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State ‘wine guy’ featured on CPR

By Dave Buchanan
Steve Menke, the state's new enologist, will be featured today on Colorado Matters, the Colorado Public Radio show, at 7 p.m. You can access the show here or listen tomorrow to an archived broadcast here. Menke, aka "the Wine Guy" as he puts it, is working out of Colorado State University's Orchard Mesa Research Station alongside state viticulturist Horst Caspari. The two will assist growers and winemakers in growing not only better grapes but market share, as well. Menke officially is a CSU employee (he has a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wyoming) as an associate professor of enology (the study of wines). He said in an CSU interview that he was attracted to Colorado "by the kinds of wines produced here." "There is an unquantified taste that accompanies high-altitude (wine grape) growing," Menke said in that interview. "I would like to investigate the mature flavor of a grape here at high altitude." Is there yet a word specifically for high-altitude terroir? Whatever it may be, Menke is sure to have plenty of opportunity, since Colorado boasts some of the world's highest vineyards. Menke also was featured last month in an article in The Denver Business Journal, which can be read here. His position is funded jointly by CSU, the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and the Rocky Mountain Association of Vintners and Viticulturists.