2014 Barrel Into Spring Recap
At Canyon Wind Cellars, we take barrel tasting seriously. You get the no-holds-barred authentic experience: descend into the subterranean cellar we fondly refer to as “The Cave,” deeply inhale the aromas of oak and wine, get to know the developing wines intimately through Jay and Jen’s revealing commentary, watch as they use a glass thief to steal a little wine from the barrels and deposit it in your glass, tingle with excitement from being one of the first people to try a wine that has yet to be bottled and released, and finally savor the up-and-coming wine. It seems to be a sort of rite of passage for a wine connoisseur to experience a barrel tasting. If you’re reading this, you’re a wine connoisseur and deserve this experience!
Sometimes random visitors to Canyon Wind Cellars get to revel in this ritual during a tour of the winery, often swapping out Jay and Jen for myself or one of our tasting room’s Sensory Tour Guides. But if you attend the Barrel Into Spring event, you are guaranteed this experience. And if you go to this event year after year, you’ll always be tasting exciting new wines from the barrels. This year, our barrel tasters got to taste the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon—this is one of our best Cab Sauvs to date according to Jay and Jen, and it will be bottled very soon and likely released sometime in the next year (although wine club members will have early access). They next tasted the 2013 Petit Verdot—Jay and Jen love all their grapes equally, but this is secretly their favorite varietal (don’t tell the other grapes!). And finally our barrel tasters got to sample the 2013 Apeliotes from the Anemoi line of wines—this is the second vintage of Apeliotes and is similar to the 2012, but the blend now includes of some of our very first Malbec. We are rather excited for this wine, and I can hardly wait for it to be bottled!
Another excellent experience at the Barrel Into Spring event is the food and wine pairings. We partnered once again this year with Bin 707 Foodbar for some delicious creations in the theme of comfort food elevated to match our 47-Ten foot altitude (and attitude)! Our menu offered the following delicacies and pairings:
-Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho paired with the 2013 47-Ten Rosé
-Mixed Local Green Salad
-Bin’s Famous Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto and Pear paired with the 2012 Merlot and 2012 Anemoi Apeliotes (or the sleeper pairing, 47-Ten Rosé)
-Momofuku “Crack Pie” with Root Beer Float Sauce paired with the 2009 Proprietor’s Reserve Port and 2012 Anemoi Iapyx
If you are among the uninitiated, Barrel Into Spring is a biannual event that occurs the last weekend of April and three weekends later in May every year. It is hosted by the Grand Valley Winery Association’s eight member wineries—you tour the Grand Valley A.V.A. during the event and see where the wine is made and in many cases you see where the grapes are grown while sampling wines, meeting the winemakers, tasting future wines, eating delicious foods, purchasing Colorado wine with great barrel taster discounts, and taking in the grandeur of the Grand Valley. This event has become increasingly popular, but crowds are kept in check with a limited number of tickets that must be purchased ahead of time.
Two pieces of advice if this sounds appealing and you wish to attend for the first time next year—buy tickets well in advance (they go on sale in January and were sold out by early March this year) and take the full two days to enjoy the event, ideally visiting four wineries one day and four the next (trust me on this, because you end up tasting a lot of wine during this event). It has not yet been updated from this year, but this is the link with information about barrel tasting and purchasing tickets: http://grandvalleywine.com/events.htm. If you have liked Canyon Wind Cellars on Facebook, I can assure you that we will post a notification when the tickets are available in January.
For those of you who attended this year, we hope that you thoroughly enjoyed your experience! And for those of you who plan to attend next year, we look forward to (figuratively) rolling out the red carpet for you!