Beginning this month the Delta/Montrose/West Elks AVA wine area opens for another season. If you haven’t been to Paonia, Hotchkiss and the surrounding area in awhile, it is definitely worth a visit, as it has some of the most beautiful views in Colorado. And, what better than to stop at the wineries and fruit stands along your drive! There are 20 wineries in this region, as well as many places to purchase or pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. I’ve blogged about several of the wineries in this area, and would like to highlight Azura Cellars for today’s post.
Azura Cellars is both a winery and an art gallery. Owners Ty and Helen Gillespie left Vail to expand their studio space and wound up in Paonia….then “got bit by the wine making bug!” Helen’s medium is photography and Ty’s forte is sculpture and boat hulls. In fact, his boat interest has led to the development of the “Azura Model Yacht Club,” which offers racing model boats and radio-controlled sailboats. Bring your boat on a Wednesday night during the summer, as Ty says everyone is welcome.
But on to the more important stuff…wine! Azura produces two white wines – Pinot Gris, fruity and perfect as a summer wine, and Riesling, a flavorful sweeter wine. Their red wines consist of a Syrah and Cabernet Franc, and a delicious blend of Cab Franc, Merlot and Syrah called Montage. Azura’s “pièce de résistance” is its Merlot Chocolate Sauce. The Merlot has aged in both French and American oak for 18 months. Try it over ice cream or a bowl of strawberries….incredible!!
You can only taste and purchase Azura wines at their tasting room, so stop on by for a sampling of their delicious wines and peruse the art work!
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