Skip to main content

Beacon Senior News

Summer sippin’

Jul 03, 2019 10:42AM ● By Debra Dobbins

Sum-sum-summertime in the Grand Valley is hum-hum-humming with activity—everything from outdoor concerts to lazy floats down to Ruby Canyon.

All that summertime fun is sure to work up a thirst and here’s the perfect solution: fruit wines from four of our valley’s wineries.

Colorado Cellars, 3553 E Road in Palisade, is the oldest winery in Colorado. A sign above its door proclaims that its first grapes were planted in 1975 and the winery opened its doors in 1978.

Colorado Cellars produces cherry, plum and peach wines, but adds to the roster these seven fruit wines: blackberry, blueberry, chokecherry, elderberry, huckleberry, pomegranate and raspberry.

Colorado Cellars provides customers with a handout that suggests good pairings with each wine. Huckleberry wine, for instance, can be served chilled with lamb, pork, ice cream, cobblers or pastries. Elderberry wine can be served with cheesecake, chocolate or soft seasoned entrées. Raspberry wine can be served with salads, cheeses, pastas, grilled seafood, brownies or just on its own.

Try its blackberry wine with salads or desserts. Pair its pomegranate wine with just about anything or as a knockout just by itself. Chokecherry wine can be served with barbecue, Chinese or desserts.


Just down the road is Carlson Vineyards, 461 35 Road, which was the fourth winery to be licensed in Colorado. Parker Carlson planted his first vines in 1981 and seven years later opened up his winery.

Carlson Vineyards has the distinction of having its 2016 Plum placed among the 13 winning 2018 “Governor’s Collection wines.” This plum wine, made from 100 percent Grand Valley plums, is excellent by itself, its label states, but also great with Asian, Cajun, barbecue or other spicy foods.

Carlson touts its sweet/tart cherry wine as being good with oysters and all things chocolate. Try dipping the rim of a wine glass into melted chocolate and then pouring cherry wine into it. Bliss!

Carlson sells its peach wine as being a fine match with cheese and fruit, or just about anything. Try making Palisade Peach Punch by blending two bottles of Carlson Vineyards peach wine with 12 ounces of frozen cranberry juice concentrate and one teaspoon of lime juice.

Want a twist on summertime lemonade? Combine two bottles of Carlson Cherry Wine with a 12-ounce can of frozen lemonade. Add ice and orange slices or a handful of blueberries or raspberries, or use ice cubes made of the mixture to chill regular lemonade.


St. Kathryn Cellars, 785 Elberta Ave. in Palisade, offers eight different fruit wines that are great for summer sipping, including its Apple Blossom, lauded for its clean, tart aroma and flavor brimming with ripe apples; Golden Pear, infused with the gentle sweetness and delicious flavor of ripe, golden pears; and Cranberry Kiss, a medium sweet wine with a good bit of pucker power.

St. Kathryn Cellars offers five more fruit wines: Peach Passion, Strawberry Rhubarb (like Grandma’s famous pie), Blueberry Bliss, Pomegranate and Cherry.

Unique to the Meadery of the Rockies, 3701 G Road, are four different fruit-honey wines: apricot, chocolate cherry, chocolate raspberry and strawberry. It also offers honey wines blended with peaches, blackberries, cherries and raspberries.

The Meadery and St. Kathryn’s Cellars were both established by federal judge Fred Strothman in the ’90s, and reflect his interests and dedication to his mother, Kathryn. (Hence, the appellation “St. Kathryn.”)

These wineries, with the exception of Carlson, charge $5 for five tastes. Carlson personnel say it will also charge in its new tasting room at 545 Main St. in Grand Junction, but tasting at the winery will remain complimentary.

No matter where you end up sampling wine this summer, here’s wishing you the utmost enjoyment in tasting the fruits of our local winemakers’ labor!