Posts Tagged ‘Bookcliff Vineyards’

Winery Visit – Bookcliff Vineyards

People are always asking me, “Paula, where do the Front Range wineries get their grapes?” For Bookcliff Vineyards, located in north Boulder, the answer is simple…you get them from your 37 acres of owned and managed vineyards in Palisade! Owners Ulla and John believe “it is important to know where the grapes come from and to have a connection to agriculture.” Bookcliff is the only Front Range winery that I know of that has its own vineyard and uses 100% Colorado-grown grapes. The winery has been in operation for a while – since 1999 – and has been planting their own grapes since 1997. It all began after a backpacking trip to Moab with a winery stop in Palisade and a visit to the Palisade wine festival. And we should be glad that Ulla and John made that stop because they are producing some delicious wines!

To prove how incredible their wines are…they are the only Colorado winery that has won 4 Jefferson Cups. (Click here for more info.) This is an annual, invitation only, national competition among 700-800 wines and only 20-25 wines receive a cup. Now that is impressive! The owners believe in fruit-forward wines and try to preserve the character of the grape, since each variety has its own distinct taste. As growers, they like Colorado’s high altitude and sunny days to provide more minerality and tannins to the grapes, and feel that grapes grown here do not taste like California grapes…YEAH!!

Bookcliff’s top sellers are Friday Folly White and Red, which are non-vintage, value wines. Their Cab Franc, which I tasted and is delicious, has been in their repertoire since 2002 and has won several gold or double gold medals. Their Malbec is a new kid on the block and actually won the 2014 Jefferson Cup. Another interesting wine is Touch of Red Rosé, which is produced similar to a German-style wine where 75% of the grapes are fermented dry and 25% are kept as grape juice. This mixture is then blended together, which takes a lot of effort and also care to prevent further fermentation in the bottle.

The winery participates in several special events…Bookcliff, as well as the other 2 wineries that make up Boulder Wine StudiosSettembre Cellars and What We Love, The Winery – have teamed up with the First Friday NoBo (North Boulder) Art Walk. Bookcliff also hosts special wine and food pairing dinners with local Boulder chefs. Whether it is stopping by the winery on a Thursday through Sunday afternoon for tasting or at one of their special events, a stop at Bookcliff Vineyards is a must do!

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Winery Visit – Bookcliff Vineyards

I spent a fun hour with assistant winemaker, Justin, of Bookcliff Vineyards. Unfortunately owners, John Garlich and Ulla Merz were out of town, but Justin did a great job filling in. John and Ulla began their winemaking venture in 1995 when they bought 10 acres of land in Palisade and in 1999 opened the doors of their winery. After 9 years of having the winery in their home, and needing more space, they opened their present-day winery and tasting room on Lee Hill Road. The facility is impressive, with 24 stainless steel tanks and lots of oak barrels. John and Ulla now own 36 acres of vineyards in Palisade and are proud that their wine is made from 100% Colorado grapes. To find out more about their story, check out their website.

Bookcliff makes several white wines, red wines and blends. Justin had me try their two table wines – Fridays Folly (a red blend) and Lucky Star (their Muscat and dry Riesling white blend). Both were a good tasting table wine for a reasonable price. I also tasted their Cabernet Franc and Syrah, both delicious, but their Ensemble really stood out. In fact, it just won a gold medal!

Most of their wines carry the Bookcliff Vineyards label, however, each year local artist Keith Scramble Campbell paints a label for them using Red Rocks Amphitheater as his backdrop. The label is printed and placed on one of their wines called Flagstaff Star. Keith then adds his own personal touch to a select number of bottles by painting on the bottle and label itself. A definite collectors item.

Bookcliff also hosts several dinner and wine pairings with local chefs. Check out their website for more information.

 

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