Our last winery stop in the Cortez area was at Pleasant View Vineyards. Here we were welcomed by owners, Elizabeth and Allan Bleak, who are the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Their warmth, hospitality and graciousness made us feel right at home, which is a good thing since we noticed Elizabeth toting a 357 magnum. But don’t let that scare you….that’s for the mountain lions and other predator animals that live in the area, not the guests!
The vineyard and their home is 8+ miles outside of Pleasant View and the back way into Hovenweep National Monument. Pleasant View doesn’t have an actual tasting room, but they are working in that direction with a grocery store in town and possibly offering tasting samples at the local Farmers Market.
When we arrived the Bleaks were pruning and tending to their 10+ acres of vines. Their vineyard sits in a little micro-climate, and they are able to grow a variety of grapes. We only tasted their Chardonnay, as we had a 7 hour drive back to Denver, and it was absolutely delicious! In fact, Pleasant View just received a bronze medal for their Chardonnay at the Governor’s Cup Colorado Wine Competition. I think we will be seeing a lot more from Pleasant View Vineyards in the near future.
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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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