Talk Colorado Wine & Colorado's Wine Country: November 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Light Up the Season with GJ's Annual Tree Lighting

What better way to celebrate the start of the Christmas season at the Wine Country Inn than attending a good, old fashioned tree lighting ceremony? Typically, this event takes place over Thanksgiving weekend.

In the manner of Times Square, the Wells Fargo Christmas Tree and the rest of Main Street light up to officially kick off the holiday season in Downtown Grand Junction. The tree, located in front of Wells Fargo Bank, 359 Main Street, is lit when Santa arrives to welcome the holiday season and shoppers to Downtown Grand Junction!
Santa visits with the kids while everyone enjoys their favorite Christmas tunes. The event runs from 5 – 6 p.m., with the lighting itself taking place around 5:30 p.m.
Participating Downtown merchants stay open late that evening and debut their holiday window and building decorations. The annual Window Decorating Contest also begins that evening, with stores competing for the People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award winner is selected by members of the public with ballot boxes at downtown restaurants.
Road closures:
4th Street is closed from the alley behind the Reed Building to the alley behind Wells Fargo Bank to create parking for local media vehicles. The lane closure begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m.
Parking tips:
Plenty of parking is available off of Main Street on Colorado and Rood Avenues, in the parking garage on Rood Ave. and in business lots. Parking is free during the holiday season. It’s a good idea to carpool and wear comfortable shoes! Dress warmly!

Wine Country Inn Interview on Colorado Public Radio

Colorado Public Radio recently featured the Wine Country Inn on its show, "Colorado Matters." Under the headline, "New Hotel in Palisade Caters To Wine Lovers," CPR published a page with a gorgeous photo spread of the new hotel.

You can see the photos here.

Colorado Public Radio wrote:

"Before opening the Wine Country Inn, the owners traveled the globe--from Napa to Tuscany--to get a feel for hotels that cater to wine connoisseurs. Host Ryan Warner speaks with Jean Tally, who co-owns the inn with her husband."

Listen to the radio interview here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Wine Country Inn

From the Grand Junction Free Press:

"Jean Tally and our friends at the beautiful new Wine Country Inn in Palisade are hosting “Thanksgiving in the Vineyards,” which is sure to get everyone in the holiday mode.

"The Wine Country Inn’s great staff includes Scott Meyer, general manager, Angella Vallard, assistant general manager and director of sales, and Juliann Adams, event coordinator. Call 464-5777 or visit for more information. "

Some Wine Suggestions For Thanksgiving Dinner

If you are not eating turkey dinner at the Wine Country Inn or drinking a glass of Palisade wine, here are some suggested wine pairings for your holiday dinner. Under the headline, "Thanksgiving Dinner Calls for Variety of Wine," Joe Henry writes in the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

"Don't let all this warm weather fool you. Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

"With that, a wide variety of foods will more than likely be hitting the table, and pairing your wine to match this flavor spectrum can be a confusing task. Red or white? Dry or sweet? Bubbles or still wine? In order to make your wine shopping a little easier this year, I offer a few simple wine-pairing tips for your holiday feast.

"It's important to start a meal with a clean palate. Try a glass of bubbly, as the crisp acidity and effervescence in sparkling wines will do the trick.

"Traditionally, turkey seems to be the most common food at the table, but it's important to remember all of its accompaniments. While you don't want to overlook this delicate meat, the trimmings are generally rich in flavor and seem to be the most difficult to pair with wine. A good rule of thumb: Acidity cuts through both richness and spice while cleansing the
palate between bites, leaving your taste buds ready for more.

"I prefer the Riesling grape and particularly one dry in style or perhaps with just a touch of sweetness.

"If you prefer red wine, remember that you don't want to overpower your main course. I recommend pinot noir, as it carries mouth-filling flavors that will stand up to the trimmings while maintaining its softness and delicacy for the turkey

"It wouldn't be a great meal without dessert. Muscat harmonizes wonderfully with pumpkin pie, offering rich flavors of toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar and hazelnuts.

"If you are new to wine, remember there is no right or wrong choice. Drink what you enjoy, as these tips are only basic guidelines for pairing food and wine."

"Happy Thanksgiving."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Powderhorn Ski Opens Dec. 11

Here's what the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel is writing about the upcoming ski season. Under the headline,"Scheduled to Open Dec. 11, Powderhorn Plays to Region," reporter Gary Harmon writes:

"Powderhorn Ski Resort is playing to its base this winter.

