned, from this month’s Spring Barrel Tasting to the Wine & Food Magazine Classic in Aspen set for June 18–20. I'm putting together a file of this summer's goings-on, but here is some early information about events I've heard about. The annual “Barrel into Spring” wine tasting will be April 24–25 and May 15–16 ...

Aspen Food & Wine Classic lineup shines

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I just received the lineup for the 2010 (and 28th annual) Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen (June 18-20) and the list of chefs includes Mario, Jacques, Giada, Thomas Keller, David Chang and other great names. The deadline for early tickets has passed but you can still find tickets (all three days, $1,185, includes seminars, demos and Grand Tastings) on the Web site here. That's a lot of money in this economy – heck, it's a lot of money in any economy – but ...

Winefest taking on social media role in outreach to fans

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, March 22, 2010

The Colorado Mountain Winefest is making the most of the surging popularity of social media by updating its Web site and increasing its public outreach through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The new Web site, said Elaine Matthews of the marketing firm Ryan, Sawyer & Whitney of Grand Junction, not only is more user-friendly but also allows guests to purchase Winefest tickets, find updated schedules and explore the many events planned for the Sept. 16-19 event. Colorado ...

Go Facebook to Facebook with Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Colorado Mountain Winefest has joined the burgeoning world of social media by tagging into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube along with offering an updated and more user-friendly Web site at The Web site allows you to  purchase tickets to the September 16-19 Winefest, check out the latest schedules and take a peek at the events planned for the annual late-summer get-together. Plus, you can stay in contact with Winefest through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. ...

Colorado Champagne? Only one, winemaker says

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, March 8, 2010

A recent article on two Colorado wineries headed this month to the U.S. Ambassador’s tasting in France brought a response from Rick Turley, owner and winemaker at Colorado Cellars, one of the oldest wineries in the state. One of the wineries, Varaison Vineyards and Winery in Palisade, mentioned it made a Colorado Champagne and Turley was quick to take ownership of that label name. He said Colorado Cellars is the only Colorado winery producing what can be officially labeled as a ...

Showing support for Chilean wines

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's almost like spring in western Colorado and to me nothing says spring more than enjoying a chilled sauvignon blanc on the outside patio. We may be jumping the calendar a bit, but this week's Wine of the Week is the Santa Rita 2008 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99, purchased). The wine is pale gold in color and has terrific acidity, making it a great food wine. There's plenty of fresh apricots and peach flavors along with citrus, mostly grapefruit, adding to the ...

News from Chile expresses hope for future

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reports from the Chilean wine industry change every day as more information comes in from earthquake-rattled wineries just now getting communications back to near normal. What’s known so far is the losses, while staggering on the surface, won’t ruin the country’s wine industry. "We are estimating a loss of 125 million liters of wine [about 14 million cases] with a value of approximately $250 million," said René Merino, president of Wines of Chile, ...

Chilean earthquake shocks wine industry

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, March 1, 2010

The news of Friday's 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile brought concern for many people and places. Reports filtering out of the country, where damage has severely interrupted all types of standard communications, are coming mostly through the social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and many diverse Google sites. There's a good story about these sites here. Damage has been reported particularly heavy in wineries and infrastructure in the regions of Maule and Rapel ...

My wine review policy

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I occasionally receives queries about the wine reviewed in this space and where and why anyone could/would buy them. In an attempt to promote openness and transparency, I adopted the following wine review policy. First, no one pays me to review their wines, although I'll occasionally accept samples from wineries. That doesn't assure anyone I'll give the wines a positive remark or that I'll say anything at all about the wine, preferring to remain silent when something ...

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