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Top 10 list timely for Carlson’s Open House

By Dave Buchanan

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, 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 based on reviews submitted to the websites, which may explain why some Grand Valley wineries made the Top 10 story and others were left off.

Still, having some national recognition is sure to boost the entire Colorado wine industry and for that we’re all grateful.

Palisade, by the way, was ranked No. 9, ahead of Plymouth, Cal., a small town near the wine-producing Shenandoah Valley in the Sierra foothills.

The Top 10 article singled out the Meadery of the Rockies, Plum Creek Cellars, Hermosa Vineyards and Carlson Vineyards as worthy of attention, which brings us to today’s topic.

Parker Carlson (show at right, pouring in his tasting room) this year is celebrating his 21st vintage as Carlson Vineyards, and is hosting his 21st annual Holiday Open House 10 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. Nov. 23-25.

It’s the perfect reason to get out of the Thanksgiving festooned house, waddle off a few calories and show out-of-town visitors what makes Colorado wine so great.

There will be new wines to taste and old favorites to buy, including the return of the popular unoaked Chardonnay along with Pearadactyl (pear-apple) and apricot wines. (Hint: Carlson’s Riesling goes great with that turkey dinner.)

There also will be discounts on wine and drawings for gift certificates, merchandise and more. Information at 464-5554;

And I’m sure Parker won’t mind if you visit a few of the valley’s other wineries after doing all your holiday shopping at his place. A rising tide, and all that, you know.





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