Writer Hugh Johnson once described winemaking as "an unforgiving business" and winemakers as "dedicated and driven — if occasionally self-deluding — souls."
Anyone familiar with Colorado wine country would agree.
We live on the edge of wine-grape growing, physically as well as emotionally, and yet each year an increasing number of people doggedly persist in pursuing this maddening yet rewarding lifestyle.
Now, freelance writer Christina Holbrook has partnered with well-known travel photographer Marc Hoberman for "Winelands of Colorado: An Intimate Portrait of Winemaking in a Rugged Land."
This large-format book is packed with Holbrook's commentary and Hoberman's numerous striking photos of the various faces and places of Colorado's wine country.
Holbrook points out that while Colorado wine is becoming better and better-known each year, there still are some people surprised that Colorado even makes wine, much less award-winning wines.
"Our hope is that the 'Winelands of Colorado' book will introduce Colorado wines to a broader audience across the country," Holbrook said in a recent email. "To enhance the readers' wine adventure, and to show off our beautiful state, we've included fantastic lodging choices, restaurants, and cool things to do in each region — between glasses of wine!"
The book officially will be released June 16 at a public launch party at the Wine Country Inn in Palisade.
Familiar faces from the Grand Valley and West Elks American Viticultural areas are prominently displayed in the book's pages, along with scenes from McPhee Canyon, the Front Range and elsewhere around Colorado.
This book isn't solely dedicated to wine; it has the sense of a travelogue, although the vinous connection threads the book together.
There are, as Holbrook notes in a news release, "portraits of local farmers and chefs, innkeepers and artists — those whose lives and work revolve around the life of the vine, and enrich the wine experience for the traveler."
Hoberman also provides some behind-scene photos from the restaurants forging a new culinary future for wine country. Among those featured is Josh Niernberg, executive chef and owner of Bin 707 Food Bar in Grand Junction.
Frequent readers of this space know I'm an unabashed believer in the future of Colorado wines and the people who labor (for love and otherwise) in this demanding career.
It's the people who make Colorado wine special and "Winelands of Colorado" strives to catch that spirit.
The weekend of the launch is dedicated to various events, including VIP winery tours, a farm-to-table dinner and a special release party/book signing on June 17 at Colterris Winery.
If you want to attend any of the events, you must register in advance.