"Instead of trying to lure skiers from as far as Texas and California, the resort on Grand Mesa, which is slated to open Dec. 11, is aiming at the western Colorado and eastern Utah marketplace exclusively.

“'We’ve put virtually every dollar' for marketing and promotion into the Grand Valley and environs, Powderhorn spokeswoman Sarah Allen said. 'Our real focus is to tell people, you can ski this year.'

"Most of Powderhorn’s business, 84 percent, is from Colorado, and 74 percent is from the Grand Valley, a clientele that Powderhorn hopes will only grow.

"The national economic slowdown could be beneficial for the resort, she said, because it’s easy to reach by car, and lift prices are nearly half what they are in some of the state’s destinations resorts, such as Aspen and Vail.

"To keep up numbers, Powderhorn, like the major resorts, is offering deals and packages to lure skiers and snowboarders to the slopes.

"And officials are watching the skies.

“'More than 20 years of research says snowfall is the most important,' Allen said."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Development Sought For Palisade’s Distillery/Brewery District

According to the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Castle Rock Construction is constructing commercial projects in Palisade. They are looking for unique businesses interested in relocating or starting up a business that will synchronize with surrounding retail.

“The building will be a tremendous asset to Palisade’s Distillery/Brewery District, and will be an architectural fit with existing buildings,” said Robert Melot, owner. “The architecture consists of heavy timber, rock/stucco and rusty metal roof, with continuous courtyards co-joining a distillery. It will have a nostalgic feel of nature with the organic materials used for construction.”

Businesses they are seeking include a café featuring buffalo burgers or oven-fired pizza, trending toward organic local products. Other business that would fit well with Palisade’s new hotel client base would be a massage therapist, acupressurist, and chiropractor.

“With Palisade’s new lodging tax, the development of the new 80-room Wine Country Inn, recent publicity in the Denver press and the New York Times, and the Town’s commitment to aggressive marketing, now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Melot. He will be willing to work on a sliding rent scale to foster the right entrepreneurs wanting to expand.

The new building is located at 125 Peach Street along the north side of downtown Palisade, just behind Peach Street Distillers and DeBeque Canyon Winery’s warehouse. An entry way and courtyard will connect Peach Street Distillers to the complex.

For more information, contact Castle Rock Construction at 464-0188 or e-mail Robert Melot at

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Denver Post Review of Palisade Wines

Writer Kathleen Norman recently penned a special to the Denver Post, reviewing several local wines. Under the headline, "Palisade vineyards uncork discovery," Norman wrote:

"After years of a predictable approach to wine — latching onto a favorite and sticking with it — I finally widened my horizons by touring Palisade's vineyards.

"Winemaking, I learned, is not new to Colorado. One hundred years ago, vineyards fueled a thriving industry in the Grand Valley.

"Prohibition put a cork in that until the Four Corners Project assessed the Grand Valley's grape-friendly microclimates, spurring a revival in the 1980s. Today, the "Grand Valley has more than 60 licensed wineries. I visited four of them.

"The first stop was DeBeque Canyon Winery (3943 U.S. 6, Palisade; 970-464-0550, I found the unoaked 2006 chardonnay ($12) a bit too sharp, but enjoyed the hearty zing of the 2003 Red Fox Merlot ($11).

"Next, I went to Carlson Vineyards (461 35 Road, Palisade; 970-464-5554), which won the 2003 World Riesling Cup at the 28th International Eastern Wine Competition. In the vineyard's rustic tasting room, I joined some middle-aged newlyweds from Nebraska and a Colorado Springs couple touring East Orchard Mesa by bicycle. We tasted Carlson's 2007 Laughing Cat gewürztraminer ($14.99), which made the newlyweds swoon, though the cyclists and I found it too sweet. I did like the 2005 Cougar Run merlot ($12.49), a frisky red redolent of mulberry.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vail Trail: 'Old World Charm" at Wine Country Inn

Tamara Miller of the Vail Trail visited the hotel back in September. Under the headline, "Drinking in Colorado:Friends of the Vail Valley Urge Us to Take a Visit to the West," Miller wrote:

"Colorado’s burgeoning wine industry has made serious strides over the years, thanks in part to growing interest in boutique wines and a greater zeal to support locally-grown produce.

