A few posts back I mentioned about people getting started in the winery business. Kenn Dunn, owner of Hermosa Vineyards, has an interesting story. Being a vineyard, Kenn sold his grapes to various wineries. However, back in 2001 he sold all his grapes to just one winery. Unfortunately, or fortunately for Kenn, they could not take the grapes. So what do you do with literally tons of grapes?? Well, Kenn bought every single used chest freezer he could find in the Grand Valley…28 in all. He crushed the grapes and froze the crush. He applied for his winery license and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally he got an okay…not the exact license (that would come later), but on a piece a paper a note from the government saying “You have our permission to start a winery.”
Kenn starting a winery is lucky for us, too, as his wines are excellent. I was fortunate enough to taste most of his wines and my favorites include his 2003 Cabernet Franc, Malbec and my ultimate favorite was his Rojo…a desssert wine he served with chocolates. Check out the picture below that shows the bottling machine Kenn made, which he can bottle 12/minute.
In addition to his 11 acres of grapes, Kenn also grows 15 varieties of cherries, with Rainer cherries being the best eating. Kenn also manages three other vineyards for a total of 22 acres. While I was there in May, he was just puttting the finishing touches on turning his house into a B&B, which should be ready for renting right about now.
A stop at Hermosa Vineyards is a pleasureable experience…from tasting delicious wines to enjoying being with the winemaker, as Kenn is a fun, friendly guy who loves to tell stories.