Talk Colorado Wine & Colorado's Wine Country: February 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Does Red Wine Reduce Lung Cancer Risk?

Consider a humble glass of wine. Many compounds found in that wine, like polyphenols and resveratrol, offer a wide variety of health benefits. Now, new research studies are unearthing an increasingly complex web of healthy side effects to that simple glass of vino.

"Four More Reasons To Drink Red Wine : The Heart-healthy Beverage May Also Keep You From Developing Physical Disabilities or Alzheimer's Disease, " Newsweek Reporter Tina Peng writes:

"It's common knowledge that a glass or two of red wine a night will do more than enhance a great meal or put you to sleep: it can reduce production of "bad" cholesterol, boost "good" cholesterol and reduce blood clotting, all of which will help reduce the risk of heart disease. But recent studies are showing that wine aficionados may also reap even more benefits, from inhibiting tumor development to helping form nerve cells. Here's a roundup of four recent studies that might encourage you to uncork that bottle of merlot:"

1. It Can Help Keep You Fit: For senior citizens who are already in shape, moderate alcohol intake can help prevent the development of physical disabilities, according to a new UCLA study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. (The National Institutes of Health recommends no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.) Researchers found that moderate drinkers in a national survey had a lower risk than heavy drinkers or abstainers of developing physical problems that impeded their abilities to walk or dress or groom themselves. But don't take that as a cue to rest easy: the benefits only applied to seniors who were already in good health. Seniors in poor health may already be too close to developing disabilities for the wine to be of much use, researchers said.

2. It May Help Fight Alzheimer's. In animal trials, UCLA researchers found that compounds known as polyphenols, which naturally occur in red wine, can inhibit the development of proteins that deposit in the brain and form the plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. Polyphenols also are highly concentrated in tea, nuts, berries and cocoa, the researchers, who did the study with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, reported in the November issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The polyphenols block the formation and decrease the toxicity of the Alzheimer's-associated protein deposits, scientists found; they plan to start human clinical trials next.

3. It Boosts Heart-Healthy Omega 3 Levels. Moderate alcohol consumption helps boost the body's omega-3 levels, European researchers report in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The fatty acids are usually derived from fish and help protect against coronary heart disease, but people who consumed alcohol, especially wine, in moderation (one drink for women, two drinks for me) had higher omega-3 levels independent of their fish intake, the researchers found after studying populations in England, Belgium and Italy. They hypothesize that this effect is due in part to polyphenols as well.

4. It May Lower Lung Cancer Risk. Moderate consumption of red wine may decrease the risk of lung cancer in men, researchers reported in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Analyzing data collected from the California Men's Health Study, they found that each glass of red wine consumed a month correlated with a 2 percent lower lung cancer risk. Men who drank one or two glasses of red wine a day saw a 60 percent reduced lung cancer risk. There were no similar benefits for white wine, beer or liquor drinkers, though, and smokers who drank red wine still, of course, had a higher lung-cancer risk than non-smokers.

You can read the Newsweek article here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Colorado Legislature Honors Doug Phillips

There are a handful of special people, without whom there wouldn't be a Colorado wine industry. Amongst this elite group was lawyer and Plum Creek Cellars Co-founder Doug Phillips, who succumbed to cancer this last summer. It's a tremendous honor that the State of Colorado has chosen to remember Phillips, who was much loved in both the state's legal and wine communities.

Under the headline, "Legislature to Honor Local Pioneering Winemaker," Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Reporter Dave Buchanan writes:

"Nearly seven months to the day after he died, pioneering winemaker Doug Phillips continues to make his mark on Colorado’s wine industry."

"Phillips, founder and co-owner (with his wife Sue) of Plum Creek Cellars in Palisade, will be honored this week with a joint resolution in the state legislature."

"He passed away July 15."

"According to Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, the resolution was initiated by Ron Smith, an original member of the Colorado Wine Board and a longtime friend of Phillips’, and by Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, who will speak on the floor of both chambers Thursday in a special ceremony."

"The proclamation honors Phillips not only for his resolute determination to elevate Colorado’s fledgling wine industry to a national level but his groundbreaking work in another field: workers’ compensation law."

"The resolution cites Phillips’ courtroom mastery (many a young attorney quickly learned that Phillips was a formidable courtroom adversary) and said he was a “forceful advocate” for workers seeking just recompense, “avoiding animosity and acrimony” while remaining a “gentleman” in the courtroom."

"Anyone who was getting to know Phillips soon realized he carried the same demeanor and drive to his wine making, whether it was emphasizing the quality of Colorado fruit or boosting the entire industry to heights not yet scaled."