"Just two hours west of Vail is the epicenter of the state’s wine industry. With its high, arid climate that brings warm, sunny days and cool nights, the Grand Valley is sort of like the Tuscany of Colorado, producing around 80 percent of the wine grapes for the state.

"Palisade, a quaint town just east of Grand Junction and surrounded by vineyards and farms, is the natural home base for the growing throng of agri-tourists who head here. But its ability to capture that business has been limited by an utter lack of sizeable hotels or inns in town.

"That’s where Jean and Richard Tally have stepped in. The Tallys, who own property up Lake Creek near Edwards and have been visiting the Vail Valley for decades, aren’t exactly wine experts, but they are longtime veterans in the lodging industry, owning several hotels around the state. When Steve Smith, co-owner of the Grande River Vineyards, suggested the Tallys open a hotel near the winery, you could say the couple accepted the challenge, and then spent 10 years traveling to Europe and California doing the research that ultimately shaped the Wine Country Inn, which opened in August.

Old world charm in Colorado

"The Inn represents the 'best of the best' of what the Tallys saw while visiting wineries during that 10-year period, Jean said.

“'The ones that we were drawn to, that seemed the most welcoming, had adapted the Victorian style,' she said. 'We tried to superimpose those features that we thought were so pleasing and appealing onto a regular hotel structure.'

"With its peaked roof, porches and rocking chairs, the inn complements the Victorian architecture and farmhouse sensibility found elsewhere in the town of Palisade. But it’s still a sizeable hotel, with 80 rooms, meeting spaces, a gift shop, a courtyard with a pool and the 'Vitner’s Guest House' — a large building for weddings, retreats and family reunions with its full kitchen, living and dining rooms and bedrooms. "

You can read the rest of the write up here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Drug Company Intensifies Wine Benefits In Pill Form

Grapes are the gift that keep on giving. Resveratrol is a healthy compound found in red wine that has been touted as the treatment for any number of ailments. The major drug companies have sat up an taken notice. One pharamceutical company, Glaxo Smith Kline, claims they have taken the healthy essence of wine and reduced it to an intensified pill form. Under the headline, "Glaxo Customized 'Red Wine' Drug Potent in Mice," Reuters reporter Michael Kahn writes:

"LONDON (Reuters) - A drug in development that mimics a health-boosting compound found in red wine may be a powerful weapon in the fight against obesity and diabetes, researchers said on Tuesday."

"A study of mice showed that the GlaxoSmithKline drug SRT1720 was about a thousand times more potent than resveratrol in activating an enzyme that helped the animals burn more energy and lower their insulin and glucose levels."

"Mice fed a high-fat diet were tricked into switching their metabolisms to a fat-burning mode that normally takes over when energy levels are low, researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism."

"'We are activating the same enzymes that are activated when people go to the gym,' said Peter Elliott, a vice president at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, the Glaxo unit that developed the drug. 'That is why we believe the profile for this drug is very safe.'

"Resveratrol is found in abundance in grapes and in red wine and is believed to provide a number of health benefits, including preventing heart disease. An earlier study from the same team showed it lowered glucose and insulin in diabetics."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sales of Palisade Jams to Benefit Fort Collins Food Bank

The staff at the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports that, "Net proceeds from the sale of jams and jellies from Colorado Mountain Fine Jams & Jellies in Palisade," will go to benefit the Fort Collins food bank. The sale of hand crafted cutting boards and gourmet nut butters will also help needy families. Under the headline, "Bread Board Fundraiser Planned," the Coloradoan staff writes:

"Sears Trostel Lumber & Millwork will once again sell 650 handmade cutting boards made by employees during its fourth annual Bread 'n' Boards Fund-raiser on Dec. 6.

"Proceeds benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County.

"The event begins at 9 a.m. at the Sears Trostel store, 1500 Riverside Ave. Sears Trostel officials expect all boards to be sold by noon.

"'Last year, we sold 600 boards in a little over two hours and raised $18,000 for the Food Bank,' said Curt Viehmeyer, Sears Trostel owner.

"This year, Sears Trostel is making 650 boards to raise $20,000.

"'With the nation's current economic situation, more and more of our neighbors are turning to the Food Bank for help,' Viehmeyer said. 'I read that in two weeks in October, nearly 8,500 Larimer County residents were forced to use the Food Bank. Half of those folks are elderly or children. Every dollar we donate can provide a family enough food for four healthy meals. We want proceeds from this event to provide 80,000 meals in Larimer County.'"

