Quick—what do a former aerospace engineer, a computer tech industry entrepreneur, and a trained geologist who spent most of his career traversing the globe to find rare earth substances all have in common?
Wineries buy fruit all the time. However, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey is the only one I know of that buys grapes from a prison.
Most wine tasting room visits tend to be similar; people lined up at a bar sampling the current releases. Occasionally wineries offer a barrel tasting experience, where a tour guide (or if you’re lucky the winemaker) will use an oversized pipette, commonly referred to as a “wine thief,” to extract samples of wine from barrels. This allows the taster to observe how the unfinished wine is evolving before it is bottled. While opportunities like this are rare at most wineries, one producer in Boulder, Colorado goes a step further.
When most people imagine visiting a winery certain things come to mind. Sunlight shimmering off rolling green hills covered in row after row of grape vines. Tastings of newly released handcrafted wines. Guided tours through rooms filled with rows of pristine barrels.
Most Riesling connoisseurs have long considered Germany, specifically the Mosel Valley, as the varietal’s rightful throne. This is probably still true. The Mosel Valley’s unique, steep slopes of sun-absorbing slate have allowed the cool climate of Central-Western Germany to create ideal Riesling wines for over 150 years. But, as Riesling slowly grows in popularity, vintners around the world, the United States included, are giving it a go in new regions and climates. It is no wonder. While the retail sales of Pinot Gris outgrew all other white wines from 2004 until 2007, Riesling has taken that title for the last few years.