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Grand Junction Wine Classes & Grand Junction Wine Events

Colorado’s Vintners have earned a reputation for producing quality wines running the gamut from honey-mead to savory Chardonnays, from cherry wines to full-bodied Merlots. The Grand Junction valley of Colorado, Grand Junction wine country, is home to premium wines unique to the region and open for Grand Junction wine tastings and Grand Junction wine events.

In this article you’ll find what makes Grand Junction a prime location for some of the finest wines in the world, common terminology used when discussing wine appreciation and winemaking as well as the perfect venues and events to plan your next weekend getaway or wine country celebration.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—History

Colorado’s Grand Valley is the Western Slope that harvests the majority of Colorado’s grapes. The state of Colorado’s grapes are cultivated specifically for purposes of winemaking. Over a century ago, winemaking began on the Western Slope and was halted during prohibition. Vineyards were destroyed and the lands recovered by orchard farming.

It wasn’t until almost 20 years later, when prohibition officially ended, vineyards slowly began to reestablish using the traditional vintner’s expertise in viticulture and winemaking. To this day traditional grape varieties create Colorado’s award wining, premium wines. In 1990 the Grand Valley was designated a Federal Viticultural Area.


Grand Junction Wine Classes—What Kind of Grapes are Grown in Grand Junction Wine country?

The greater part of Grand Junction’s grapes consist of Vitis Vinifera vines, Merlot and Chardonnay being the bulk, following with Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon sharing the staff in Grand Junction wine tasting vineyards.

The following example is from: http://www.coloradowine.com/grape_growing.html. During the last 30 years, Colorado’s licensed and operating wineries have multiplied 10 times over, producing award wining and nationally acclaimed fine wines. From 1990 to date, boutique, as well as large-scale modern wineries have opened their doors. These wineries have generated regional and recognized wines, which have, in turn, created established names in Grand Valley wine country that are known worldwide.

The following example is from the Colorado Fruit Tree/Vineyard Survey 2002 published by the Colorado Agriculture Statistics Service: http://www.coloradowine.com/grape_growing.html


Grand Junction Valley Location, Vineyards, Wineries and Events

Grand Junction wine events and their vineyards bring together lifetimes of learning coupled with the rich history of the Grand Valley. The majority of Colorado vineyards are located in the Grand Valley of the Colorado River and beside the Gunnison River of North Fork Valley. Experience Grand Junction wine tastings by participating in Grand Junction wine classes and attending upcoming Grand Junction wine events.

Below you’ll find listings of Grand Junction wineries and vineyards and a few of the events that are hosted by fine Grand Junction wine country establishments.

Grand Junction Wine—Tastings, Classes and Events

Colorado Mountain Winefest
http://www.coloradowinefest.com/

Two Rivers Winery and Chateau
http://www.tworiverswinery.com/

Whitewater Hill
http://www.whitewaterhill.com/

Grand Junction Local Wine Events
http://www.localwineevents.com/Grand-Junction-Wine/


Attend Grand Junction Wine Classes and Grand Junction Wine Events

One of the most enjoyable ways to ease into fine wine appreciation is to attend Grand Junction wine classes and Grand Junction wine events. Grand Junction wine country proudly offers tours and tastings on the house. Let experienced sommeliers take you on a journey of fine wines and parings for your learning pleasure, while they relay their expertise and passion for wine. Enjoy classic food and wine pairing—the harmony of exquisite food and fine wine for the taking.

Experience viticulture first-hand. Walk through vineyards, learn about the classic wines of the world and about the grapes that make them by visiting Grand Junction wine country. Attend Grand Junction wine classes by visiting http://www.localwineevents.com/Grand-Junction-Wine/.


Grand Junction Wine Events—Learn from Talented Sommeliers

Grand Junction wine events will educate and entice as expert sommeliers inform you about wine, the vineyards, viniculture and food pairing. Enjoy a birthday, anniversary or any special occasion at the Grand Junction wineries, whether you’re celebrating intimately for 2, or with a group.

