New Palisade winery feels like home
If it weren’t for the small, wooden sign at the end of the driveway, a passerby might mistake Gubbini Winery for someone’s home.
That’s because it is someone’s home. Proprietor Linda Lee Gubbini has lived for 21 years in the one-story dwelling at 3697 F Road that houses the winery. She has grown grapes on a five-acre parcel behind the home under the name Horse Mountain Vineyard since 1999. She began dabbling in wine-making and started to hone her craft in 2004. In 2008, she decided to open a winery and, on Feb. 14 this year, her goal came to fruition when she opened a tasting room for her wines in the front room of her home. Earlier this month she had a ribbon cutting for the business.
The cozy fireplace, bay window and sleek wood floors of the tasting room are designed to make visitors feel at home in her home, Gubbini said.
“I wanted ambience,” she said. “I was going to have a long metal building out front, but I wanted something more homey.”
The tasting room also has a tasting bar and shelves full of Gubbini’s wines, which retail for $10 to $15. The wines range from cabernet sauvignon and white merlot to chardonnay and riesling. Dessert wines include pomegranate, strawberry, apple and blackberry flavors.
The tasting room also sells wines from Denver winery Balistreri and Estes Park winery Snow Peaks. Those wines use grapes from Horse Mountain Vineyards, but Gubbini’s wines use grapes from West Coast states and come to her crushed and de-stemmed.
Gubbini said she’d like to use her own grapes someday, but so far they’ve been earmarked for other wineries that have bought from her for years.
A full-time nurse at Family Health West Hospital and full-time tender to her grapes, Gubbini isn’t sure how she will fit the tasting room into her schedule. So far, she has been open on Saturdays and Sundays, plus alternating Fridays. She opens at 11 a.m. and closes whenever the last guest is out the door.
The prospect of adding a winery to Palisade’s already packed roster of establishments doesn’t worry Gubbini. She said other wineries welcomed her to the competition and offered her plenty of advice.
“I love challenges,” Gubbini said. “I’m excited about learning something new.”