A new winery in Palisade is growing exponentially, and the reason may be connected to their attitude of utilizing a craft brewery model instead of a winery strategy. Red Fox Cellars’ motto of “respectful, but unbound by tradition” emphasizes this unique approach. I recently had the pleasure of meeting the Hamilton family and learning about their interesting journey into the wine business. It began when parents Sherrie and Scott were looking to move from Denver to the Grand Valley area. Their objective was to find a fruit or vineyard agri-property, and they accomplished that goal by purchasing 7 acres of vineyards. Then came the idea of a winery!
It is son Chad who is utilizing his home brewing background to create the unique wines and ciders that Red Fox produces. Have you ever sampled a bourbon barrel-aged Merlot? It is the winery’s best-selling wine, and I can attest that it is absolutely delicious!! Their “Bourbeaux Blend” is a spin on the classic Bordeaux-style blends, but uses a rye whiskey barrel-aged Cab Franc in the mix, along with some of that delicious Bourbon Barrel Merlot. Red Fox produces 2 Rosés. One is a traditional, dry-style Rosé, using a cold soak method and their estate grown Tempranillo grapes and the other is a Saignee style Rosé. Click here to learn more about Saignee and why the French usually discard this. Red Fox uses the sometimes discarded bled off juice as a vehicle for experimentation, aging this Rosé lightly in a rye whiskey barrel that was also used to age tart cherry wine. I’m personally looking forward to tasting a 2013 Estate “field blend” of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto that were all fermented together (as opposed to blending the wine after fermentation). The winery is waiting to release it until it reaches perfection!
Again using Chad’s beer background, the winery also produces 8 ciders, 7 of which are dry. I had the privilege of sampling their Roasted Chile Cider, which has a nice apple taste with a subtle chili taste (not like some where you are overpowered by chili pepper spice!). In addition to making several varieties of apple cider, Red Fox also makes a “champagne-like” cider called Cidre Grand Cru that is spiced with orange peel and coriander, like in a Belgian Wit beer.
What can we look forward to from Red Fox Cellars?? Ask daughter-in-law Kelly, who heads the marketing for the winery. She says to check out their website for details on their new patio events, which will include movie nights and Friday Food Truck Night. Son Kyle, who is a jack-of-all-trades around the winery says to look forward to “Beer de Champagne,” which is a collaboration with Black Project Spontaneous Ales using just over 50% Riesling and the balance a Lambic wort (similar to a sour type beer). Also coming soon to the menu are a “bourbon barrel-aged, sparkling, tart cherry wine” and a “rye whiskey barrel-aged, sparkling, peach wine” (wow, that was a mouthful!), which will be made from the Palisade peaches growing just outside the tasting room. Obviously a stop at Red Fox Cellars offers some delicious and unique tasting experiences, so stop on by soon!!Read more →