Posts Tagged ‘Balistreri Vineyards’

Winery Visit – Sweetheart City Wines

During my sommelier class I found it interesting that winemaking is often passed down from generation to generation in Europe, something we really don’t see much of here in the United States. So its exciting to hear that a nephew of Clyde and June Spero (Spero Winery) has opened his own winery in Loveland.  Nephew Jack Cantley, his wife Lindsay and partners David and Kathy Burks are the owners of Sweetheart City Wines. Jack and David “have been making beer and wine for years and decided to turn their hobby into something they could pass down to their kids.” In fact one of Jack’s earliest memories is making wine with his great grandfather.

Since the partners have lived in the area for over 25 years, and wanted to add that “romantic flare” to their wines, Loveland was the ideal location. I also learned that Loveland is a good place for growing certain grapes as the area used to have cherry, peach and apricot orchards.

Currently the winery operation is located at 6295 Bluff Lane, but by spring/summer of 2014 a new facility and tasting room will be located just west of town on Hwy 34 by Glade Road. See picture below for an architect’s rendering of the entire project which will also include executive offices, a private residence, venue for weddings as well as acres and acres of vineyards. Next spring 690 vines, primarily muscat, frontenac and maricot, will be planted and in the future the partners are hoping to plant cab franc and tempranillo grapes.

Currently Sweetheart City is sourcing their grapes from California, as they’ve done since their first production in 2009. They are currently working with vineyards in Colorado for a 2013 vintage. But we will have to wait until at least 2015 for those wines as Sweetheart City ages all their reds in barrel for 2 years.  The best way to view all their wines is on their website….click here for the link.

Most liquor stores in Loveland are carrying Sweetheart City wines and if you would like to taste or purchase wines at the current location just set up an appointment by calling 970-593-8563 or 970-214-3948.  They are specializing in red wines and are “committed to deliver hand-crafted wine with a romantic flare…and [their wines] are made to pair with good friends, good food  and of course someone special.” As their label says “Nel vino c e amoré” (In wine there is love)…so stop on by the winery for a taste of wine and a little love!





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Winery Visit – Balistreri Vineyards

After my volunteer shift at the Denver Zoo (sorry but I had to put in a plug for the zoo and our new Toyota Elephant Passage!), I headed north to Balistreri Vineyards, which is a short drive via I-270 at the York exit. Balistreri has just completed their brand new Tasting Room….and it is incredible. See the pictures below for a visual. They are currently working on the landscaping both front and back, where they are creating a picnic / garden type area. I forget the number of trees and flowers owner Julie Balistreri told me they were planting, but it will be impressive….maybe that’s because they used to be in the greenhouse business before starting Balistreri Vineyards!

Upon entering the Tasting Room, you are greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable staff person, who will pour you some of Balistreri’s award-winning wines. And there are a LOT to choose from. In addition to the wine sampling, they also provide complimentary cheeses, meats and crackers. In the near future they will be offering picnic-style lunches from the new kitchen. If you are in need of a rental space for any occasion, the back room is your answer. There is even a curved staircase for those brides who want to make a grand entrance!

The Balistreri family – John, Birdie and Julie (and other relatives) make delicious wines in the old, traditional way. John has been making wine since he was 9 years old. They don’t use a lot of machinery (in fact they only have 2 pieces of equipment and one of those is a fork lift) and produce and bottle their wines by hand. One of their signature trademarks is their wax-topped bottles. This is done instead of using paper or plastic wrap once the bottle has been corked.

Since it was early in the day, I only tried a few wines and thoroughly enjoyed their Viognier and Zinfandel.


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