You can read more about this worthy cause here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hiking Mount Garfield

Janet Urquart of the Aspen Times recently wrote about the hike up Mount Garfield. Under the headline,"On the Trail: The Accessible Heights of Mount Garfield," Urquart described her experience:

"GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A 6,765-foot peak. Now that’s my idea of mountain climbing.

"Not only could I actually breathe as I took in the views from the summit, but the hike up didn’t require a pre-dawn start, a multitude of provisions or nerves of steel, the way some of Colorado’s fabled fourteeners do.

"That’s not to say Mount Garfield, that prominent butte to the west of Palisade in far western Colorado, is a walk in the park. The hike covers 2,000 feet spaced over 2 miles, so it’s pretty much a grunt all the way to the top, though an obnoxiously fit 25-year-old who passed a friend and me near the summit last weekend said he ran up in 30 minutes. It took us about an hour and 25 minutes, stopping to snap photos, admire the view, rest our legs, etc.

"The trail climbs steeply almost from the get-go, accessing the peak via one of those sloping fins at its base that look like hardened piles of oozing concrete. The trail follows the spine of one of these piles until it meets the rock and dirt that make up much of the mountain.

"Clearly visible from Interstate 70 as it skirts Grand Junction (the base of the mountain is right next to the freeway), Garfield looks like nothing but rock. The trail actually passes through some protected, grassy meadows farther up, though they’re invisible from below."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Line Up For Bluegrass Festival Announced

Who's playing at the all new Palisade Roots Music Festival? Find out from the Grand Junction Free Press. The Wine Country Inn is a presenting sponsor for this even. Free Press staffers are reporting, under the headline, "Wine, Fiddle and Song at Palisade Bluegrass Fest," the following:

"PALISADE, Colo. — The buzz of this year’s North Fork Music Festival, The Kruger Brothers will delight audiences at next year’s Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival, the festival that is moving downstream from Hotchkiss to Palisade.

"The Kruger Brothers is one of many bands that will appear June 12-14 at the Palisade Town Park on the banks of the Colorado River.

"The Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival announced its lineup on Thursday.

"Other bands include Cadillac Sky; Kate, Welch & Kaplin; April Verch; Catfish Keith; The Dixie Bee-Liners; Moira Smiley & Voco; Mollie O’Brien; Danny Barnes; Dakota Blonde; Catharsis; and a favorite local band, Way Down Yonder.

"Way Down Yonder is dubbed as a “traditional-style bluegrass band gone good. (They had to — the town of Palisade police chief is in the band!”

"For info, go to"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Drinking Wine: Better Than a Lead Suit?

Wine's many health benefits have been touted in this blog and elsewhere. But some of the medicinal qualities of fermented grapes are downright surprising bordering on the bizarre. How about using wine to treat radiation? Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore are claiming exactly that, with possible benefits for cancer patients undergoing harsh treatments.

Reuters Reporters Maggie Fox and Peter Cooney write about the high hopes placed on certain chemicals in red wine. Under the headline, "Wine Ingredient Protects Against Radiation: Report," Fox and Cooney write:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A natural antioxidant commonly found in red wine and fruit may protect against radiation exposure, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

"Tests in mice showed that resveratrol, when altered using a compound called acetyl, could prevent some of the damage caused by radiation, the researchers told the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology meeting in Boston.

"Drugs made that way might be used in a large-scale radiological or nuclear emergency, said Dr. Joel Greenberger, a radiation oncologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

"'Currently there are no drugs on the market that protect against or counteract radiation exposure,' he added. 'Our goal is to develop treatments for the general population that are effective and non-toxic,' Greenberger said in a statement.

"'Small molecules which can be easily stored, transported and administered are optimal for this, and so far acetylated resveratrol fits these requirements well.'"

You can read more about this wonder compound here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When It Comes To Going Green, Wine Makers Mean Business

So how serious are wine makers globally about making their agricultural practices environmentally compliant? Very, said Business Wire in a recent press release. Under the headline, "Wine Industry Intent on Truly Going Green: UC Davis Graduate School of Management Survey Results Released," Business Wire writes:

"NAPA, Calif., (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The wine industry is making a concerted effort to adopt environmentally responsible practices but sees a need for better education among both consumers and professionals on many "green" issues, according to two surveys of wine industry professionals and executives conducted by Robert Smiley, professor and director of wine studies in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.

