Talk Colorado Wine & Colorado's Wine Country: Palisade Grapes Gives Front Range Winery Head Start

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Palisade Grapes Gives Front Range Winery Head Start

Another winery is opening up near Fort Collins, planting its own vineyard along the Poudre River. Until their vines are established, Two Bears Winery is relying on grapes grown at CSU’s Orchard Mesa Research Center in Palisade to make its chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.

Under the headline, " Ten Bears Winery to Start Own Vineyard," the staff of the Fort Collins Coloradan wrote a question and answer interview with Bill Conkling, the owner and winemaker at Ten Bears Winery in LaPorte. Here are Conkling's replies:

"Question: How did you come to open Ten Bears Winery in LaPorte?"

"Answer: The Fort Collins area is great place to call home. I grew up near Masonville, and I have lived in Northern Colorado most of my life. My educational background is in biology and chemistry, and my "real job" is in quality assurance for one of the local brewing companies."

"Winemaking has been a hobby for about 10 years, and after touring vineyards in Columbia Valley, Wash., and the Finger Lakes Region of New York, I realized the one thing Fort Collins didn't have was a winery."

"Finding the right location was the real challenge. My wife and I had always wanted a home in the country, and we had been looking for a couple of years, and just after we had given up hope, we happened to find the perfect site while browsing through a Land & Home magazine at the car wash."

"The property was just outside of LaPorte, with enough acreage to put in a good-sized vineyard. The site had excellent southern exposure, sloping gently to the southeast, toward the Poudre River. It was also near U.S. Highway. 287 and had good road access."

"It was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. Originally, I thought about starting the winery in the city, but I felt that something would be lost without the country setting. After completing our house in 2004, I looked into starting the winery."

You can read the rest of the article here.

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