A few weeks ago I was invited by Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, to be a student in the second-ever class of Colorado Wine Specialist Certificate seekers (the first course was given in Grand Junction; mine was held in Denver). Master Sommelier Wayne Belding taught this class in the spacious events hall at Balistreri Vineyards. It was attended by approximately a dozen enthusiastic wine industry representatives, including distributors, retailers and restaurant owners.
PALISADE — First it was hail that pounded the vines in 2009. Then freezing winter weather decimated the next year's crop. Skip forward to 2013 to a spring freeze that killed some varieties of grapes completely and so damaged entire vines that they had to be cut back to nubs.
"In this admittedly tiny sample, the better Colorado wines showed an ability to get a range of complex but fruit-centered flavors onto a friendly frame. If vine age or experience with the vineyards can result in greater depth, the state may have something."