‘Vines at Vail’ winery proposed for Wolcott
WOLCOTT – California has its Napa Valley.The Eagle Valley has … Wolcott.Local winemaker Patrick Chirichillo, who runs the Churchill Wine Cellars at 4 Eagle Ranch, just north of Wolcott, is the developer of “Vines at Vail.”
Chirchillo’s winery includes a tasting room, a lodge, a pavilion, and some token grape vines. He wants to build on a 39-acre parcel, just north of the Gallegos Masonry headquarters, on the north side of the Eagle River in Wolcott. The winery would be accessed off Highway 131.”This has been a fun project. We’re trying to create a kind of destination place with the winery, very similar to what you might see in Grand Junction,” said planning consultant Sid Fox, who represents Chirichillo. The intent of Vines at Vail is to create a village atmosphere to go along with future growth in Wolcott, he said. Designs call for a 10,000-square-foot winery, which visitors could tour. A 7,000-square-foot banquet hall could host weddings, reunions and others parties. Later phases include a plaza, a 30-room lodge for overnight guests and space for small businesses.
A small vineyard of grapevines would be planted along the access road. However, the winery would not rely on local grapes – Wolcott’s 7,000-foot elevation doesn’t offer an ideal grape-growing season. Most of the grapes would be imported from western Colorado or California.”There are some hearty varieties of grapes, but we’re not relying on them for production,” explained Fox.Berms will initially be used to shelter the winery from its more industrial neighbors, like the Gallegos building and a Waste Management operation, Fox said.
“We’re really looking into the future. We’re pretty optimistic that the area will start to change once some activity is approved there,” said Fox.The winery is currently being review by Eagle County. Vail, Colorado