ZAGAT: 8 Reasons to Drive to the Grand Valley

GJVCB-photo(ONLINE, September 28, 2015) – Pretty soon, taking I-70 west through the mountains to Mesa County’s Grand Valley will feel like going back in time; even as winter sets in at higher elevations, autumn lingers across this part of the Western Slope, also known as Colorado’s fruit basket. Right up to Thanksgiving (and sometimes beyond), cyclists and marathoners continue to crisscross the canyons of the Colorado National Monument, golfers keep hitting the greens and oenophiles still come to tour the tasting rooms. This is wine country, after all — and for warm-weather worshippers, there may be no nicer way to stave off the cold than rolling through the vineyards one last fine weekend. Here are a few dining and drinking spots to seal the already-worthwhile getaway deal.

Meadery of the Rockies
Speaking of mead, the quaint tasting room and gift shop at Colorado’s first meadery proves a sweet spot for a sore palate…
701 G Rd., Palisade; 970-464-7899     Story by Ruth Tobias; Photo courtesy of GJVCB

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Company Week – Talon Wines

Owner Glenn FosterYou might say Glenn Foster has wine in his blood. His father is one of the founders of Sonoma’s Ravenswood, and he’s building his own legacy on the Western Slope.

(ONLINE, September 25, 2015) – Foster wanted to be a teacher, but after attending the CU in Boulder, he realized he wasn’t cut out for it and returned to California to work in the family business to learn how to make wine.

When he learned the Centennial State’s Western Slope had a blossoming wine industry, Foster and his wife, Natalie, jumped at the chance to return to Colorado, where they worked in wineries in the Palisade and Grand Junction area. Like many Coloradans, the Fosters got the entrepreneurial bug and decided to open a small wine shop in Fruita offering a variety of wines from across the state. At the same time, they launched Talon Winery in a small room in the 1,700-square-foot shop… 
Story by Margaret Jackson; Photo courtesy of Company Week

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Introducing Our Great New Look!
MOR_new_labels(PALISADE, Colorado – July 21, 2015) – As Colorado’s original meadery and a leading U.S. producer of quality meads since 1995, we are excited to give you a sneak peek at our new look. We’ve already bottled several of our products with the new design: Sweet Honey Wine (formerly Camelot) and Raspberry Honey Wine (formerly Raspberries ‘n Honey) and Peach Honey Wine (formerly Peaches ’n Honey). Don’t worry! Same great flavors . . . just a fun, new look!

It’s a more contemporary look, with a smaller, friendlier bee; the words are easier to read and the elegant bottle shape is more inviting. Each wine has its own, vibrant color “sun” spot, so it will be easier to pick out your favorites. Overall, we think it’s just a whole lot more fun for everyone! We put a lot of research and careful thought into this decision with guidance and input from our friends at Brandwerks Group. As for the medieval names of our traditional meads, we must bid them “adieu.” King Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, and Camelot have served us gallantly for many years and for that we are grateful. We will always BEE Meadery of the Rockies and continue to produce world-class mead, now with labels and names that reflect a more contemporary feel. Finally, in a bold move, we will make Sir Lancelot one with his King Arthur:

  • King Arthur and Lancelot are now Lightly Sweet Honey Wine
  • Guinevere is now Medium Sweet Honey Wine
  • Camelot is now Sweet Honey Wine

We’re buzzing with excitement about this change and invite you stop by to taste our terrific selection of honey wines!  

Finding wine country in a beer state like Colorado

(PALISADE, Colorado – July 18, 2015) – Locals call it the “million-dollar breeze.” It’s the breeze, they say, that makes this a growing wine destination in the heart of hops country.

The winds waft in over the Grand Mesa, one of the largest flat-topped mountains in the world and a key geographical feature here. Air flows between canyon walls, warming and then flowing out over wineries nestled near the Grand Mesa’s base. The 4,700-foot elevation, and the climate, which features sunny days, dry air and cool nights, create what local winemakers say are globally unique elements for their craft.

In a state known for breweries, people in Palisade want to make sure Colorado is squarely on the map when people want to visit wineries…  Story by Alison Bowen/TNS, Chicago Tribune

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Winemaker Brian Q&A with Brian Stevens of Meadery of the Rockies

(DENVER, Colorado – January 19, 2015) – Find out what readers would be surprised to know about winemaker Brian Stevens and the Meadery. Are people skeptical to try mead who end up loving it? Q: How do you get in the wine business? A: “Providence, more than anything,” – read more.

