By Carie Canterbury
The Daily Record
What started as a hobby, then turned into a weekend family project, now is a full-fledged business.
Cindy Tupper “accidentally” gave her husband, Rich Tupper, a wine making kit for Christmas one year, and they haven’t stopped making wine since.
The couple officially opened Legatum Cellars at 1704 Willow St. in November, but they’ve been growing grapes and making wine at the property for two years, mostly on the weekends with the help of their family.
“It’s always been their dream,” Rich Tupper said about owning and operating their own winery.
The couple first began looking for property, land, vineyards and wineries on the Western Slope, then they met David and Karin Fuselier and ended up purchasing half of their vineyard at Le Fuselier Winery at Spring Creek Vineyards, located at 1702 Willow St.
The two share a driveway and their operations run side by side. The couples help care for one another’s vines if the other is unable. Cindy Tupper said the Fuseliers have been mentors to her and husband.
“We would go to the Western Slope and go through the wineries and take a tour and see what they do and just appreciate what they were doing,” Rich Tupper said. “It’s more of an experience than just buying wine.”
The couple’s grapes are grown at their vineyard or purchased from within Colorado.
The wines they offer are Riesling, Chardonnay, First Kiss, Homestead Red, Franc & Jack, Pinot Noir, Crosse Eyed, and French Kiss.
The tasting room is a converted pole barn, and the front face of the tasting room and bar inside are made of barn wood from Rich Tupper’s family’s 110-year-old barn in Nebraska.
“‘Legatum’ is ‘legacy’ in Latin,” he said. “If you look around and we point out certain things, you will see a lot of things that has to do with.”
The couple plans to add a patio with an enclosed sitting area with water misters, lights and a fire pit for summertime gatherings and wine tastings.
“That is a big part of my dream,” Rich said. “People can come here and have an experience, they can taste the wine and for the next 15 or 20 minutes they can just enjoy the taste. We’re into making people happy.”
They also plan to add a park area with a gazebo that can be used for weddings.
The couple lives in Colorado Springs, but plan to relocate to Cañon City and fully devote their time to the winery when they retire in 2017. Rich currently works for a truck equipment house and Cindy is employed by a ministry that works with older orphans in Russia.
The tasting room is open noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit Legatum Cellars on Facebook.
Carie Canterbury: 719-276-7643, firstname.lastname@example.org