Archive for October, 2015

Winery Visit – Legacy Vineyards

I’m always telling people to attend some of Colorado’s wine festivals as it’s a perfect way to sample wines from numerous wineries all at one time. Well, I just found out about a “wine festival” that is happening year round…..it’s called Legacy Vineyards! Located at the west end of downtown Littleton, Legacy pours about 50 different wines from over 20 Colorado wineries. Owner Michael and his daughter, Brittany, have done the research for you and sampled wines from all around the state and then picked what they believe to be the best of the best. So Legacy is a great place to sample and purchase Colorado wines!

Legacy Vineyards’ conception began as Michael and wife DeeDee traveled from Denver to Nevada every month stopping in the Grand Valley along the way to sample wines. Michael has always had a passion for gardening and began pursuing the possibility of growing grapes and opening a winery. But as DeeDee pointed out, Michael knew nothing about how to do this! So over the past 3 years he earned an online degree in viticulture (growing grapes) and is almost done with a degree in viniculture (making wine). He has also had the help and support of numerous Colorado grape growers and winemakers.

In addition to offering Colorado wines, Legacy is about to bottle its first wines called Red #1, Red #2 and Autumn Gold. Michael has purchased wine in bulk from many Colorado wineries to create Legacy’s own unique blended wines. Red #1 is a blend of what customers enjoyed the most and is a blend of 4 varietals. Red #2 they call “training wheels” and is a good introduction for white wine drinkers to move into red wines. Autumn Gold is a white, seasonal blend that is crisp, fruit-forward and refreshing.

Legacy uses “vineyard” in their name because they are growing their own grapes in places north and east of metro Denver. Who says you can’t grow grapes anywhere in Colorado!! These are cold-hardy, hybrid grapes….see blog about River Garden Winery for more info on cold-hardy grapes. The name Legacy is biblically inspired as Michael feels vineyard life and the life of a vine is similar to human life – both the struggles and the bearing of fruit. It is also his legacy to pass down something to his children.

A visit to Legacy Vineyards any time of the year is a great way to sample some of the best of Colorado wines! Explore & Enjoy!!

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PBS Show on Colorado Wines

Are you interested in finding out more about the Colorado wine industry? An educational adventure show called Hittin the Road and narrated by Donna Vessey aired an episode on wine. During this segment, Donna met with two grape growers and winemakers….Guy Drew of Guy Drew Vineyards located in Cortez and John Garlich of Bookcliff Vineyards in Boulder. She also interviewed Michelle Cleveland, winemaker at Creekside Cellars in Evergreen, Doug Caskey who is the Executive Director of the Colorado Wine Industry Board and myself, who provided information on the history of the Colorado wine industry. It is a very informative segment and an interesting way to improve your knowledge about our state’s grape growing and wine development. Click here for a link to watch the show.

Hittin the Road’s second season will begin in March, 2016 and feature 13 episodes. Click here for more information about the upcoming shows. In the meantime you can view all of first season’s shows on YouTube. Those shows discussed flying, bees, skydiving, rafting and many more fun adventures to experience here in Colorado.

We live in a wonderful state, so explore and enjoy!!

 

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Winery Visit – Point Blank Winery

Having reached the “it’s hard to believe, but I really am getting old” stage in my life, it was really refreshing to meet with owner Erin of Point Blank Winery. She is young, enthusiastic and pursuing a dream. I visited with Erin at her new winery in Centennial, just off Arapahoe Road, which is close to where she grew up. After attending college in California, she practiced making wine and earned her Level 2 sommelier certification, all with the thought of opening up a “micro-winery.” An embarrassing moment came during her sommelier class when she misspelled Pinot Blanc as Point Blank, which actually gave her the idea for the winery’s name!

Erin’s inspiration comes from all the micro-breweries…..she produces her wines as seasonal craft blends, just like a brewery would do. Her 3 wines called Owl, At Last and Classy Brass are all blends. She sources varietal grape concentrate from Lodi, CA and uses that to make her wines. She is a “one woman shop” and oversees all aspects of the winery herself. That is actually one reason she uses glass “corks.” While these cost a little more than traditional corks it enables her to quickly hand bottle without fear of oxidation.

So a little bit about the wines….Owl is Point Blank’s red blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabs Franc and Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. It is inspired by French wines and is off-dry, and like a Beaujolais has an autumn release. The white wine is called Classy Brass and is a blend of Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. It has tastes of green apple, tropical fruits and pineapple. The Rosé, called At Last, is a blend of Grenache and Sauvignon Blanc, which is not a typical production combination. It is off-dry and a nice balance for both sweet and dry wine drinkers.

Point Blank Winery is usually open on Saturdays from 1 – 6 p.m. for free tasting, but Erin says it’s always best to check the website. You can bring in your own food or have it delivered, a great way to enjoy Point Blank’s food-friendly wines. The winery is also available for private events, small parties, meetings or classes. Stop by and visit with Erin and enjoy her delicious wines.

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Winery Visit – What We Love, The Winery

I will be the first to admit that I enjoy visiting winery tasting rooms and sampling wine. And I do enjoy sampling and comparing the “standard” grapes / wines at the wineries, but it is always refreshing and interesting to try something new, different and exciting….and that is what I experienced at What We Love, The Winery!! While What We Love does produce many of the standard wines you see at most tasting rooms, it offers a few very unique wines as well. For owner Michael, innovation and creativity are his key words.

Many of us enjoy a good Sangria, and What We Love has put this in a bottle and with a “re-sealable” cap (see picture below). The Sangria comes in both white and red styles and is made with wine, real fruit and spices. And here is great news….it is very high in Vitamin C, so you are actually getting your vitamins while enjoying wine…what could be better!! This beverage is 20.5% alcohol and is produced to be diluted as a 1:2 or 3 ratio. I had the Sangria mixed with varying amounts of seltzer but you could also add a different beverage or serve it over ice cream. Yum!

Another innovative wine being produced at What We Love is Mulled Wine, and as the motto on the label says, it is “a faithful winter rescue.” Mulled Wine is popular in many parts of the USA (what could be more enjoyable after a day on the ski slopes!!) and especially in Germany where it is called Gluewein and in France, where it is called Vinchaud. Michael is producing his Mulled Wine with coffee, chocolate and various spices. And here is the real innovative part…you can take it with you skiing, hiking or anywhere in its own pouch container! It comes with hand warmers that keep it warm for up to 8 hours and is refillable using a special cap called a “dongle” – an Australian term meaning attachment. (see pictures below)

Michael is originally from Australia and was in the wine industry and managed a luxury ski lodge there for many years. When he came to the USA he wasn’t sure what would be his next new business venture, and everyone was asking him, “so what do you love?” and that is how the winery name was created. Michael also loves various other products and businesses and is thinking down the road he may create another What We Love, The ??? but that is still TBD.

What We Love, The Winery is part of the Boulder Wine Studios along with Bookcliff Vineyards and Settembre Cellars, which are all located in the same complex on Lee Hill Road in north Boulder. Stop on by Thursday through Sunday afternoons for a unique wine experience and ask about the St. Bernard influence!

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