Wine Openers - Blog

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Winery takes aim at breast cancer

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

L October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while there have been some remarkable advances in treatment and survival, the American Cancer Society predicts that more than 180,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2007 and nearly 41,00 men and women will die from it. Research is expensive, and while the death rate from breast cancer drops about 2 percent each year, more money is needed. So what, you ask, does this have to do with wine? Well, a couple of things. First, ...

Fall wines shows offer new tastes

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, September 28, 2007

Wednesday the Republic National Distributing Company hosted its annual fall review of new wines and spirits and several of the presentations caught our eyes. Republic National is the second-largest distributor of wine and spirits in the U.S. with more than 4$ billion in annual over 20 states. As such, the company carries many of the wine brands you’ll see in area liquor stores, and the company’s size and reach are both a blessing and a curse to wine drinkers looking for that ...

It’s cool to keep the door closed

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What if you had to fix dinner for a family of six without a refrigerator or stove or even a real kitchen? Now, imagine preparing a multi-course meal, complete with wine, five entrees, appetizers, mashed potato bar, cheese plates and desserts, for 300 under a tent at Riverbend Park. Those are among the challenges handled during the Colorado Mountain Winefest by Dan Kirby, Wayne Smith, Jon St. Peter and the rest of the staff and students of the Colorado Culinary ...

Food gaining attention at Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh, and there’s food, too. That sums up the attitude widely held up to a few years ago about the culinary opportunities at the Colorado Mountain Winefest. The food, if you consider buffalo jerky, smoked turkey legs and funnel cakes the sort of food that goes with wine, was eminently forgettable. But that’s all changing now, and while you’ll still find booths handing out the midway-type eats, there’s a definite push toward better food at reasonable prices. It all ...

Winefest hangover almost gone

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, September 17, 2007

The 16th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest has come and gone, along with more than a few hangovers from a long weekend of too much great food and all-too-much wine. Final attendance numbers weren’t available early this morning but judging from how quickly the crowds filled River Bend Park Saturday it’s likely the festival isn’t far from reaching its self-imposed cap of 6,000 attendees. As expected, the $150 VIP tickets, limited to 300, sold out early and in case you ...

More on degree days and ripening

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, September 7, 2007

With Colorado's grape harvest nearing its high point — most of the white-wine grapes already are in the fermenting tanks and some of the early merlot are starting to show up at wineries — questions about why some areas develop their grapes faster than others need more of an answer than merely "Oh, it's warmer over there." As viticulturist Horst Caspari of the CSU Orchard Mesa Research Center recently told this reporter, it takes more than simply a long series of hot days ...

Colorado grape harvest early

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Winemakers across the Grand Valley are in the midst of grape harvest, which this year comes a little earlier than in 2006. You can thank the hot but not too-hot summer for that, said Horst Caspari, viticulturist for the Colorado State University research center on Orchard Mesa. "We certainly are in the swing of things," Caspari said in a phone conversation today. "Some grape growers probably are getting into the chardonnay and merlots. The early whites like the sauvignon blancs and ...

Grapes finding their net worth

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, August 24, 2007

Take a drive through the vinelands in the Grand Valley, spin the wheel to Orchard Mesa and on to the North Fork Valley and you'll see that most growers have put out the bird netting, a sure sign that their grapes are starting to turn color. Which means ripening is fast underway. When the grapes turn from green to purple or black, it's like an "Eat Here" sign for birds, and unless a grape grower moves fast, waiting a few days can mean losing an entire crop. "I've seen thousands of ...

Stoney Mesa opens tasting room

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Colorado's 7th-oldest winery now has a tasting room in the Grand Valley. Stoney Mesa Winery, founded in 1990 and still owned and operated by Ron and Donna Neal, has expanded from its original Cedaredge site to their new tasting room at 221 31.3 Road on Orchard Mesa. A big banner on the side of the building announces the tasting room, which is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, said owner Ron Neal. It's easiest to reach the tasting room off 32 Road by using B or B.5 Road. "I've been moving ...

Poster artist a ‘Colorado girl’

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The 16th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest is less than a month away - it runs Sept. 13-16 -and Winefest director Marilyn Jensen called recently to promote ticket sales and encourage attendance at the various seminars being offered. While most of the dinners with winemakers have long sold out (try anyway, some restaurants have a waiting list), a few restaurants keep lists of ticketholders interested in selling their reservations. Seminars include a hands-on day helping with harvest, a ...

New calling for port

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 16, 2007

A handful of Colorado winemakers who in the past have included a Port in their offerings are struggling to find another name for that sweet, fortified wine because they no longer can call it Port. True Port, of course, comes only from, and is named for, the Duoro Valley in Portugal. That similar to real Champagne coming from that region in France and Chianti from the Tuscany region of Italy. Americans have never been shy about borrowing well-known place names to identify different ...

Grape harvest still a week off

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Even though those table grapes hanging off the trellis near the rear porch might be ready for munching, the first of the Grand Valley's wine grapes are a week or more away from harvest. The first of the commercial wine grapes that ripen locally is a variety called muscat blanc, said winemaker Nancy Janes of Whitewater Hills Vineyards on 32 Road, who has an acre of the white grape. "I had some extra grapes last year but this year my two customers are foaming at the mouth for all my grapes," ...

Wine consumption still on the up

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, August 13, 2007

CALISTOGA, Cal - Randy and Lisa Lynch of Bennett Lane Winery in Napa Valley not only make some of the most high-powered cabernet sauvignon in the valley but also are the only winery that owns a NASCAR team. While driver Mike David in the No. 2 Bennett Lane Ford currently is atop the NASCAR leader board, owner Randy Lynch, himself a one-time racing crew chief, is looking to win something else: The palates of the predominately beer-drinking NASCAR fans. "I think there's a huge untapped ...

Fine wines and clifftop ruins

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 9, 2007

If you're headed to southwest Colorado the last weekend of the month you may want to make plans to enjoy the fifth annual Mesa Verde Country Wine and Art Festival set for Aug. 24-25 in Cortez. Two special wine dinners are scheduled for Aug. 24. One will be at Joey's Steak and Chop House in Dolores and the second right in Mesa Verde National Park at the Metate Room at Farview Lodge. This restaurant has one of the most magnificent views in the Four Corners area and on a clear day (that is, ...

Value versus price

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

As a firm believer that Colorado wines continue to get better each vintage, but also someone not afraid to say there still are strides to be made, one question that often comes up is why Colorado wines seem to be over-priced compared to similar wines from California, Australia and elsewhere. A good Colorado pinot noir, for example, will cost $25 or more, while you can get an $8-$10 pinot from California. As Cedric Stanton said on the Web site, a cheap pinot noir ...

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