"Always ready with a good story, but never without a critical-but-kind eye on the progress being made around him, Phillips’ had the ability to needle you gently, urging you to do better than you thought possible until you surprised yourself with the end result."

"When Phillips and then-winemaker Erik Bruner started Plum Creek Cellars in 1984, there were fewer than five Colorado wineries. A quick count recently turned up about 72 licensed wineries."

The text of the resolution is available at Click on Current Regular Session Information, going to SJR09-008.

You can read the article here.

Denver Post: Coloradoans Love Their Craft Beers

Colorado has long been known for its excellent microbreweries. With over a 100 brewpubs to choose from, a handcrafted pale ale or stout is never that far away. Nearly every town in the state has a little corner brewery with the heady aroma of hops wafting out its front doors. So it's great to learn that Colorado leads the nation in the sheer number of per capita breweries.

Under the headline, "Craft Beer Rising in Colorado," Denver Post Reporter Steve Raabe writes about the growing number of brewpubs in the state.

"Colorado's craft-beer industry can raise a toast to its heady status in the full-flavored malt- beverage sector. The number of craft breweries in the state rose to a record 101 during 2008, cementing Colorado's position as No. 1 in the nation for craft-beer makers per capita."

"Sales and production growth in 2008 slowed nationwide and in Colorado because of economic weakness, but the craft sector still grew faster than big-label U.S. brewers and imports."

"The Boulder-based Brewers Association in a new report said craft-beer production reached a 4 percent U.S. market share for the first time in 2008. Major brewers such as MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch dominate the industry with an 82 percent share of the market."

"Colorado's largest craft brewer, Fort Collins-based New Belgium, made 493,000 barrels in 2008. Its 3.9 percent growth rate was the slowest in at least six years."

"Growth also slowed at Odell Brewing in Fort Collins, with an 8.4 percent increase in 2008 compared with 18 percent in 2007."

"Founder Doug Odell said that the recession is hurting the industry but that its core base of drinkers remains loyal.""Stepping down to Bud Light is not an option for our customers," he said. "A good craft beer is still an affordable luxury."

Remembering Doug Philips, A Wine Trailblazer

Here is the full text of the Colorado State Legislature's Resolution SJR09-008, honoring Doug Phillips, for his many contributions to Colorado's legal system and the wine industry:

"WHEREAS, Doug Phillips began practicing workers' compensation law in the 1970s when very few lawyers did, becoming Dean of the workers' compensation claimant's Bar, and Mr. Phillips set the gold standard for the ethical, fair, and compassionate practice of workers' compensation law; and"

"WHEREAS, During the 35 years that Mr. Phillips practiced workers' compensation law, he was a forceful advocate for the thousands of injured workers whom he represented, and he was always a gentleman in his dealings with the court, opposing counsel, and all other individuals involved with the system, thereby avoiding the animosity and acrimony often involved in litigated cases; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips was known for his thorough work-up of claims, his knowledge of the statute and supporting case law, and his superlative courtroom skills; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips blazed new trails in workers' compensation law through successful appeals to the Colorado Supreme Court, forever changing the way the workers' compensation system works; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips also engineered many beneficial changes in the workers' compensation statutes because of his high degree of credibility with the General Assembly and with four governors: Dick Lamm, Roy Romer, Bill Owens, and Bill Ritter; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips and his wife, Sue, wrote Volume 17 of the Colorado Practice Series, Colorado Workers' Compensation Practice and Procedure, the Bible for many workers' compensation practitioners and judges; and"

"WHEREAS, In addition to being a distinguished Colorado attorney, Mr. Phillips was also a pioneer in the Colorado wine industry, which has grown to contribute in excess of forty million dollars annually to the Colorado economy; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips was a founding partner of Plum Creek Cellars, originally established in Larkspur, but later moved to Palisade so that it would be closest to the vineyards where, as Mr. Phillips observed, the best wineries in the world were located; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips' goal in establishing Plum Creek Cellars was to make the highest-quality wine with grapes grown only in Colorado; and"

"WHEREAS, Wine experts were skeptical that Colorado wines would ever compete successfully with fine wines from other locales, but Mr. Phillips and the Colorado wine industry proved the early critics wrong by producing award-winning wines that continue to increase market share nationally; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips helped draft legislation for and lobbied for creation of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, serving on the Board from 1990 through 1998 and again from 2005 through 2008, with much of that service as its Chair; and"

WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips, among other things, also chaired the Colorado Mountain Winefest Committee for the Rocky Mountain Vintners' and Viticulturalists' Association and was a co-founder of the Grand Valley Winery Association; and

"WHEREAS, Because of Mr. Phillips and the many others he encouraged and showed what was possible there are more than 1,000 acres of vinifera grapes grown in Colorado that are turned into wine by more than 70 wineries, making the impact of grape and wine production in Colorado second only to that of peaches; and"

"WHEREAS, The wine industry is now a leading agricultural-based attraction for Western Colorado, promoting mountain tourism during the summer and fall to complement ski tourism in the winter and better utilize"

"Colorado's total tourism capacity; now, therefore,"

"Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-seventh General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:"

"That the General Assembly hereby expresses its gratitude for the many contributions of Doug Phillips to our state and celebrates the many achievements of his life."

"Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Senate Joint Resolution be presented to Mr. Phillips' wife, Sue Phillips, and to his daughters, Jennifer and Megan Phillips."

Thank you, Doug, for all that you did. Many of us never would have been here without all your hard work and thoughtfulness.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Palisade to Host Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives 2009 Spring Conference

Palisade, Colorado will be the site of the 2009 Spring Conference of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives (CCCE). The Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives is an association of members from almost every chamber of commerce throughout the state. The conference is scheduled April 15 – 17, 2009.

Palisade’s 80-room Wine Country Inn will be the host hotel.

“It is a real honor to host this conference,” said Palisade Chamber of Commerce Director, Leif Johnson. “Throughout our state, Palisade is recognized as Colorado’s Fruit & Wine Capital. It’s an opportunity to showcase Palisade to our colleagues. Last year’s opening of the Wine Country Inn made this possible.”

“Palisade is well known for its wine and fruit,” said CCCE Chair, Sandy Evans-Hall. “The opportunity to hold our conference there certainly caught our attention. We’re looking forward to a great Palisade experience.” Each year, the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives hosts a spring and fall conference. Conferences provide chamber executives with educational seminars and perspectives and the chance to network with industry colleagues.

For more information, contact the Palisade Chamber of Commerce at 464-7458 or visit their website,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

USA Today: Palisade 'A Little Piece of Heaven'

The Pew Research Center just released poll results showing whether Americans are happy living where they are located. If you're local Joe Higginbotham, the answer is, "Yes, in Palisade"

Under the headline, "Pew: Almost Half of Americans Want to Live Somewhere Else," USA Today Reporter Haya El Nasser wrote:

'I love it here'

"When Joe Higginbotham goes to town, he never runs into traffic jams. He never has to circle to find a parking spot. And he never has to worry about safety. "I can park my car in the street, get out, leave the keys in the ignition," says Higginbotham, 57, a retired instrument engineer for a large paper company. He runs errands at the bank, store and post office and makes a stop at the local saloon and "nobody bothers anything. … I love it here."

"What Higginbotham calls "his little piece of heaven" is Palisade, Colo., 15 miles east of Grand Junction. Population: 2,793. Traffic light: one."

"Higginbotham is among the 52% of Americans who are happy where they are, according to the Pew survey."

"When Higginbotham sits on the deck of the barn-styled home he built in the middle of a pear orchard, he has no doubt he is where he wants to be."

"Happily divorced" and his kids grown, he is thrilled with the laid-back lifestyle in a small town. Yet he is 20 minutes from an airport and a mall and within 2 miles of nine wineries. He has one request: "Just don't tell the Californians."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gigglesoup Praises Wine Country Inn

Someone with the Internet nom de plume of Gigglesoup has to be a person of discerning tastes. Gigglesoup blogs for Destination Weddings, and here's what he/she had to say.

Under the headline, "Wine Country Wedding in Colorado?" Gigglesoup wrote:

"Yes, absolutely. You didn't know there were wineries in Colorado, now, did you? Well, there are. Quite a number of them in fact, located around Grand Junction and the surrounding area."

"What this means for you is that you can add Grand Junction, Colorado to your list of destinations for a beautiful wine country wedding. And, one venue which should top your list is The Wine Country Inn, located near Grand Junction in Palisade, Colorado's first wine-themed hotel, situated in the middle of 21 acres of vines."

"If you decide to have your wedding at the Inn, you can choose from several different sites on the property, from the outdoor Pavilion among the vines, a landscaped courtyard, the Vineyard Ballroom, or several smaller sites for more intimate ceremonies. For your reception, you can have the Chef create any type of event you want, from a formal dinner to a more casual hors d'oeuvres reception. And, before or after the wedding, you and your guests will have many opportunities for wine tastings, as the Inn is adjacent to two wineries and a short drive to many more."

"The area around Grand Junction is truly an outdoor lover's paradise. For hikers, you have the awesome Grand Mesa National Forest, the world's largest flat top mountain, dotted with hundreds of lakes. Grand Junction is also located at the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers, a dream location for rafters and kayakers."

You can see Gigglesoup's blog post here.
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