Colorado wine is finally coming into its own | VailDaily.com

Colorado wine is finally coming into its own

It’s a good time to be a wine lover in Colorado.

Stacey McKenna, Denver Post

Winemaking in the Centennial State is still finding its way. Thus far, Colorado’s wine industry has largely been driven by its potential as a tourist attractant, and rightly so. Whether you’re cycling between the vineyards of the Western Slope or enjoying award-winning vintages with a cheese platter on the grassy grounds of historic Holy Cross Abbey, our tasting scene is certainly vacation-worthy.

But for Colorado wine to rise to the next level, it’s got to be about more than the winery experience, according to Carlin Karr, sommelier at Frasca Food and Wine (which won a James Beard Award in 2013 for outstanding wine program). The wine itself has to be worthy. But what does that mean?

When Karr is selecting vintages for Frasca’s wine list, she of course looks for flavor — is it tasty and “correct”? — but she also considers how the grapes were farmed and whether the value-to-quality ratio holds up against other regions.

Despite the fact that people grew grapes and made wine all over the state in the late 19th century, when it comes to post-Prohibition production, Colorado’s wine industry is young and finding its way. Growers and makers have been following California’s lead, planting grapes that don’t offer their best expressions in our short season and high-elevation climate. And, perhaps because of the struggles with getting these varietals to produce, growing organically is on few grape farmers’ radar.

However, while that might mean our wines aren’t yet ready for Frasca’s menu, Colorado’s first Master of Wine Ashley Hausman describes the industry as “becoming.”

Read more via The Denver Post.