This blog is a long time coming. It is hard to believe that 10 years ago, there was no Vino Salida. I fondly reminisce about the beginnings that started it all in 2004…
It all started with a crazy idea. First, I would call Bruce Talbott at Talbott Farms in Palisade and order 1/2 ton of Merlot. Then, I would borrow a truck from Mike Barkett at Mountain Spirit Winery to pick up the grapes. Next, I would throw a potluck party, inviting friends over to foot stomp it all in my backyard. Finally, I would craft some damn tasty wine in a Kentucky oak barrel that we could all share.
This idea led to the 1st Grape Stomp party, and to another the next year, and another, until the next crazy idea was born: I would start a community-supported winery in the Salida area. With just $5000 to my name, I finalized a business plan, submitted an application with the Federal and Colorado governments, rented a winery facility, and started raising money from the community to fund the tasty new venture. On September 1, 2009, the application was approved, and I started crushing grapes one week later!
Ten harvests and many, many parties later, Vino Salida thrives in Poncha Springs and overlooks the beautiful mountain ranges that shape our valley. I am blessed and grateful that my original mission and vision remain intact as a community-supported winery! Instead of running the show myself, Vino Salida’s staff has become the core of the business’ community. As a team, we have cultivated a large wine club that supports its livelihood. Together, we have created a positive, relaxing, inspiring and fun tasting room experience to enjoy Vino Salida’s large selection of Colorado wine, mead, and vermouth.
Again, I am extremely thankful to live my dream. I’ve had so many exciting times and met a lot of wonderful people: grape and honey growers, customers, investors, community members, winemakers, brewers, distillers, farmers, chefs, musicians, and the most amazing staff members. Thank you to all the people that have helped build our Colorado community through the enjoyment and financial support of Vino Salida’s handcrafted wine. I look forward to the next 10 years as Vino Salida strives to be Colorado’s premier Winery Destination in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Salute!