Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meet the Winemaker: Brooke Webb (Mesa Park Vineyards)

Brooke Webb
Twenty years ago there were only five commercial wineries in the state, so Colorado's wine industry is still in its teenage years. Today, there are over one hundred! Most wineries popped up organically as families decided to give the wine lifestyle a try. Eventually, some wineries changed ownership. Our guest today is the assistant winemaker at one such winery. Mesa Park Vineyards is the newest incarnation of Mesa Grande Vineyards. Bought by the Price clan (Chuck and Patty Price along with their daughter Brooke and her husband Brad Webb) in 2008, they handcraft red wines from the classic Bordeaux cultivars: cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Brooke, now juggles being assistant winemaker, mother and a job, but she found the time to answer our questions!

CWP: How did you get into wine making?

Our family purchased Mesa Park Vineyards in 2009. Chuck, my dad, and I share the wine making duties and responsibilities. We rely on him because he has an extensive engineering background and is very process driven which is extremely important in wine making.

CWP: If you weren’t in the wine business, where would you be working?

This is a dream come true for our family. We have our own vineyard and spend a lot of time working the vines. If we were not doing this hopefully we would be in another agriculture venture.

CWP: What do you do when you’re not at the winery?

We spend a lot of time at the winery, but we love to cook and prepare meals and entertain at our place. We enjoy our menus with a wide variety of wine, but we try to support our local wines which are excellent in quality right now.

CWP: What is a wine that you currently do not make that you want to make?

We are making our first rosé this year. We picked merlot grapes about two weeks ago to start this process. We kept the juice on the skins for about 16 hours and then pressed the juice into a stainless steel fermentation tank where it is slowly fermenting. The plan is to have a nice dry rosé. We will be bottling this is the Spring of 2012.

CWP: If you could make wine in any wine region in the world, other than Colorado, where would you be making wine and why?

I am excited to explore other wine regions in the world and be able to think about it from a winemaker's perspective. I would love to go to New Zealand, France, Spain and Germany. So, ask me again in a few years....

CWP: What is the best bottle of wine you’ve ever drunk?
I recently had a 1986 Dom Pérignon that a sommelier friend shared with us, although past its prime it was amazing how well it had stood up. I would love to make a sparkling wine someday.

CWP: To what style of music would you compare your wine lineup?
Norah Jones: high quality, classic, mellow and pairs well with food and good company.

CWP: What do you think consumers should think of when they think about Colorado Wine?
I think the ones who have discovered it are very impressed with the quality. Our job is to get our wines in more people's hands.

CWP: Where do you see the Colorado wine industry in 10 years?
I see the Industry continuing to grow at a steady pace and the quality continuing to improve. I am encouraged with the support consumers are giving to local small businesses that focus on quality.

CWP: What question would you like to ask me and my readers?
Have you been to Palisade? If not please come and meet my family at Mesa Park Vineyards soon!

1 comment:

  1. I have been to Palisade and I think it is a great wine country that every Coloradan should experience!