"'These industry leaders are very concerned that their firms authentically 'walk-the-walk' when it comes to environmental issues and that they not be accused of just 'greenwashing' their businesses,' Smiley said.

"He added that while survey participants reported that the high prices of gasoline and other inputs have negatively impacted their costs and revenues, they remain optimistic that the industry will ride out the current nationwide economic downturn."

You can read the rest of the press release here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Look at Colorado's Fledgling Spirits Industry

Rocky Mountain News Reporter Roger Fillion writes about the growing number of handcrafted artisan spirits cropping up around the state. Palisade's very own Peach Street Distillers is mentioned in the article. Under the headline, "Spirited Times for Craft Industry: State's Small Distilleries Flourishing as Demand Increases for Handcrafted Products," Fillion writes:

"Economic times may be tough. But Colorado's infant craft spirits industry is undergoing one of the biggest growth spurts in the nation.

"Tiny distilleries making handcrafted whiskey, vodka, gin, fruit brandy and other spirits are sprouting in the Front Range, the Western Slope and Four Corners.

"The state has at least eight licensed craft distillers in operation. A ninth is poised to begin operation.

"Three fired up their stills this year. A fourth, the new Mancos Valley Distillery, plans to begin producing white rum in Mancos in November.

"The spirited growth here and nationwide comes as consumers seek out local, handcrafted products and foodies take a new interest in fruit brandy known as eau-de-vie, liqueurs and other spirits.

Craft beer makers also are jumping in. A craft brewer, for example, is the driving force behind Mancos Valley Distillery. Ian James, the owner, wants to be an early entrant to an industry that's expected to keep growing."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Winter Park Winery Owns Palisade Vineyard

The Sky-Hi Daily News featured a Winter Park Winery, Verso, in a recent issue. According to Sky Hi Reporter Cyndi McCoy, the winery owns and harvests its own grapes in Palisade.
Under the headline, 'Winter Park/Wine: 'When You're Drinking It, You're the Expert," McCoy writes:

"Accolades continue for Verso Wine Cellar."

"The Winter Park tasting room’s cabernets have received four competition medals so far and its new arrival has just as much promise. Special deals are available through November.

"The company, passionately run by Linda Cumming and new manager Bryan Miller, has offered four signature vintages since it opened its doors in December 2005. The 2006 vintage just arrived this month and is said to be the mellowest and fruitiest of the line, “while still retaining the walnut shell-like tannins at the finish,” Cumming said. “I love how it is coming along.”

"The elegant wines are simply titled, Verso Colorado Cabernet Sauvignon, along with the year of harvest.

“'It doesn’t need a fancy name,' said Cumming who grew all the grapes at her own vineyard in Palisade. 'It’s just a good wine.'

"The Verso name comes from her 28 years working with the Denver Public Library. Verso, she explained, is Latin for reverse and a verso is the reverse side of a book’s title page. Like her wine labels, the verso tells the reader everything they need to know about the work."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Premier Issue of VinoPrimo Spotlights Colorado's Wine Country

A new online magazine wine called VinoPrimo debuted last month. The October Travel Section featured an article by Stefani Jackenthal. (Originally published in the New York Times, this article has appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country). Under the headline, "Biking Colorado's Wine Country,"Jackenthal writes:

"The early-morning sun warms the back of my neck as a friend and I pedal along the open road, rolling past dangling peaches as well as grapes hanging in little clumps on parallel rows of trellised vines. Up ahead, a wood-frame chunk of white rock bearing the vineyard's name signals the entrance to the Plum Creek Winery, and we turn down a short pebbly road and spot a seven-and-a-half-foot metal fowl that's been made from old farm equipment guarding the rustic tasting room.

"Inside the bright, lofty barn-turned-tasting room, a redwood tasting bar takes center stage. Cozy couches and a hand-woven rug face a well-used sandstone fireplace; local artwork decorates the shop selling homemade preserves, salsas and mustards. But it's the promise of a glass of wine that has drawn us here today. Maybe the sauvignon blanc, with its apricot aroma? Or perhaps the riesling, with its hint of sweet peach and fig?

