The Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology puts on an annual conference and trade show for wineries, winemakers, grape growers, and supporters of the Colorado wine industry, VinCO. This year's conference took place January 15 - 18 at the Grand Junction Convention Center. VinCO participants had the opportunity to attend a wide variety of sessions on a myriad of topics pertinent to Colorado wine making. We always enjoy attending VinCO because we get to learn a lot and get to network with many of the wonderful people in Colorado's wine industry.
One of Sarah's favorite sessions was Sparkling Wine 101. This session was a crash course in all of the ways that sparkling wine is made, complete with samples of wine showcasing each style. It was really interesting to taste all of the styles of sparkling wine because they really are quite different due to the process of how they are made. The forced carbonation and charmat method wines had brighter acid and more bubbles. The petillant naturel wines were slightly funky and a little sour, kind of like a sour beer. The methode champenoise wines had a softer mouthfeel with bready and nutty notes.
The highlight of VinCO is the awards banquet. Sarah had the honor of presenting the 2023 Winery of the Year award to Restoration Vineyards. This family-owned and operated winery has done the enology equivalent of making lemonade out of lemons. In 2012, they bought a run-down property in East Orchard Mesa and have worked tirelessly to transform it. Restoration Vineyards has been very involved in the Colorado wine community, including serving on the CAVE board and working with Mesa County to allow all the wineries, farms, and orchards in the county to add to the economic viability of their operations through agritourism. They have set a new bar for Colorado wineries by crafting world-class wines and providing elevated guest experiences. We couldn't be happier for Restoration Vineyards!
Sarah and Jason