Allis Ranch Winery (and Ruby Trust Cellars) are the only two wineries in Colorado that can boast famed wine author and critic Robert Parker has tasted their wines. So how did owner and winemaker of Allis Ranch, David Rhyne, get him to do the tasting?? Through a fund-raising event, David bought a ticket to enjoy dinner with Parker in September 2012 and boldly brought along his wine. Parker said he would taste the wine, but would be very honest about his findings. He was pleasantly surprised, impressed with a Colorado wine and actually tweeted about his thoughts! Yeah, Colorado and Allis Ranch!!
So what impressive wines is Allis Ranch producing?? Viognier, Grenache, Syrah and Rosé…all Rhone varietals and in the Rhone style of wine production. David believes that Colorado’s hot days, cool nights and altitude are similar to the Southern Rhone area of France. He cold soaks his grapes for 3 days (which extracts color) and uses a long maceration process to produce deep, inky dark red wines. He also believes his wines do best aging a long time in oak. He likes the French oak to bring out the vanilla and sweetness of the grapes and likes American oak to enhance the black pepper spice in his Syrah.
David uses Old World techniques to produce his wines, making big wines and then taming them down in oak. His philosophy is to “have the grapes’ express themselves naturally and believes in producing only high quality wine.” All his grapes are sourced from the Western Slope of Colorado, and primarily from 3 vineyards. Viognier is the only white; his Margaret’s Rosé is dry; 2 Husky Syrah is named after his dogs – Allis and Strider; his Reserve Syrah is incredible; and the Grenache is top of the line and only 1 barrel is produced per year when the grapes are available.
What’s really cool about visiting Allis Ranch is the drive there from Sedalia and winding up at the tasting room, which is a 1910 Sears Roebuck “kit” home. It was brought by train to the area and then built in 1923. Allis Ranch is named after Pat Allis, who was the latest land owner. When she died in 1995 she sold the land to Colorado Open Lands, a non-profit, who divided the ranch into 10 – 35 acre lots with 440 acres of open space. David and his wife Margaret (who by the way is the wine labels’ creator) did some “swapping” for the kit home, totally refurbished it and now use it for the winery’s production facility and tasting room.
Allis Ranch Winery is by appointment only for groups of 10 or more, so get a group together and head out for a tasting of some incredibly delicious Colorado wines!!