It may feel like you are traveling across a moonscape to get to Reeder Mesa Vineyards, but you will be glad you took the journey! It is an 8 mile drive off the main highway to reach the top of the mesa, but for any city-folk like myself, its nice to get off the beaten path. Owner Doug Vogel makes you feel right at home and has some great stories to share.
His first story absolutely amazed me….in 1979 when he was a mechanic in LA, he bought his 80 acres of farmland, sight unseen! That takes a lot of trust (or something else!!). For all you city people, 80 acres of land is basically 1 mile by 1 mile. In 1994 he planted his first grapes, which were all Riesling. Being on top of the mesa, he is 1,000′ higher than the valley floor and grows only winter hardy grapes. As an amateur he made wine and entered a few competitions, winning gold medals. After that he put a bottle of wine into each of his neighbors mailboxes. They loved his wine and encouraged him to apply for his license and open up a winery. And lucky for us, he did!
Reeder Mesa has a very interesting label and story behind it. There are petroglyphs outside of Verno, UT that tell a story about “The Great Spirit’s Love” and Reeder Mesa has used this story and symbol for its wine label. (see picture below). Doug primarily sells his wine at his tasting room, and 70% of his wine is purchased by his Wine Club members. He primarily uses French oak barrels to age his wines and has made his own hydraulic “barrel lift” utilizing an old wheelchair. I found out that an empty barrel weighs about 125 lbs and a full barrel weighs about 600 lbs.
A stop at Reeder Mesa Vineyards is a great escape off the main road to enjoy some delicious wines!