I just sampled one of the most delicious wines I have ever tasted! My daughter and I spent a few days touring around the Grand Valley’s wineries…a special mother/daughter weekend as she is now 21 and wants to learn more about wine….guess I did something correct in my parenting!
One of our winery stops was at DeBeque Canyon Winery located in downtown Palisade. Bennett Price is the owner (along with his wife Davy) and winemaker. Bennett’s talents not only encompass his winemaking skills but he has planted more vineyards and grapevines in the state of Colorado than any other person I know. Click here for a link to his accolades and his story – it is very interesting as he is one of Colorado’s pioneers of the present-day wine industry.
But back to the wine!! There we are tasting his wines when he tells us the story of “BLT” and pours us a sample. It seems back in 2005 Bennett made a Pinot Noir varietal and decided to hold back 4 barrels. He wanted to see what would be the effects of further aging the wine in French oak. Somehow the barrels got lost in the shuffle and it wasn’t until recently that he found them and was convinced to open up a barrel and give the wine a try. To Bennett’s delight he discovered a delicious dinner wine! His grandson, Levi, called it “Bennett’s Lost Treasure” and that is why the name “BLT.”
You won’t be able to find this wine at the liquor store, so make a stop at DeBeque Canyon Winery and try a sample….you will then say: Colorado DOES make incredible wine!
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Combine tasting wine right out of the barrel, delicious food, talking with the winemaker and what do you have?? “Barreling into Spring!” The Grand Valley Winery Association‘s event is over for 2013 (happens once in April and once in May) but you can put it on your 2014 calendar to make sure you don’t miss it next year. The event is limited to 400 people for each month and sells out quickly, so check the association’s website often for ticket sales.
I had the privilege of selling and signing my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries at both DeBeque Canyon Winery and Plum Creek Cellars during the May event. Today’s blog is about DeBeque and my next blog will highlight Plum Creek.
DeBeque Canyon Winery is one of the “old guys” in the Grand Valley region, having begun their operation in 1997. Owner and winemaker Bennett Price along with his wife, Davelyn (Davy), are two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Bennett was one of the original 12 investors in Rocky Mountain Vineyards, the first winery here in the state to make wine from Colorado grapes. He has also planted many of the Grand Valley’s wineries’ and vineyards’ grape vines over the years, so needless to say…he knows his stuff!!
The Price’s make a variety of wines. To name a few… Chardonnay, Riesling and Viognier as examples of their whites and Cab Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Tempranillo for their reds. They also had two port-style wines they were offering during the barrel tasting…one was a port made with just Merlot that had spent 6+ years in French oak, and they offered dark chocolate to accompany it. I wish my vocabulary had better words to describe it than just “delicious.” I guess you’ll just have to taste it for yourself!!
The first stop/table at DeBeque’s was sampling their white wines, the second stop was sampling a few of their reds. You then stopped at the food table where chicken tacos and lamb puffs were featured to pair with the wine. The food was catered by Craving. Owner and chef Jonathan Rashleigh operates a mobile catering service. Contact him at 970-640-5114 to have him cater your next event!
The next and best stop, and the real reason for the “Barreling into Spring” event is to taste wine right out of the barrel! Bennett explained his wine making process and answered questions. He is thoroughly knowledgeable about what it takes to make exceptional wine in Colorado.
It was a fun day and the people attending the event had a wonderful time. Whether its barrel tasting or just sampling their wines (no fee!!) a stop at DeBeque Canyon Winery is a “must do” when you are in Palisade!!
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Its going to be busy in the Grand Valley this weekend….the “Barreling into Spring” event is taking place! The event is organized by the Grand Valley Winery Association, which includes 8 wineries:
- Canyon Wind Cellars
- Carlson Vineyards
- DeBeque Canyon Winery
- Garfield Estates
- Grande River Vineyards
- Graystone Winery
- Plum Creek Cellars
- Two Rivers Winery
Each winery offers a little different variety…from fruit wines to traditional wines to port. I would tell you to get your ticket and stop on in at theses wineries, but the event is sold out! If you are in the mood for a visit to the Grand Valley this weekend, there are 15 other wineries that will have their tasting rooms open and invite you to stop on by.
I will be selling and signing my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries-Guidebook & Journal at DeBeque Canyon Winery on Saturday, May 18 from 11 to 3 and Sunday, May 19 also from 11 to 3 at Plum Creek Cellars.
With our warm weather and the beginning of summer approaching, its time to “Explore and Enjoy” Colorado wines!!
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It may be a little tricky to find, but once you are there, you will be quite pleased you stopped at DeBeque Canyon Winery. The tasting room is on Kluge Street in downtown Palisade and you need to turn west into a driveway/parking lot to locate them at Building #3. They are currently working on placing signage out front.
Owners, Davelyn (Davy) and Bennett Price are the most friendly, down-home people you would ever want to meet. And they know a lot about the history of how Colorado’s wine industry began. So while you are tasting some of their delicious wines, definitely ask them questions! They were one of the founding members of Colorado Mountain Vineyards, which is the oldest winery in Colorado. Additionally, Bennett, who began his career as a geologist and then studied at the University of California at Davis, has planted the vineyards for many of the Grand Valley’s notable wineries (9 that he could think of off the top of his head) and growers.
The Price’s opened their own winery in 1997. In 2007, they consolidated their production facility and tasting room into one building. While you are tasting one of their many white or red wines ask for a tour / explanation of their production techniques. They are best known for their red wines, but have also produced a Port-style wine that is delicious. A stop at DeBeque Canyon Winery is a must while in Palisade!
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