BEYOND THE AVAS

West of 105 Magazine - - Drinking & Dining -

WHILE Colorado has just two AVAs, wine grapes are grown in a few other ar­eas West of 105 in­clud­ing Mon­tezuma County in the Four Cor­ners re­gion, Fre­mont and Pon­cha Springs in the Arkansas Val­ley, and Delta and Mon­trose coun­ties. Just like the two fed­er­ally rec­og­nized AVAs, each of these ar­eas has its own unique com­bi­na­tion of ge­og­ra­phy, soil and el­e­va­tion that leads to unique and in­ter­est­ing wines. Here are a few winer­ies that are known to turn out great bot­tles.

WHERE TO GO

BUCKEL FAM­ILY WINES

The fam­ily-owned and -op­er­ated win­ery started mak­ing wine in 2015 with sales start­ing in Jan­uary of this year, how­ever Joe Buckel started mak­ing wine in Sonoma County, Cal­i­for­nia in 2004 be­fore mov­ing to Colorado a decade ago. If Joe's ac­co­lades are any­thing to go by - a 94 point wine and three 90 point rat­ings from Wine En­thu­si­ast as well as Gold medals in the Colorado's Gover­nor's Cup - wine lovers in Colorado will have new wines to add to their col­lec­tions. As for va­ri­etals, they cur­rently pro­duce chardon­nay, sau­vi­gnon blanc, caber­net sau­vi­gnon, mer­lot, syrah, petit ver­dot, caber­net franc, pinot noir, and cin­sault.

The win­ery is cur­rently work­ing on a new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity and tast­ing room in Crested Butte which it is hoped will be ready in time for next sum­mer.

HOLY CROSS ABBEY

The Win­ery at Holy Cross Abbey is a bou­tique win­ery lo­cated on the his­toric grounds of Holy Cross Abbey in Cañon City.

Larry Oddo, the CEO of Holy Cross, spent 22 years in pub­lic ac­count­ing on the East Coast be­fore trad­ing that ca­reer in for en­trepreneur­ship in Colorado. Oddo says that they try hard to re­mem­ber the mis­sion of the monks when they make wine as well as be­ing thought­ful when it comes to the com­mu­nity. Oddo says that em­ploy­ees share in the suc­cess of the win­ery through in­cen­tive com­pen­sa­tion and ben­e­fit pro­grams and are, as a re­sult, in­vested in the suc­cess of the win­ery which shows in the fi­nal prod­uct. That is borne out by the plethora of awards the win­ery has re­ceived, par­tic­u­larly in the last three years, in­clud­ing hav­ing sev­eral wines rated 88 or bet­ter by Wine En­thu­si­ast. The 2015 Colorado Rev­e­la­tion will re­ceive a 90 in the Novem­ber 2018 is­sue.

Open­ing in June 2002, the win­ery pro­duced 3,800 cases in its first year, but will more than dou­ble that this year with around 9,000 cases.

Events

Wine­maker's Din­ner, Septem­ber 29 An­nual Har­vest Fest, Septem­ber 28-30

GAR­RETT ES­TATE

Lo­cated in Olathe, Gar­rett Es­tate has been around since 2003 but the nexus of the win­ery goes back sev­eral years be­fore that when the mother of cur­rent owner, Mitch Gar­rett, sug­gested the idea of start­ing a win­ery. To­day, Gar­rett Es­tate has 35 acres and grows seven va­ri­eties: pinot gris, chardon­nay, caber­net sau­vi­gnon, mer­lot, pinot noir, gewurz­traminer, and ries­ling. The lat­ter two of­ten give peo­ple a sur­prise (and have also won praise) be­cause their are dry and there­fore dif­fer­ent to many gewurz­tramin­ers and ries­lings. In fact, Gar­rett Es­tate only pro­duces dry wines.

Gar­rett also tried to be as sus­tain­able as pos­si­ble and hand-picks all of their grapes, does not use pes­ti­cides of any kind and are a geo­ther­mal win­ery.

The Gar­rett Es­tate un­oaked chardon­nay and Pheas­ant Run red blend are their flag­ship wines. Gar­rett Es­tate wines have re­ceived awards and recog­ni­tion in wine com­pe­ti­tions in Colorado, the South­west, Cal­i­for­nia and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Events

Wine Tast­ing, Septem­ber 16 Wine, choco­late and cheese pair­ing, Oc­to­ber 13

10th An­nual Hol­i­day Wine Tast­ing, Novem­ber 24

The win­ery is open by ap­point­ment year round gar­rettes­tate­cel­lars­col­orado.com

VINO SAL­IDA

Lo­cated in Pon­cha Springs in the Arkansas River Val­ley, Vino Sal­ida opened in 2009 but moved to it cur­rent lo­ca­tion in 2016. Cur­rently, owner Steve Flynn pro­duces around 2,500 cases a year of the state's finest va­ri­etals in­clud­ing chardon­nay, viog­nier, ries­ling, zin­fan­del, caber­net sau­vi­gnon, mer­lot, cham­bourcin and aran­dell. Vino Sal­ida has won awards at the Colorado Gover­nor's Cup, the Colorado State Fair, the Mesa County Fair, the Mazer Cup In­ter­na­tional Mead Com­pe­ti­tion, and the Fla­vor of Pue­blo.

The tast­ing room, in ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing the full range of wines for pur­chase, also of­fers a full din­ing menu

Events

Ten­der­foot Stomp, Septem­ber 22 - 23

Open year round abbey­win­ery.com

Open year round vi­nos­al­ida.com Pho­tos (this page): Vino Sal­ida (op­po­site page above): Gar­rett Es­tate; (op­po­site page be­low): The Win­ery at Holy Cross Abbey

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