Indulge as sommeliers recommend pairings based on their extensive knowledge of 2 simple things, the body of a wine and the heaviness of the food. The balance of these weights is what creates pairing harmony. Learn how flavors can be heightened or contrasted and how they affect your palate.

Knowledge from Grand Junction wine classes and practice through Grand Junction wine events bring you a lifetime of appreciation through the secrets of fine dining and wine. The perfect combination of food and wine, texture and flavor—enhance your dining experience to new levels by learning from the best.

Sample wines, tour vineyards and wineries in Grand Junction’s exquisite wine country. Complimentary tours and tastings are headed up by wine and vineyard-culture experts who are educational guides that will make your Grand Junction Wine classes, Grand Junction wine events and Grand Junction wine tastings some to remember and look forward to again.

A few events are listed below to help get you started on planning your next Grand Junction wine country tour.


Grand Junction Wine Events

Colorado Mountain Winefest
http://www.coloradowinefest.com/
September 17th – 20th, 2009

The Colorado Mountain Winefest is the state’s oldest and most popular festival, where thousands come annually participating in hands-on workshops, grape stomps, tours, wine and food pairings, music, shopping, bike tours of the vineyards—just to mention a few of the events—there are plenty more! This is what makes the Colorado Mountain Winefest and a spectacular Grand Junction wine event to attend.

This event sponsors CAVE, the Colorado Association of Vintners and Enologists, a non-profit organization that founds educational seminars and research. Their mission revolves around improving Colorado grape growing and winemaking in the state of Colorado.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—Winemaking

The oldest known bottle of wine, a Roman sarcophagus, now resides in the Historisches Museum in Speyer, Germany. For centuries and through history, wine has served a meaningful role in society. The first discovered evidence of winemaking artifacts come from the Middle East. Pieces of fruit-stained pottery shards support that the fermentation process was being honed thousands of years before the current era.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—Winemaking, the Ins and Outs

Any fruit can make wine. Even fermented honey makes mead—known as the nectar of the gods! Grand Junction wineries offer a variety of fine wines made from honey, cherries, peaches, and plums and, of course, grapes. Wine is the juice from fruit after the fermentation process.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—The Winemaking process

Sugar + Yeast = Ethanol (Alcohol) + Carbon Dioxide

When yeast consumes sugar, it creates ethanol or alcohol. Though grapes have everything it takes to ferment, even on the vine (yeast, sugar and carbon dioxide), it takes particular conditions to make good wine. Most wines contain 8% to 14% alcohol. Fortified wines, or wines that are infused with spirits, contain 18% to 21% alcohol content.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—Harvest—Crush—Ferment—Bottle

As simple as that process may seem, viniculture is tradition and passion passed down from generations of families—a study that takes time, practice and years to master.

Viniculturist
A viniculturist is a student of winemaking.

There are many factors that come into play for growing wine grapes. First Good wine grapes are needed. Good grapes need favorable locations for growing, an expert wine maker and suitable weather. These are the external ingredients and the secrets to making fine wines. Everything that surrounds the grape affects the flavor of the grape and, in turn, the wine it makes.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—What it Takes to Make Fine Wine

  • An expert viticulturist
  • Good Grapes
  • Favorable Location
  • Conducive Climate

Grand Junction Wine Classes—Good Grapes

Wines are named for the grapes they are made from, e.g. Chardonnay grapes make Chardonnay wine, Merlot grapes make Merlot wine. As Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, would attest, “You can make bad wine from good grapes, but you can’t make good wine form bad grapes.”

Any viniculturist will tell you that fine wine comes from the vineyard. That means it all starts with the vines. The quality of wine is only as good as the grapes it is made from. If all the other conditions for grape growing are perfect, but the grapes themselves are not in good standing, it will be apparent in the final product.

Winemaking is considered an art form and all the ingredients add their essential part in the process. Vitis Vinifera species, for instance, make some of the world’s finest wines, like Chardonnay, Merlot, and Zinfandel.