"No, this isn't Napa or a wine section of France. This is the Palisade region of Colorado, a dry, sunny area on the Western Slope, and the winemaking hub of Colorado's fledging viticultural industry. In recent years, the vineyards here have produced award-winning varietals and blends, making Colorado a rising star in the wine-making universe. More important, it's given active travelers yet another reason to visit this outdoorsy state, a place where you can push yourself to the physical limit by day, and then relax with a good meal (and an even better glass of wine) at night.

"Surrounded by the Book Cliffs mountain range and Grand Mesa, said to be the world's largest flat-top mountain, Palisade's mapped wine trail explores the area's local flavors and showcases its reputation as a pristine cycling playground. Although the elevation is high, the terrain is mostly flat with some moderate hills in the orchard area, and with quaint country roads wending past scores of working vineyards and fruit farms buzzing with activity. The paved route crisscrosses the Colorado River, which offers cool breezes and lovely views, and connects well marked, cycling-friendly tasting rooms and wineries that are never a few miles out of pedaling range.

"Having recently tasted a sturdy Colorado syrah that I would have guessed was from the Rhône Valley in France, I was intrigued by the idea of checking out the area. Joined by a friend, who is also a cycling enthusiast, we spent three days spinning and sipping through Palisade wine country this summer. Riding 15 to 20 miles a day, we stayed at B&B's, picnicked in fragrant orchards full of fuzzy peaches, dangling cherries and golden apricots, and savored hometown cooking and local wines along the way.

"Similar to the weather in coastal California and the Rhône Valley, the long, hot Colorado days allow grapes to ripen with ideal sugar levels while cool nights create terrific acidity, both essential elements for quality wine."

The article features just about everyone in Palisade, including the Wine Country Inn.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tom and Rose to Sell Red Rose Cafe

Oh no! Say it ain't so, Tom! The Casabonas are putting their local eatery, the Red Rose Cafe, on the market. According to the Daily Sentinel, Rose misses the Vietnamese community back in Denver and is homesick. But where else in the Grand Valley will we get such kick-butt spring rolls?

Under the headline, "Selling the Red Rose," Sentinel reporter Anna Marai Basquez writes:

"Red Rose Cafe, which in four short years has earned a reputation as a landmark restaurant in downtown Palisade with a hearty mix of Italian, Asian and American foods, is for sale.

“'We want to move back to Denver, back to the big city,' said Tom Casabona, co-owner of the cafe at 235 Main St. along with his wife, Rose. 'My wife wants to move back to Denver. She misses having an Oriental community and various other things.'

"The restaurant received favorable mention from the New York Times in an article published in its travel section earlier this month about biking in Colorado wine country. It is on the market for $750,000.

"The Casabonas moved four years ago from Denver, where they owned Rose’s Cafe for 20 years across from Lowry Air Force Base on Seventh Avenue and Quebec Street.

"Casabona said he knows selling a business during tough economic times means the sale could be slow. He said the resturant may stay if business picks up enough.

“'I’m not selling it cheaply, and in today’s economy with things the way they are, I don’t expect it to be a quick, easy sale,' Casabona said. 'It may take as long as a year, maybe longer.'

“'Their food’s been good and reputable,' said Bruce Jensen, owner of The Packing Shed diner in Palisade. He said competition among restaurants went up with Inari’s Bistro moving in.

"The business environment in Palisade has to be prepared for good summer months and very slow winter months each year, Casabona said.

“'I understand it’s Palisade. It’s not consistent,' Casabona said. 'It’s fine business in the nice months and lousy business in the winter months. Palisade is growing and doing well in the summer. It’s too quiet in the winter. It’s quiet now.'

"Inari’s Bistro started to stay open later to cater to crowds the Wine Country Inn might bring in."

We're real sorry to hear this, even though it doesn't sound like a right away thing. We hope that Tom and Rose get a good asking price and they will be missed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wine Could Fight Lung Cancer

Reuters is reporting another health benefit to the seeming panacea that is red wine. Under the headline, "Red Wine May Ward Off Lung Cancer: Study," Reuters wrote:

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Drinking red wine, but not white wine, may reduce lung cancer risk, especially among current and ex-smokers, new research indicates.

"People who had ever smoked and who drank at least a glass of red wine daily were 60 percent less like to develop lung cancer than ever-smokers who didn't drink alcohol, Dr. Chun Chao of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena and colleagues found.

"But white wine didn't reduce risk, suggesting it could be compounds contained in red wine, such as resveratrol and flavonoids, rather than the healthier lifestyle associated with wine drinking, that may be protective, the researchers say.