Story by Carri Wilbanks, Denver Staycation Examiner

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KKCO- TV11: Local Vineyards are Learning More About Winemaking

(GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – January 14, 2015) – This week marks the 5th annual VinCO meeting, where wineries across the state can learn about wine making and grape growing skills that will improve the final product- the glass of wine you enjoy at these local wineries or on your table at home.

“The landscape is always changing. So it’s great to learn new things,” Glenn Foster said, the CEO of St. Kathryn, the Meadery of the Rockies, and Talon Winery. When Foster showed up in Palisade in 1995, there were only 15 wineries in the state. 20 years later, there are 156 permits for wineries in Colorado, as the industry grows.

According to the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, Colorado’s wine economic impact topped $144 million in 2013, contributing to more than 1600 jobs to the state. Story by Mackenzie O’Keefe. All the buzz is about the Meadery of the Rockies in Palisade, Colorado

(DENVER, Colorado – November 2014) Tips from Denver International Travel Examiner from her visit to the Meadery. They include adventure wine enthusiasts, those taking a break from driving Interstate 70, and motorists, who enjoy taking the scenery of Colorado. Those who aren’t rushing around can participate in the winery’s tours. Visitors might be able to meet the vintner of these mead wines. Chocoholics and fruit lovers will enjoy the variety of mead wines.

Story by Mary Jeneverre Schultz, Denver International Travel Examiner

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BeverBeverage Master magazine coverage Master Magazine Rocks Meadery of the Rockies (FORT DODGE, Iowa – October 2014) – Revealing story about Meadery of the Rockies and the magic in honey in the October 2014 Beverage Master magazine. Beverage Master is THE Craft Spirits & Brew Magazine: mead, hard cider, distilling and more – news from across the world! Both Beverage Master and Grapevine Magazine free subscriptions are available both online and print here. Story by Nan McCreary Read Meadery story in Beverage Master.      








  Talon/Meadery win 26 awardsKREX-TV5: Talon Wine Brands Honored at International Competition

(PALISADE, Colorado – June 29, 2014) Mesa County wineries recently competed against world renowned wines in the Denver International Wine Competition. The judges from the competition taste hundreds of wines from around the world.

Talon Wine Brands in Palisade collected 26 awards, more than any other Colorado winery won. Three labels from the winery were awarded winning 13 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals. “This Competition for us shows us we can really compete on a large scale. The Denver International allows wineries from places like Gallo and large wineries in California. To come out on top of a few of those is really pretty nice for us,” said Brian Stevens, Wine Maker for Talon Wine Brands.* View Competition complete list of winners. Story by Angel Russell *Meadery of the Rockies is one of three wineries under the family name of Talon Wine Brands. The other two wineries in the hive are St. Kathryn Cellars and Talon Winery.

Grand Junction Free Press: A Special Drink for Any Occasion – Meadery of the Rockies is One of a Kind (GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – May 2, 2014) Grand Junction Free Press – FreeTime section – features a full page story on Meadery of the Rockies, the ancient relationship humans have  with honey wine, how mead is made, and how to enjoy tasting mead at the winery in Palisade. Owner Glenn Foster encourages people to ‘bee’ adventurous, and recommends people enjoy mead with friends and family during dinner and find what works best for their tastes. Story and photos by Brittany Markert.      






KKCO-TV Interviews Stevens at Western Colorado Manufacturing Summit (GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – April 11, 2014) KKCO-TV captures comments of Talon Wine Brands’ Assistant General Manager and Winemaker Brian Stevens at the Summit. Stevens sees mutual interests worth exploring between western Colorado wineries and breweries. Director of Sales and Public Relations Pat Kennedy took advantage of networking with local businesses in attendance.   Talon Wine Brands is the parent of Meadery of the Rockies and sister wineries St. Kathryn Cellars and Talon Winery.      





Owner and head winemaker Glenn Foster with award winning winesTalon Wine Brands wins 21 medals at Denver International – The Daily Sentinel (PALISADE, Colorado – Nov. 14, 2012)  Talon Wine Brands is 2nd highest medal winner at international competition. Story by Wine Openers columnist Dave Buchanan in The Daily Sentinel. Photo by Christopher Tomlinson.    



