Expanding Colorado's Wine Industry

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

For the first time in history, Colorado now has a state Enologist, an expert in winemaking. Industry experts say this is a big step towards expanding Colorado's wine country.

Corey Norsworthy is a winemaker and marketer for Grande River Vineyards. He says he's seen tremendous growth in just the past four years. Industry analysts say Colorado's wine industry has been growing 10 to 15 percent every year for the last decade, but Norsworthy says it's the quality that matters.

Other local wineries say that's what makes Colorado's wines so special. However, the state still only produces one to two percent of all the wine sold in the state, something industry advocates want to see uncorked.

Bruce Talbott is the chairman of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board. He says hiring the state's first Enologist is a step in the right direction.

CSU recently hired Dr. Stephen Menke. The Enologist will research Colorado's grapes and help to develop Colorado's wine brand. Menke willl also teach winemaking classes at CSU.

The proceeds from the Colorado Mountain Winefest along with donations from the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and funding from CSU paid for Menke's position.

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