"Studies examining the relationship between lung cancer and alcohol consumption have had mixed results, they note in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Much of this research has failed to adjust for factors like socioeconomic status that can influence both alcohol use and lung cancer risk."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And Now, A Sentinel Sermon on Drinking Colorado Wine

Earlier in the year, we reported on Time Magazine's coverage of wine in all 50 states, where Plum Creek was mentioned as the Colorado entry. Apparently, several someones sat up and took notice. Grand Junction Daily Sentinel writer Dave.Buchanan took exception to this article, as did several wine aficionados around the blogosphere. Under the headline, "No Law Says All Good Wine Comes From California," Buchanan writes:

"Drink local."

"That means us, since we’re the ones in control of what we drink.

"The movement to eat locally has another focus: Learning to drink locally, too.

"The concept really is the same. Know what you’re drinking by getting to know the people producing the wine you put on your table and share with friends.

"One of the provocateurs of the idea, wine writer Jeff Siegel, writing on a Web site titled drinklocalwine, says the idea was to get a range of writers to talk up local wines, as long as the wines aren’t from California.

“Because it’s about time regional wine got the respect it deserved,” says Siegel, who blogs under the name The Wine Curmudgeon (

“Yes, some of it still tastes like it was made from grapes strained through sweaty socks, but much of it is as competently made as anything from California.

“'I regularly do blind tastings with regional wine; the people who taste it think the stuff they’re drinking is from California or Australia. These wines don’t deserve the ‘Time magazine’ treatment.'

"He goes on: 'Because we should drink regional wine. There is no law that says all wine has to come from California.'

"The 'Time magazine’ treatment” to which Siegel refers is an article written earlier this year by Joel Stein in which Stein reviews 50 American wines.

"Not only is Stein’s piece 'flawed' and sprinkled with 'factual errors,' Siegel says, but 'Stein seems more concerned with being flip and hip and other clever things than he does talking about wine.'”

You can read the rest of the Buchanan article here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote, Then Vino

This Election Day, the Wine Country Inn encourages everyone to get out and vote. Then, after you are safely at home and watching the election results, why not crack open a bottle of Colorado wine? If your candidate wins the presidency tonight, then raise a glass and celebrate. If your guy loses, then cry into your wine and have another glass. (Please drink responsibly). Tomorrow you can celebrate/console your jangled post election nerves with a relaxing stay at the Wine Country Inn...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Business Times Coverage of the Wine Country Inn

Phil Castle , editor in chief of the Business Times of Western Colorado, wrote a profile of the Wine Country Inn. Under the headline, "Wine Country Accommodations: Newly Opened Palisade Hotel Brings Unique Lodging to the Very Heart of the Grand Valley Growing Region," Castle wrote:

"Richard and Jean Tally lead an impromptu tour of their newly opened hotel in Palisade, pointing out the small details that have gone into the large lodging and events complex.

"Historical photographs hang from nearly every wall, providing a glimpse back in time to the people and activities of the past. Wrap-around porches and white wicker chairs invite guests to sit and relax. An intimate dining area located just off the lobby serves as a versatile venue for breakfast, wine tastings and conversation.

"Of course, it's one of the biggest features of the hotel that draws the most attention. And that's the setting: smack in the middle of not only a vineyard, but also the Grand Valley wine-growing region.

"The Wine Country Inn constitutes a dream come true for the Tallys, who spent nearly a decade visiting lodging properties in the wine-growing regions of California and Europe to carefully study what works and what doesn't.

"The couple says the best of the best went into planning the Wine Country Inn, only on a much larger scale. The Tallys are pleased with the end result of the $8 million project.

"'We're proud of it,' Richard says.

"But as a co-owner of the family enterprise and a 14-year veteran of the lodging industry with an MBA from Columbia, he's also eager for business to begin in earnest following the Aug. 1 opening. 'We're anxious for it to get going and kick in.'

"Leif Johnson, executive director of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, expects just that. 'I don't think there's going to be any doubt it will be really, really in demand.'

"The 80-room hotel already has benefited nearby restaurants and other businesses, Johnson says. But he's even more excited about the potential for the Wine Country Inn and Palisade. 'It presents a very unique opportunity. There's nothing else like it. To have that kind of unique and prestigious property come to Palisade, I think we have no where to go but up.'
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