Sunday, March 29, 2015

First Friday at BookCliff Vineyards

First Friday is back for April with art on display from Jane Braley, wine and cheese flights to snack on and cool Jazz to listen to starting at 6:00pm.
The NoBo Art District has become a hot spot to hang out on the First Friday, walking for studio and business to studio meeting the artist. This is a neighborhood event to be part of. Come join us at BookCliff Vineyards from 6:00pm to 9:00pm . Food truck on site.
Check out the map for participating studios and businesses.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Colorado Terroir Similar to Argentina

It is all in the soil. And the climate. And not to forget the elevation. When we visited the vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina we were surprised to find similar growing conditions. Sandy loam soil with rocks embedded and a dry, arid climate requiring irrigation during the entire growing season. Argentina, especially in the Uco valley can boast more rocks, through the rocks are fewer in Colorado they are bigger. Both areas depend on the run off from the snow pack in the mountains, which feeds into the Colorado river and flows right through Palisade. In Mendoza the consensus is that grapes grown in higher elevations make better wine. The highest locations in the Uco valley, 45 minutes South of Mendoza are at 4900 feet. The BookCliff Vineyards in Palisade are at 4600 feet. As a result Colorado wines taste more like the wines in Mendoza than in California and the same grape varieties are used to make world class wine - Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Grape Varieties that do well in Colorado and Argentina

Not surprising the grape varieties that thrive in Argentina also thrive in Colorado. These are Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and also Merlot. When it comes to white varieties, Chardonnay comes out at the top. As Malbec is not as cold hardy as Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, Malbec grows more successfully in Mendoza where the winters are warmer compared to Palisade. The wines made from Malbec are beautiful in both places. Colorado has carved out itself a niche with Cabernet Franc which has been recognized as the signature red grape in Colorado. Mendoza is just discovering Cabernet Franc as an alternative to Malbec.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Makes Colorado Wine Unique

BookCliff at Vina Cobos in Mendoza
It sounds boring, but the answer is what is in the soil and the climate, in other words the famous terroir. Colorado's Grand Valley AVA has its unique terroir, located in the former riverbed of the Colorado river characterized by a continental, arid climate and high elevation. During the summer and fall it is typical to experience high temperature swings between the daytime high and the nighttime low.
The higher elevation creates grapes with a thicker skin, especially noticeable in red grapes. The low night temperatures preserve the acidity in the fruit. The result is wine with some grit, more structure, tannins especially when young and higher acidity expressed in a crisp finish. All of this contributes to wine that ages well in the bottle and cellar. And can complement food very well.
I had to visit Argentina and specifically Mendoza to get a better understanding what makes Colorado wine taste different from Californian wine. Mendoza has a similar climate and soil as Colorado's grape country, high dessert, arid climate and similar soil. The highest elevation vineyards in Mendoza (Uco valley) are 4,900 feet, Palisade, CO is at 4,600 feet. All vineyards are irrigated in Mendoza, just as in Palisade. No wonder the red wines from Mendoza and Colorado taste similar.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our Crew on the Bottling Line


At the winery today we bottled our extremely popular “Touch of Red” and the masses will go wild.  We have been out for a while and our club members have been clamoring for more.  We find the taste of strawberry really comes out and make this wine an extremely fun and drinkable adult beverage.  Our bottling crew is made up of musicians, experienced wine makers, retired IT Professionals and a linguist.  When we bottle wine we have a fun time and some of the fun seems to slip into the bottle along with the wine.  With Valentines day around the corner this wine would be a great way to end your meal with cheesecake with strawberries or strawberry shortcake.

-Ann Studwell

Great Adventures with BookCliff Vineyards

So far, this year has been a great adventure into 2015! We at BookCliff Vineyards took a trip to South America at the end of January and spent some time in beautiful Chile and Argentina! The wines were absolutely wonderful. We tried some Carmenere in Santa Cruz and had plenty of Malbec and Torrontes in Mendoza.What blew me away are the palace- like wineries built in the wine regions! These facilities are absolutely magnificent and built to hold 100's of guests at one time! To name a few, Catena Zapata, Finca Agostino, Bodegas Salentein, The Vines of Mendoza, Vina Cobos, Susana Balboa, Casa Silva and Casa Lapostolle. The architectural thought process put into these facilities are beyond sublime. The wines showcased were beautiful and we couldn't have asked for better hospitality! Going to South America anytime soon? Be sure to check these wineries out- you won't be disappointed!
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Holidays

Colorado is an amazing state to live in. One day we have warm, sunny temperatures of 60 degrees F and the next it falls to -2 degrees F and snow just in time for a White Christmas! Now we are back into the 20's F and if there's one thing consistent about CO, that would be the brilliant sunshine we receive! We are so lucky to be living in a beautiful area. BookCliff Vineyards is practicing some new techniques this winter to insulate the grapevines. John and Ulla made a visit down to Palisade to work with our Vineyard Manager, Prescott, on laying down the vines and covering them with hay. Our goal is to keep them warm to survive the cold winter! BookCliff is looking forward to 2015 and we can't wait to kickoff the New Year with some upcoming dinners with local Chefs, here at the winery! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!