Ripened grapes sit saturated in the long vineyard waiting to be picked or fall from their vines. The weathered hands of the vineyard worker pick the grapes individually and place them in a sack to be toted off to a winery where they are juiced, bottled and aged.
In Colorado, such vineyards are highly regarded, according to Doug Frost’s Jefferson Cup standards. Frost, a renowned writer and consultant of wine, holds an annual wine competition that began in 2005, and at the 2010 Jefferson Cup, several Colorado wineries were praised for the fruits of their labor. In fact, the 2009 Petite Sirah bottle from the Bookcliff Vineyards in Boulder brought home the second Jefferson Cup award that Colorado has received.
A simple nomination for an award is considered a “gold medal,” whereas the Jefferson Cup is the highest rank in the winery industry, and therefore, the most desired award. The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, Cañon City, Boulder Creek Winery, Boulder and Canyon Wind Cellars also received “merits” and “greats” from the judges, so they must be added to the list of wineries I plan to visit.
The Jefferson Cup judges wine from various state’s respected vineyards, which includes all types from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon. Frost, who graduated with a master’s of wine and a master’s of sommelier, is one of three people in the world to have completed both prestigious programs, so there are definitely refined taste buds that have evolved from his experiences.
Even though Colorado has a good reputation in the brewery industry, because, of course, we have at arm’s length some of the best-brewed beers, obviously a good glass of wine is closer than you think.