Another winery near Cortez is Guy Drew Vineyards, who along with Sutcliffe Vineyards is nestled in the McElmo Canyon. The winery is located about 4 miles from the intersection of Hwy 160/491 and G Road. I point this out because you need to keep an eye out for the WINERY sign on the right/north side of the road. Once there you are warmly invited into Guy and Ruth Drew’s home, which is also their tasting room. Guy and Ruth are very welcoming, friendly and ready to answer any questions you might have.
Guy and Ruth left the corporate Denver world in the late 1990s and built their straw bale house, winery and facilities. And remember, that’s a STRAW bale house, not a HAY bale house….big difference we were told!! Guy took us on a tour of his state-of-the-art winemaking facility. Here, Guy is producing delicious wines at affordable prices and winning many awards in the process.
In his two winemaking buildings he has stainless steel tanks, oak barrels and a new type of maturation container that takes up less room than nine oak barrels. His wine bottling, labeling and corking machine allows Guy to complete the process himself. Guy uses both corks and screw tops for his wines. His crush machine is very impressive, and the crushing speed can be controlled depending on what variety of grape he is crushing.
We sampled several of Drew’s wines both in the bottle and still maturing in the tanks. My two favorites are his Unoaked Chardonnay and Meritage (pronounced like heritage).
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My new book – Exploring Colorado Wineries – Guidebook & Journal – was launched at the sixth annual Durango Wine Experience. The 3-day event took place May 3-5 (so put this on your calendar to attend in 2013). The two most popular events are the Walk-About on Friday afternoon, which consists of taking your special Durango Wine Experience glass, walking around and tasting delicious wines, beers and spirits at numerous locations in downtown Durango. The Grand Tasting is the culmination of the 3-day event. Positioned under a huge festival tent in the First National Bank parking lot were 50 vendors and 12 restaurant tables. Samplings of wine, beer and spirits as well as food was offered for one price.
Four out of the five Four Corners Region wineries were pouring their wine – Four Leaves Winery, Fox Fire Farms, Guy Drew Vineyards and Sutcliffe Vineyards. The other vendor tables consisted of distributors who represented “beverages” from all over the world. Many of the local Durango restaurants were on hand to offer some of their delicious fare.
The Durango Wine Experience was a huge success again this year, and provided net proceeds to United Way of Southwest Colorado.
Mark your calendars for the first weekend of May, 2013 as the seventh annual Durango Wine Experience will take place. If you haven’t been to Durango in a while, its a great area to visit and experience its world-class biking trails and blue ribbon water, take a ride on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge train or step back in time at Mesa Verde National Park.
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