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Drink Local Wine

image courtesy Bookcliff Vineyard

Unless you’re a total wine weirdo, you probably know that Colorado has some very drinkable wines grown and produced right here in the state.  In fact, there are around 100 wines produced in Colorado growing European-style grapes.  And because Colorado is one of the highest and coolest wine producers in the world, some of our state’s best are cool-climate varieties including riesling, gerwurtzraminer, and cabernet franc.

In fact, we’re pretty lucky to have as robust a wine industry as we do, and to celebrate it, DrinkLocalWine.com is bringing its fourth-annual conference to Denver on April 28.

Events at the conference will include seminars discussing the state’s terroir, the consumer perception Colorado wine, and the role of local wine in the local food movement; the Colorado Twitter Taste-off, during which consumers will get to vote for their favorites; and a blind challenge where three national wine experts will taste Colorado and California wines and see if they can tell the difference.

I got to preview some of Colorado’s best wines from some local—very local!—vineyards at a tasting last week at the very cool Jonesy’s EatBar in Denver.

Bookcliff Vineyards grows their own grapes at a beautiful vineyard in Palisade (pictured above), but their tasting room is right here in Boulder on the northwest corner of Lee Hill Road and 28th Street.  My favorite wine that they brought to taste was the muscat blanc, a dry white with a touch of sweetness at the end and a strong floral note.

Boulder Creek winery brought their excellent Consensus Reserve, made—you guessed it—by consensus of their loyal customers.  A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc produced a rich, unfiltered wine with dark cherry flavors. You can taste it for yourself in their tasting room at 6440 Odell Place, Boulder.

Finally, the Grande River Vineyards are one of the big players in Grand Junction.  Their Cabernet Franc was my favorite of their offerings as an easy-to-drink wine with a hint of spiciness.

Paired with nibbles like country grits with sausage and spinach and duck confit posole from Jonesy’s, these wines made a big impression.  I’m excited to attend the conference and continue building on this list of local wines that I can now serve with confidence.

Tickets to the conference will be available starting in February at DrinkLocalWine.com. Tickets are $35 for the seminars and lunch, $35 for the Colorado Twitter Taste-off, or $60 for both ($65 the day of the event).

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