Talon Wine Brands Wins 21 Medals at Denver International Wine Competition First time a Colorado winery is 2nd highest medal winner in the Competition! Denver International Wine Festival Pairsine Tasting(PALISADE, Colorado — Nov. 1, 2012) Talon Wine Brands brings home the Gold to Colorado from the prestigious 2012 Denver International Wine Competition. Of the 21 Medals won, 10 are Gold, 5 are Silver and 6 are Bronze. Wineries from 13 countries entered 800 wines in the Competition. Talon Wine Brands was the 2nd highest medal winner overall. “This says a lot for Colorado wines,” said Christoper J. Davies, CEO and Publisher of the Wine Country Network, sponsor of the Competition. So far the medal count is 71 Gold, Silver and Bronze in 2012. Read news release

TripAdvisor names Palisade in Top 10 Best Wine Destination in the U.S. in Travelers’ Choice Awards 2012  TripAdvisors Travelers' Choice Awards 2012(Oct. 2012) Palisade was the only wine region to make the list not on either coast, with the others in the top 10 coming from the Big Four of California, Oregon, Washington and New York. Meadery of the Rockies called out as a “DON’T MISS” stop, along with Carlson Vineyards, Plum Creek Winery and Hermosa Vineyards.    



KKCO NBC 11: Largest Western Slope Winery Says Cheers to Four Years (GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Feb. 8, 2012) – A Palisade Winery is saying ‘cheers’ to four years of successful business. They’ve been working with locally grown products for years now, supporting the local economy. Glenn Foster knows that wine is about more than just grapes. “To me wine is a celebration of life. Every one of them are special, it’s really hard to find two wines that are exactly alike,” he says. And with over 40 varieties under his company’s three brand names, he certainly has much to celebrate. “We have about 22 tanks now, and we have a full size bottling line,” says Foster. But it wasn’t always that way. Talon started with just five tiny tanks in Fruita. Today, Foster owns St. Kathryn’s Cellar and Meadery of the Rockies, which both operate under Talon Wines. Talon brand produces your standard grape wines, all of which are made with locally grown materials. “Its nice to live in a place like this where we could get such great quality fruit, such great quality grapes, and of course, that translates in to better wine,” says Brian Stevens, wine maker for Talon Wines. The Grand Valley serves as a hot spot for wine growing grapes, giving Talon the perfect product to create their high quality wine. “There’s a lot of equipment involved. We have a destemmer that we use, and that actually separates the grapes from the stems,” says Foster. From there, the grapes head in to a press or tank, depending if they’re white or red, then they allow the grapes to age properly. “It could be bottled within three months or so, maybe four months. Or it could be a year and a half or two years,” he says. Bottled and ready to enjoy, Talon continues to say “cheers” to what sets them apart from the competition. “All the wineries in the valley share quite a bit you know, production wise, but I think what sets us apart is the love we put in to these wines. We love all these wines, and they’re like our kids,” says Stevens.”

Winemaker Brian StevensQ&A – Meet the Winemaker: Brian Stevens (Dec 28, 2011) As you may or may not know, one Colorado winery has some serious California connections. In 1976, W. Reed Foster helped found the icon Ravenswood winery. A few decades later, his son Glenn worked as a winemaker at several small wineries in Colorado. In 2008, after owning and operating a retail store in Fruita, CO, Glenn bought three small wineries of his own. As the Talon Wine Brands grew, Glenn brought on a second winemaker. Brian Stevens was an elementary school teacher and home brewer, but is now the winemaker for one of the state’s largest wineries. Read article on Colorado Wine Press







Talon Winery Picks up Four Medals at Prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition CONTACT: Glenn Foster at 970-464-7899 or (PALISADE, Colorado — May 19, 2010) Local wines made by Talon Winery in Palisade earned four bronze medals for its outstanding wines from the 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. The winning wines were Talon Riesling, Talon Wingspan White, St. Kathryn Cellars Peach Passion, and Meadery of the Rockies Lancelot. Talon Winery makes wines under all three labels. “This is a really prestigious festival,” explains Glenn Foster, owner & winemaker. “So to see the judges react so favorably to our wines is really satisfying.” This year 666 wineries from 15 countries entered more than 3,000 wines in the competition. The event made history when all 50 states in the U.S. participated – a first for a wine competition. The event attracted 56 of the world’s top judges from ten countries and ten states. Proceeds from the competition support Camp Good Days and Special Times, a non-profit organization that provides a camp for children with cancer. Meadery of the Rockies opened in 1995 as Colorado’s first and only meadery. They produce world-class honey wine (mead), as well as fruit-blended honey and fortified wines. Meadery of the Rockies also earned four medals at the The Mazer Cup International 2010 Awards Competition held last month in Boulder, Colorado. The Blackberry Satin and Lancelot blend wines won silver medals and their Raspberry Chocolate Satin and Guinevere blends both received bronze medals. The winning wines are available for tasting and purchase at retail outlets in the Grand Valley as well as all over Colorado and Wyoming.