Wine Openers - Blog

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Colorado Urban Winefest coming of age with ‘best showing’ of Colorado wines

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DENVER – Colorado Urban Winefest continues to improve with age, not unlike the Colorado wine industry itself. Final attendance numbers showed around 1,500 wine enthusiasts turned out, including a robust walk-up traffic on a pleasant late-spring day, for Saturday’s third annual Colorado Urban Winefest presented by Westminster Total Beverage. “I’m really happy with the turnout and it’s really a gorgeous day,” said Cassidee Schull, director of the ...


With bud break slowed, grape growers play a waiting game

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Those shaggy-maned grape vines you see around the valley haven’t been ignored, they’re actual serving a purpose. It’s bud break around the Grand Valley, a time when most of the valley’s grape growers finish pruning their winter-long vines on the bet those still-tender roseate buds will survive anything Mother Nature might throw their way. However, with this spring a series of warm/cold, then warm-and-cold again fluctuations, nobody's quite sure how to ...


Pushing the edge with hybrid grapes

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jeff Stultz grows hybrid Norton grapes in these vineyards southwest of Cañon City, Colorado High along Oak Creek Grade, eight miles south of Cañon City where the pavement ends and the road melts into the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, travelers come upon an unexpected sight – neat rows of dark-green vines bearing deep-purple grapes. Vineyard owner Jeff Stultz says many people stop to take photos, unaware that back in Cañon City, in the tasting room at ...


Spring brings changes to Stone Cottage Cellars

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, April 12, 2013

An early summer afternoon view across the vineyards at Stone Cottage Cellars on Garvin Mesa near Paonia. The winery and vineyard sit at 6,200 feet, offering superb views of the North Fork Valley.   I wonder if there’s a time when winemakers get any sleep. They worry about late frosts and early heat spells, frigid winters and dry summers, about having too many leaves and not enough grape clusters. “Well, mid-January isn’t too bad,” laughed Karen ...


The world at their door – Peak Spirits Distillery gaining national attention

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

REDLANDS MESA – The mid-March sun streams into the south-facing windows, spreading warmth and light into the spacious interior of Anna and Lance Hanson’s hardwood-floored home. A fireplace is sunk into a wall of hand-dug rock and just outside the wall of glass wanders a small flock of sheep, carefully monitored by Stella and Luna, the Hanson’s twin Great Pyrenees guard dogs. This multi-story house, perched like a sentinel overlooking the Hanson’s 72-acre farm, ...


Seasonal changes begin on the (organic) farm

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let’s see. You’ve visited most of the wineries in the valley, bent your elbow at a nearby distillery and quaffed a brew or two (I love that) at one of the local brewpubs. What to do, what to do? There is the entire North Fork Valley to visit, with wineries and brewpubs and yes, even a distillery or two, although most of the wineries are in winter mode, which means call first, while the distilleries and brewpub(s) always are happy to see a new face. Here’s a hint ...


Bearing gifts of wine and chocolate for St. Valentine’s Day? A little caution is advised

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Even the most preoccupied among us find it difficult to escape this month’s multitude of same-breath references to wine and Valentine. Of course, it’s only after taking the next step of uttering wine, Valentine and chocolate that the abyss opens and we find ourselves flying or falling. Just as there’s considerable disagreement about the “romance” of winemaking from anyone who has spent seemingly-endless hours picking grapes or pressing those grapes or ...


Grand Junction artist wins 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest art competition

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A richly hued painting melding two of the region’s growing economic forces has been selected as the centerpiece for the 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest. Grand Junction artist Judy Rogan won the 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest art competition with her acrylic painting titled “Tipsy Trails.” The painting, which shows a comfortable-looking bicycle carrying a basket laden with a bottle of wine, grapes, two wine glasses and a loaf of bread, all super-imposed on a ...


Hot growing season has grape crop in early

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Colorado’s wine grape crop came through the hot, dry summer in better condition than many people might have expected. While there aren’t yet any numbers on the total production, comments from producers and winemakers indicate the summer growing season was short, intense and productive. “Everything came in early,” said state viticulturist Horst Caspari of the Colorado State University Orchard Mesa Research Center. “I think everything was picked by the ...


Wine books to brighten the holidays

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, December 15, 2012

With less than two weeks to go before The Big Day and the panic button staring at you right there, it’s still not too late to find the right gift for the wine lover on your list. But careful: How many reindeer bottle closures and cork Christmas trees does a person really need? For those who can’t resist buying someone a Christmas wine, I suggest that unless you know that person really well, it might be wiser to offer a gift certificate (tucked into a decent wine glass) to ...


A Brush with Greatness: 2002 Sassicaia

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sometimes the gods of fortune smile on a newspaper hack, and this past month has seen rare examples of being in the right places at the right times. My most-recent Brush with Greatness was this weekend in Aspen, watching the best women skiers in the world attack the gates and race courses during the Nature Valley Winternational World Cup ski races on Aspen Mountain. There is more news about ski racing in the sports section, but there’s so much excitement generated by watching ...


Top 10 list timely for Carlson’s Open House

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

From unknown to Top 10 in about the time it takes a great wine to age, the Grand Valley has become a wine-tourist destination. That, anyway, is the word from Tripadvisor.com, which recently anointed Palisade as among the Top 10 wine destinations in the U.S. The list includes such wine-world stars as the Sonoma and Napa valleys, New York’s Finger Lakes and Long Island, the Willamette Valley, Walla Walla, Wash., and Oregon’s Yakima Valley. Apparently the rankings were ...


Holidays start with Alfred Eames’ Barrel Tasting, Open House

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just in time for holiday gift-giving and all those festive dinners you have planned,  Alfred Eames Cellars in Paonia will be hosting its fifth annual Barrel Tasting and Holiday Open House on Dec. 1-2 from noon to 5 p.m. Winemaker Eames Petersen said the popular event again will feature special hor d'oeuvres and a performance by the Madrigal Choir along with guest appearances by other local musicians. "The rest of the choir makes me sound better than I am," Petersen ...


Talon Wine Brands wins 21 medals at Denver International

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You rarely will find winemaker Glenn Foster at a loss for words. However, the ebullient second-generation winemaker and driving force behind Talon Wine Brands hesitated just a second when asked recently about his awards from the Denver International Wine Competition. “Our what?” he asked his caller. “To be honest, I haven’t even checked. Let me call you back.” And it wasn’t very much later when Foster, who makes wines under three labels – ...


2012 Winefest attracts crowd with eye on buying

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mid-morning Sunday found winemaker Nancy Janes of Whitewater Hill punching down caps and making room for grapes yet to come in what’s expected to be an early wrap-up to the 2012 harvest. “Normally we finish around the third week of October but this year everything is early,” said Janes, moving around the tanks of crushed grapes fermenting in her winery on 32 Road. “I think we might get our last grapes sometime in the next two weeks.” Pulling the ...


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