Jennifer, Owner/Winemaker
April 13, 2016 | Jennifer, Owner/Winemaker

Canyon Wind Permanently Closing on December 31, 2016

As of December 31, 2016, we will be permanently closing Canyon Wind Cellars. After much contemplation, we came to this decision based on a number of reasons; but ultimately, it was the desire to pursue exciting new endeavors and follow our dreams.

Over the past two decades, we have made many friends in the Grand Valley, throughout Colorado, and around the world and it has been an honor and a pleasure to share our wines with those near and far. We thank you all for being our biggest fans and supporters and we hope that you will continue to enjoy and support Colorado’s wine industry. Over the next few months, we will be offering deals and discounts on our wines, so be sure to keep an eye out for more details.

If you have the opportunity to stop by and visit us at the tasting room in Palisade or just want to pop in to pet Finley before the end of the year, we would love to see you! Thank you again for your support and dedication and we hope you'll continue to enjoy our wines and think fondly of Canyon Wind and Anemoi. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us by phone at (970) 464-0888 or via email at

Jay & Jennifer Christianson

Time Posted: Apr 13, 2016 at 9:29 AM
Stacey, Retail Sales & Wine Club Director

Try Your Hand at Wine Blending!

Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Team Blending Challenge on Saturday, August 22 this year! The challenge is for multiple teams of 2 to 4 members. Many teams in the past two years have come with matching clothes, or even home-decorated T-shirts to represent their team! Canyon Wind Cellars’ Owner/Winemaker, Jay Christianson, will start the day with a short blending seminar. This is a crash course in how to best approach creating wine blends using single varietal wines. Afterwards, you and your team will compete in a fun 45-minute challenge to blend and name your very own wine creation. You are given varietal wines to create your blend, and they are anonymously brown-bagged—to help you keep an open mind! This allows you to focus only on each varietal’s unique aromas and flavors and how they might be best combined with other varietals.


1st Annual Team Blending Challenge Best Blend winners with the bottles of 2007 IV they won (left) and  the individual trophies for winning teams at the 2nd Annual Team Blending Challenge (right).

Once the challenge has ended, you will enjoy lunch inside or outside under the mulberry tree while our winemakers taste your blended creations and determine the winners. Awards will be given for the best blend created, the runner-up best blend, and the best blend name. This event is limited to just 12 teams, so gather your friends soon while tickets are still available and get ready to blend your way to victory!

CWC Owners/Winemakers Jay and Jennifer Christianson would also like to host a Cutthroat Blending Challenge next year in 2016—they will be presenting the idea at this year’s Team Blending Challenge. If you have not already seen the TV show “Cutthroat Kitchen,” try to catch an episode or two to get an idea of what the Cutthroat Blending Challenge will be like!

     Behold! The Golden Blender trophy!

This trophy in our tasting room has engraved plaques naming each year's winners.

Time Posted: Jul 13, 2015 at 9:37 AM
Stacey, Retail Sales & Wine Club Director

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: 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!

Time Posted: May 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Jennifer, Owner/Winemaker
February 10, 2012 | Jennifer, Owner/Winemaker

CWC Wine Club- Spring 2012 Shipment

Throughout the brief history of winemaking and consumption in this country, we’ve evolved from syrupy sweet juice-like wines, to truly imaginative products to help us legally survive that “era that will not be mentioned” like Vine Glo (a concentrated block of grape juice in a can that could be fermented at home), to Screaming Eagle and Silver Oak’s cult-inducing Cabs, and wineries producing award-winning varietals in all fifty states.  Over the past few decades, as wine has become more fashionable and accessible, the focus has been primarily on producing singular varietal wines.  We’ve seen the popularity of some varietals remain high throughout this time (Cabernet Sauvignon) and others that are merely fads (White Zinfandel); however, no matter the time or the place, it is the varietal wine that has remained the mainstay.

While they are finally starting to generate some interest and acceptance, American blends have long been perceived as wines of a lesser quality or for lack of a better descriptor, cheap. As wine enthusiasts, we all know this isn’t true. Lest we forget about that somewhat famous region of France that you may have heard of- Bordeaux, where all of the wines produced are legally mandated to be made from one to five grapes (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot) and the vast majority (we can think of just a few notable exceptions) of wines produced are blends of these grapes.

Throughout its fifteen year history, Canyon Wind has always produced terroir-driven, varietally focused wines. Our first crush in 1996 produced Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. Over the years, we’ve added Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Tempranillo, and soon, Malbec to our lineup.  However, in the past few years we too have embraced the excitement of blends by adding the 47-Ten Series- a blend focused group of approachable and affordable wines; and in 2007, when Jay returned to take over winemaking, he created the fabulous Bordeaux-style blend, IV. While they are blends, they have still remained true to the terroir and the style of Canyon Wind wines.

Let’s jump back in time (we love this!) for a moment. In 2008, while coaching young ski racers in Vail, Jay met Jennifer, who was fundraising for young ski racers.  He asked her to watch his dogs for a weekend; when she came over to meet the dogs, they chatted, he poured her a glass of Canyon Wind (Chardonnay, we think…or maybe Tempranillo) and the rest as they say is history (and since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, we figured a little love story wouldn’t be out of line). While Jay had a lifetime of wine experience and knowledge, it turns out that Jennifer had none.  Zip, zilch, zero.  It did not take long though to figure out that Jennifer loved wine, was a quick learner and was blessed with a good palate. With this shared passion, Jay and Jennifer spent the next three years trying any and all wines and came to realize that both really loved New World-style, oaky, fruit forward wines.

In 2011, they decided to create a new winery that would focus on fruit-forward blends and embrace new winemaking techniques and technologies- Anemoi Wines.  The Anemoi were the mythological Greek gods of wind who were each named for the cardinal direction from which their winds came.  The primary gods were Boreas (North Wind), Eurus (East Wind), Notus (South Wind) and Zephyrus (West Wind).  Each Anemoi wine is/will be named for the god that best represents its individuality and reflects its growing season. The first Anemoi wine and the one that you will be receiving in this shipment is the 2009 Boreas- a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 15% Petit Verdot. 2009 was the coldest year in our vineyard’s history and thus created a wine that we named for the cold North wind, Boreas.  Upcoming releases include the 2010 Zephyrus, so named for the warm summer of 2010 that produced the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that combine to create the blend; as well as the 2011 Iapyx, a late harvest Pinot Grigio, named for the god of the Northwest wind (a minor deity).

In addition to the 2009 Boreas, you will also be receiving the 2009 47-Ten Red, a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Tempranillo, 12% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, and our unreleased 2009 Petit Verdot.  Our intent with this shipment was to introduce the first of the Anemoi wines; as well as provide you with both a Canyon Wind varietal and blend, so that you could try them side by side to see what similarities and differences exist and if you prefer one over the other.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on Boreas, blends or anything!  Send us your thoughts at

Jay & Jennifer Christianson and Finley


Time Posted: Feb 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM