In building my foundation as a winemaker I traveled to the places and worked with the people I found most intriguing. From Corsica to Australia, New York to New Zealand, I eventually found myself in a winemaking position at Mayacamas Vineyards in Napa. It was there I honed my winemaking philosophies and what I believe is vital to a winery. After three growing seasons at Mayacamas, it was the right time to move back home to Colorado.
At first glance, moving to Colorado seemed to be a move away from the wine industry, but I did not leave my passion for winemaking behind. With that passion, some creative gumption, and support of friends and family I dreamed up Monkshood—a Colorado winery that grows, ferments, and produces wine and ciders entirely in Colorado.
My life on the production side of the wine and cider industry has been a journey filled with sweat, laughter, ripped shirts, wet boots, full bellies and stamped passports. When I began thinking about building my own winery, I had the luxury of pulling pieces from all those experiences to bring together those aspects of winemaking that I enjoy most. I wanted to create a space where wine is approachable, enjoyable, and forms community – a space where the “nose to the air, swirl, sniff, sip” is left at the door.
Monkshood Cellars is located in Minturn, CO. She is, and always will be, a rusty ol’ gal. That said jazz, bluegrass, ski and snowboard boots, mountain bikes and muddy backs, river feet, tasty cheeses, and laughter will be as ubiquitous and free flowing as the wine and cider.
In my search for grapes on the Western Slope, acidity and freshness create the framework while progressive ecosystem based farming is the foundation. Those elements have become a central theme in the wine I both enjoy fermenting and appreciate drinking. My ‘Vin Rouge’, made with a lesser known and intriguing grape, St. Vincent, is available on draft at Monkshood by the glass or jug fill-up. The Chenin Blanc will be bottled in early June and the Syrah should be bottled late summer. The style of ciders I gravitate towards are dry, nourishing and show an intentional, individual character. The cider is also available on draft by the glass and jug fill-up.