Grand Junction Wine Classes—Classic Gifts of the Viticulturist

Planting and pruning are the classic gifts of the viticulturist. They know when to plant and when to prune. The science of quality balanced with quantity. When the vines are planted further away from each other, there will be fewer grapes, but better fruit in the long run. That means better wine.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—The 9 Popular Types of Grapes/Wines

  • Cabernet
  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Shiraz
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Zinfandel

Grand Junction Wine Classes—Vineyard Location

Once you’ve got good grapes, you need a favorable location to grow them. An expert winemaker will know how much sun the vines need in relation to the climate of the region (exposition), as well as suitable evening temperatures. Everything surrounding the grapevines affects the flavor of the grape and, in turn, the wine it makes.

Different climates and regions have an array of situational challenges that all must be accounted for when growing grapes. Humid climates deal with mildew and rot issues while in colder climates, grapes tend to carry more acidity. It is best to grow grapes in a climate that is conducive to their growing as well as understand the particular environmental manipulations that must be achieved to create a successful grape crop.


What Gives Grand Junction Wine a Sense of Terroir?

Location, Location, Location

Since the 19th century Grand Junction wines have mainly come from the high mountain desert of the Western Slope (Grand Junction and Palisade) vineyards. Most of Grand Junction's vineyards rest up to 6,500 feet in elevation. This makes Grand Junction vineyards part of an elect group of grape growing vineyards in the world.

Warming the grapes by day, high-altitude sun helps them build sugars naturally while grapes complete their maturation process. The acids fundamental to winemaking are delicately preserved in Grand Junction wine grapes as a result of 30 degree temperature changes—warm days followed by cool nights. Grand Junction wine grapes have only a span close to 180 days to ripen and mature due to frost months. Viticulturists have cultivating in this climate down to a science and produce some of the most admired wines in the country.

Grand Junction Wine Classes—Growing Conditions Vary Grape Flavor

  • Length of Season
  • Weather
  • Soil Consistency
  • Drainage
  • Sun exposure

Grand Junction wine vineyards have produced some of the most quality wines in North America. Cool temperatures and a fairly short growing season gives vintners a specific grape growing formula to master. By honing in on grape varieties that flourish in the Colorado high-desert mesoclimate, Grand Junction vineyards and wineries have produced Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot varieties that are enjoyed with great appreciation.


Grand Junction Wine Events—Common Viticulture Terminology

Viticulture

    The in-depth study of grape cultivation. Those who extensively study how to expertly make wine are called viniculturists. Viniculturists who study organic viticulture study with emphasis on natural methods of grape growing. It depends on fewer pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers to grow grapes for winemaking.

Organic Viticulture

    Grape growing that relies on fewer pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals.

    Using fewer pesticides, Colorado wine vineyards are maintained in a naturally conducive mesoclimate. Colorado vineyards are located in high-elevation areas with temperate warm and dry days followed by cool nights—favorable for grape growing, yet discouraging to threatening pests. Many Colorado wines are cultivated using organic viticulture.

    Mesoclimate describes a particular vineyard or hillside’s climate and relative temperature. Macroclimate refers to an entire region of winemaking, where microclimate describes the average temperature directly surrounding the vine in any region or vineyard.

Exposition

    Sun exposure to the grape growing vines and where the vineyard rests in location to where the sun shines on the vines.


Experience the Culture of Grand Junction Wine Country

Grand Junction Wine Events, Grand Junction Wine Classes, Grand Junction Wine Tastings

Grand Junction wine country is the perfect venue to experience wine traditions and the history of Colorado’s Grand Valley. Whether you’re a wine expert or just beginning your ascension into the world of wines, there are Grand Junction wine classes and Grand Junction wine evens for everyone.

Dating back centuries, winemaking and farming vineyards has an exquisite history rich with tradition. When you experience the pleasure of some of the finest Grand Junction wines in Grand Junction wine country, you will learn about the history of Grand Junction’s high-desert vineyards and its viticulture from expert sommeliers and vintners. Enjoy!