Four wineries have teamed up to provide Denver with a “wine destination” within the city limits. Saturday they invite you –
for wine tasting and more at its grand opening.
“Colorado Winery Row,” as they are calling it, is comprised of four wineries;
Bonacquisti Wine Company, Cottonwood Cellars, Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery, and Verso Cellars.
The four wineries are housed in three storefronts in a small shopping center in the Highlands, at Pecos and 46th streets.
Christopher Davies, the marketing representative for the group of four wineries, said he anticipates the grouping of these four wineries will be significant for the Colorado wine community.
“This is going to bring wine to the heart of Denver,” Davies said. “We’re going to make this a destination for wine.”
“Winery Row gives people the opportunity to come over here and we can really expose people to the
wines of Colorado…”
Bonacquisti is the veteran in the location. Paul Bonacquisti and his wife, Judi, have been creating and selling wine on Pecos Street
for three-and-a-half years. They are the only winery of the four with winemaking on location. The others are located on the Western Slope –
four hours west of Denver.
Bonacquisti, a former radio disc jockey for long-defunct Jammin’ 92.5, began creating wine in his home in Highlands.
It was a family tradition that is reflected in the names of his wine, like D Red, which is named after Delagua, a coal town by Trinidad where Bonacquisti’s grandfather worked as a coal miner. He also has an Italian style red named after his son called Vinny No Neck.
Bonacquisti opened the Pecos location with the hope that other wineries would join him, creating a wine destination in Denver.
He was going at it alone until this past August, when Verso Cellars opened one door down.
Verso Cellars focuses on one type of wine, cabernet. Paul Phillips, the owner, described his winery as “simple,”
though making a good cab is anything but.
Phillips started growing the grapes in Verso wine in 2001 and introduced its first wine, its 2003 Cabernet, four years later
(the 2003 wine sat for two years). Currently Verso has four cabernets available, from years 2003 through 2006.
While the two wineries worked well together, it would take two more wineries to make Bonacquisti’s hope of making the area
a wine-tasters destination. And just last week, that hope was fulfilled.
Jeff Carr, co-owner of Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery, and J.P. Sicotte, whose mother Diana and stepfather John Read own Cottonwood Cellars, opened the door to their combined storefront last week. Carr began his winery 10 years ago, and Sicotte,
whose parents left California to make wine in Colorado, is carrying on his family tradition.
“Winery Row gives people the opportunity to come over here and we can really expose people to the wines of Colorado,”
Carr said in a presentation at the new location.
The group is also hoping to add an event kitchen, featuring the culinary skills of Tom and Shari Scholten, who owned and operated Fritz Alpine Bistro, a restaurant formerly at Keystone Ski Resort.
Colorado Winery Row is located in Highlands. There isn’t much around the shopping center besides a Quiznos, but it’s a hop-skip-and-jump away from Interstates 25 and 70, and an easy drive from downtown Denver. Davies is in negotiations with hotels and the Yellow Cab company,
and hopes to be able to arrange packages and flat-rate cab rides for those looking to visit Colorado Winery Row.
While not downtown, the four winery owners are looking forward to becoming a Denver attraction,
and hope to soon be the city’s wine destination.
| by Kristin Pazulski, DDN Staff Writer