In addition to all the festivities during the Colorado Mountain Winefest, I will be doing a special book signing at St. Kathryn Cellars and Talon Winery on Sunday, September 16. I’ll be at their tasting room from 10 – 11:45 a.m.
If you are into fruit-based wines, St. Kathryn Cellars produces a wide variety…. from cherry to lavender. If you enjoy the more traditional wines, Talon Winery produces some awesome classic wines.
Stop on by to sample some of their delicious wines and grab a copy of my book – Exploring Colorado Wineries.
See you there!
Read more →
I’ve been talking about wine for all my “Winery Visit” blog posts, but there is another form of wine (believed to be the oldest fermented drink) called Mead. Archeologists have discovered Mead in pots dating back to BC time. So what is Mead?? Its a combination of water, yeast and honey, with honey being the different factor. During my visit to Meadery of the Rockies, I learned that honey can never go bad… so in layman’s terms, there is a chemical process whereby honey gives off hydrogen peroxide, which actually kills off bacteria!!
So if honey is in Mead, does that mean its always sweet?? And the answer is NO…Mead can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet. Meadery of the Rockies actually makes many different Meads…from the traditional, to fruit-based Meads called Fruit `n Honey, dessert Meads called Satins that are fortified with grape spirit and a Honey Sheré, that is 18% alcohol.
I met with Brian Stevens, winemaker for Meadery of the Rockies as well as Talon Winery and St. Kathryn Cellars, who gave me the 411 on Mead making. You first need the basic ingredients – water and honey. Meadery uses Orange Blossom honey, which primarily comes from California and Florida. Its my understanding that Arizona has the best honey (who would have thought??), but it is expensive and hard to obtain. Brian mixes the water and honey in a huge 1960s dairy tank (sorry forgot to take a picture!) until he gets 24 brix (a sugar measurement). He then transfers it to a big tank and adds yeast. Here it ferments and becomes Mead. Brian says making Mead is different than making wine as there are more complex things to deal with.
For more information on Mead, see Meadery of the Rockies website or better yet….stop by for a taste!
Read more →
If you are looking for an easy-to-find winery where you can sample numerous varieties of wine, look no further. Talon Winery and St. Kathryn Cellars are just off I-70 at Exit #42 in Palisade.
Talon Winery is all about the classics. Owners, Glenn and Natalie Foster devote this production to the standard varietal wines of Merlot, Cab, Riesling and a few blends, using locally grown grapes. St. Kathryn Cellars is just the opposite….more fruit based wines. In fact, their biggest seller is called Sweet Scarlet, which is a Merlot and Blackberry blend. They also have a Lavender wine, which is a blend of Riesling and Lavender (lavender oil infused into the wine) and is a big hit during the Palisade Lavender Fest.
The Fosters began their operation in 2005 in Fruita, but 3 years later realized they needed to expand, so moved their facilities and tasting room to Palisade and purchased St. Kathryn Cellars and Meadery of the Rockies (which I’ll talk about at a later time). Glenn has been around winemaking for years as his father founded and ran Ravenswood Winery in California.
When you are visiting their tasting rooms (St. Kathryn to the right/north and Talon to the left/south side of the building they share) take a minute to read information on Colorado’s wine history. Someone has done an INCREDIBLE job of gathering information and old photographs to tell the story of how wine began in Colorado. Additionally, if you need any wine-related merchandise, both tasting rooms are huge and offer a vast assortment of paraphernalia. And finally, if you have a sweet tooth (or need to bribe the kids while you are tasting!) they have The Colorado Fudge Factory right in the tasting room where they offer free samples!
Read more →