Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Meet the Winemaker: Jeff Carr (Garfield Estates Vineyard & Winery)

Carol & Jeff Carr
Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery was the winery that gave me my first a ha moment when it comes to Colorado wine. Back in 2007 after my wife and I moved back from Japan we spent a short weekend in the Grand Valley. We visited a few wineries that were pleasant enough, but Garfield Estates and Reeder Mesa Vineyards were the two that left an impression on me. It was a 2005 Garfield Estates Cabernet Franc that really made me recognize that Colorado was capable of producing terrific wine. I purchased one bottle of the cab franc and opened it a few months ago (I still need to publish the write-up) and it was even better than I remember. Also, just a few weeks ago, I had a 2009 Garfield Estates Syrah that was very good and will soon find its way into my cellar (only if more 2005 cab franc were available...). With the winery in Palisade and a tasting room at Colorado Winery Row in Denver, Jeff and Carol Carr offer a bi-slope wine experience that makes it easy to get to know their wines. Jeff was kind enough to answer our Winemaker questions this week.

CWP: How did you get into winemaking? 

After years as a wine lover and spending many hours in various parts of Northern California wine country I decided I needed to make my own wine, and help build and establish Colorado as a world-class wine region.

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

Tech start ups, hopefully Facebook :)

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

Travel, spend time with my family and drink wine!

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

Pinot Noir

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

Penedès , Spain. Wonderful region capable of making great wines, and of course Cava which I love. Spanish people are fabulous and Barcelona is a great city.

CWP: What is the best bottle of wine you've ever drunk?

1985 Heitz Cellar “Martha’s Vineyard” sitting on Tom and Martha May’s (i.e. Martha’s Vineyard) deck.

CWP: To what style of music would you compare your wine lineup?


CWP: What do you think consumers should think of when they think about Colorado Wine?

Great wines can come from anywhere, focus on the wines and worry less about where they are from. CO wines can compete with anyone, give it a try.

CWP: Where do you see the Colorado wine industry in 10 years?

Honestly, greatly improved but still working to get the recognition we deserve.

CWP: What question would you like to ask me and my readers?

What wine is showing the most promise in Colorado so far?


  1. I think the varieties that show the most promise are Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Riesling. I also think that dry roses make a lot of sense for Colorado wineries.

  2. Great wines can come from anywhere, focus on the wines and worry less about where they are from. CO wines can compete with anyone, give it a try.

    Cheers to that one!

    For varietal I think we might be missing the best boat - we could be the region in the US known for blends - If we have to go varietal don't forget there are lots that haven't been planted...yet.

  3. Jay, good call on the blends and I agree, lots more planting to do before we really know what's working best.

  4. Jay, yes blends are often overlooked! I think that many of our Colorado producers make excellent red blends. In fact, I often find that many wineries' best wine is their red blend (or one thereof). And yes, cultivars that may be the most promising in CO may not have been planted here yet...