Thursday, April 22, 2010
“Dust off your precious antiques and bring them to Palisade to have them appraised,” said Melinda Eastham, owner of Arts & Antiques of Palisade. “Becky Shaffer, a certified appraiser and co-owner of Great American Estate Sales will do appraisals inside Arts and Antiques of Palisade for $5 per piece.” Arts and Antiques will also have specially marked items for sale and possibly a sidewalk sale. A group of quilters will host a quilting bee in the store.
Vendors of antiques, crafts, and food will be located on 3rd Street in downtown Palisade. Vintage cars from the Wheels West Car Club will be on display. Ron Koss of Simmer Down will provide music in Palisade’s Town Center Plaza. A special, guided historic walking tour of downtown will start at 1:00 p.m. Rapid Creek Cycles will lead a Cruiser Bike Rally & Ride from the Town Center Plaza at 2:00 p.m. and Suncrest Orchard Alpacas, High Country Orchards, and Grande River Vineyards will offer tours at 12:00, 2:00 & 4:00 p.m.
The Antique Street Fair & Marketplace comes on the heels of an action-packed weekend in Palisade. The Colorado Department of Wildlife is holding their "Outdoor Heritage Day” on Saturday, April 24; and the Grand Valley Wineries Association is hosting "Barrel Into Spring," Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25. For more information contact the Palisade Chamber at 970-464-7456 or visit their website at www.palisadecoc.com.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Bottling wine used to be one of the more time-consuming processes for Glenn Foster and the folks at Meadery of the Rockies in Palisade, Colorado. But that was before Foster -- whose Talon Wine Brands includes the meadery, Talon Winery, Confre Cellars, and St. Kathryn Cellars -- installed a "Rube Goldberg"- style bottling machine, a contraption of moving parts and pieces seemingly invented by a Mad Scientist -- that has made the bottling process amazingly fast and efficient.
The machine was built by Gai, an Italian manufacturer that specializes in bottling systems, and it lets Foster bottle his wines and meads at a rate of three cases, or 36 bottles, per minute.
“It goes three times faster than the line we were using,” Foster says. “It’s really a top-quality machine.”
Under the previous system, Foster and his workers moved bottles by hand through various stations where the bottles were filled, corks were placed in them, metal or plastic capsules were secured over the bottle tops, and labels were placed.
Filled bottles then are sealed with either a cork or a screw-cap. The Gai machine can be set up to use either method. From there, bottles move to a station that puts capsules over the bottle top. Foster said the machine can place all types of capsules on bottles, including heat-shrunk PVC caps and metal caps that require a twist to tighten them down. Finally, the machine places labels on each bottle and can be set up to apply either one or two labels per bottle.
Foster has been using the machine since last July and says it significantly improved the efficiency of bottling 12,000 cases of wine and mead that his facilities produce in a year.
The equipment cost about $200,000 and has reduced the number of workers required for bottling operations from 10 to seven.
“As we expand our marketing efforts, there will be plenty of room for growth (in bottling capacity),” Foster says.
The bottling machine operates at the Meadery of the Rockies, 3701 G Road in Palisade. It is installed in plain view of the tasting room so visitors can watch it run.
Above Right: Glenn Foster poses with his bottling assembly line.
About the Author: Bob Kretschman is a freelance journalist in Grand Junction and is owner of Kretschman Communications, a custom writing and editing service. He is being remunerated by the Wine Country Inn for his contributions to this blog.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Colorado Wine Country Inn, in Palisade, Colorado. (To be eligible, you must be a fan of our Colorado Wine Country Inn Fan Page). No purchase necessary. Must be a legal U.S. resident and 21 years of age or older. Odds may vary. (This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook). Sweepstakes end May 31, 2010. Click here for Contest Rules.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
On Friday, April 16, The Blue Pig Gallery will launch festivities Friday from 5-8 p.m. with a reception to meet artists who specialize in techniques that utilize bee’s wax. Dr. Gary McCallister, Mesa State biology professor, will lead a discussion, “The Native (Bees) Are Restless,” at 6 p.m. Appetizers and mead from The Meadery of the Rockies will be served.
Artists whose work will be shown include Michael Garlitz, pottery and honey pots; Gayle Gerson, encaustics; Maureen Howles, encaustics; Susan Metzger, batiks; Vera Mulder, batiks and encaustics, and Joseph Brown, glass bees.
On Saturday, April 17, the Festival will open at 11 a.m. at the Town Plaza and 3rd Street. Guests will enjoy live music, street vendors, educational presentations, food and mead, beer, wine and other beverages. There will be demos of batik art at The Blue Pig at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and wax encaustics at The Twisted Brick Studios at 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
For the kids, The Blue Pig also will host face painting by Lisa and Steve Silko from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at 1 p.m., Dr. McCallister will offer a presentation featuring an empty beehive, beekeepers armor and equipment.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The little orchard town of Palisade, Colorado, is ready to blossom! With the arrival of warmer weather, Palisade’s spring season – and the growing season, is beginning to take shape. Apricot trees are in the initial stages of bloom. Peach trees are projected to be in full bloom by the third week in April.
According to the Colorado State University Research Center on Orchard Mesa, (a short drive from the Wine Country Inn), a colder winter has delayed blossoms this year. Warmer and cooler temperatures can accelerate or delay fruit blossoms. Below are projected full-bloom dates for the various types of fruit trees within Palisade area orchards:
- Apricots are projected to be in full bloom April 15.
- Redhaven and Elberta Peaches are projected to be in full bloom April 21.
- Bing Sweet Cherries are projected to be in full bloom April 28.
- Bartlett Pears are projected to be in full bloom April 27.
- Prune/Plums are projected to be in full bloom April 29.
- Tart Cherries are projected to be in full bloom May 4.
- Red Delicious Apples are projected to be in full bloom May 6.
Specific blossom dates will vary from Palisade to East Orchard Mesa in Western Colorado’s Grand Valley.
“The variety of blossoms will give our valley wonderful pastels of color,” said Zadrozny.
Interested individuals can follow projected bloom dates on the C.S.U Research Center’s website at http://www.colostate.edu/programs/wcrc/pubs/research_outreach/budswcrcom.pdf.
It's been a while since we've shown a room at the Wine Country Inn, so here's one with two queen beds -- perfect for families or wine tasting groups.
What a nice way to spend a Spring festival day in Palisade, Colorado, near the Wine Country Inn -- An old fashioned wagon ride along historic Main Street behind the Percherons of Absolute Prestige Limousine Service Ltd. By the way, folks, they also offer limo rides to all the wineries, if you're looking for a fun time!
Friday, April 2, 2010
The natural, underground air provides an even temperature in the wine cave at Canyon Wind Cellars. Which barrel will the Christiansons showcase during Barrel Tasting, April 23-25 and May 14-16? Get a sneak preview of many wineries' new vintages, plus some amazing food and wine pairings.
Stay with us at the Wine Country Inn, two people, two nights, starting at $278. Package includes a standard room with king bed - daily wine reception featuring the inn's exclusive labels - wine country breakfast and gourmet snack basket (Tickets to the Grand Valley Winery Association's 2010 “Barrel Into Spring” tasting event sold seperately).