A lot has happened since our last blog post!
Spring treated us well, the vines thrived without any frost events, and fruit has officially set in the Redstone Vineyard. We’ve been thinning, tucking, and suckering, to make sure that the grapes enjoy an effective ripening season. Our water supply has been strong, and the warm, sunny days are really helping the canopy to take off and provide enough energy for the grapes to begin the ripening process.
In mid-June, we hosted our very first wine dinner in the vineyard. On a warm, cloud-covered afternoon, 40 guests gathered at our just-built tasting overlook that boasts a breathtaking view of the West Elk Wilderness and Mount Lamborn. We shared passed appetizers and sips of our Rosé of Pinot Noir and got to meet new faces and visit with old friends, as our story came to life in conversation.
We walked over to a long, communal table within our recently budded Riesling vines and sat down to a beautiful tablescape, enhanced by the locally grown blooms of Momorose Flowers. The evening’s weather couldn’t have been more pleasant. All week long, it had been windy and rainy, so we were grateful and relieved that the weather accommodated our festivities.
Chef Brandt Bishop of Bishop Quality Goods here in Hotchkiss prepared a delicious, swoon-worthy, island-themed, four-course dinner, several feet away from the table. We are so fortunate to have Brandt’s talent here in the North Fork Valley. The courses were perfectly timed, allowing everyone to savor the wine pairings and enjoy conversations that led into new friendships.
The “Pau Hana” Hour
Tamarind-Cured Hamachi | citrus, ponzu, scallion oil, puffed and caramelized rice, pickled ginger crisps, and arbol chili threads
North Fork Bruschetta | sourdough, Japanese turnips, chèvre, radish, basil, and snap peas.
2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir
The Seated Vineyard Dinner
Grilled Spot Prawn | wakame, avocado, sesame, ginger and soy, garnished with edible flowers, micro greens, ikura roe, and crispy garlic, accompanied with kiyuri namasu.
2018 Rosé of Pinot Gris
Braised Kahlua Pork Shoulder Slider | Bishop Quality Goods Hawaiian rolls, charred scallion slaw, with Asian pear and micro cilantro, accompanied with a long rice noodle salad of spring vegetables, mint, radish, and rice wine vinegar.
2018 Dry Riesling
Pineapple + Red Chili-Glazed Gray Feather Farms Chicken | marinated pineapple, coriander dipping sauce, accompanied with baby bok choy adobo with toasted sesame, crispy garlic, and micro sunflower.
Sourdough Hawaiian Monkey Bread | toasted macadamia nuts, tamarind caramel, cinnamon crème anglaise.
Apple Tart | browned butter, Meyer lemon, Point Reyes bleu cheese crumble.
2018 Reserve Riesling
This evening couldn’t have been possible without our teammates, friends, and colleagues, who rallied with us during the hectic mashup of last-minute malfunctions, missed deliveries, sick contractors, and forgotten tasks. The photos don’t capture the stressful moments that led up to this gorgeous evening, and that’s just fine. That’s the magic behind true hospitality – you never let them see you sweat.
Only moments before our first guests arrived, we were shoveling hundreds of pounds gravel under the tasting overlook, scrambling to finish plating the passed appetizers, racing to level and set the long table on the uneven vineyard floor, cleaning up a couple of massive spills, and running to the store for last-minute details.
But it all came together beautifully, and we popped a few bottles of Prosecco afterwards, to celebrate.
We’ll be hosting our second and final dinner in the vineyard for the season on Friday, August 2nd, this time with Mirasol and Nicole of Forage Sisters. The duo are cooking up a fire-powered, asado-style dinner with a theme of high-elevation cuisine, paired with high-elevation wine. This dinner is a true farm-to-table experience. Nicole and her husband also grow vegetables and raise animals at their farm, Deer Tree Farm & Agroforest, and Forage Sisters will also be showcasing the local fare from Gray Acres Farm and Cedar Springs Farm.
Cheers to a fruitful growing season over the next couple of months! Harvest will be here before we know it.
And we are sending out a very big thanks to Irene Durante for capturing this evening so beautifully, patiently, and memorably.
Thanks so much for being part of our ever-unfolding story!!
Jayme, Steve, and The Storm Cellar Team