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You cant grow Grapes in Colorado! The soil is frozen 12 months a year. --Wine Spectator Editor Doug Caskey, exec. dir. CO Wine Industry Development Board.

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Presentation on theme: "You cant grow Grapes in Colorado! The soil is frozen 12 months a year. --Wine Spectator Editor Doug Caskey, exec. dir. CO Wine Industry Development Board."— Presentation transcript:

1 You cant grow Grapes in Colorado! The soil is frozen 12 months a year. --Wine Spectator Editor Doug Caskey, exec. dir. CO Wine Industry Development Board

2 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! 72 licensed wineries 5 in federal AVAs prod. acres Hybrid vs. vinifera Unique climate. soil and taste of place

3 3 Nov 2008 Marketing Colorado Wine Terroir, the taste of place The qualities in a wine determined by its point of origin or appellation The combined effect of sun exposure, soil conditions, climate, water quality The sense of history In all agricultural products, but most talked about in wine and maybe cheese

4 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Statewide Map View Western Slope Front Range

5 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! CO Wine Statistics 53% wine production, 84% of grapes from Grand Valley AVA Highest commercial vineyards in world in West Elks AVA World Champion Riesling at Intl Eastern Competition 2005 and Finalist in 2006 Harvest figures: 2003 over 1200 tons 2004 was 1000 tons 2005 approx tons 2006 approx tons 2007 approx. 900 tons 2008 approx tons Avg yield statewide (2006): 2.6 t/acre at $1300/ton avg.

6 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Fiscal Yr 2008 Statistics (2007 harvest) Prod: nearly 1 million liters or 110,000 cases Retail value: over $17 mil Over 10 fold increase in CO production since 1992 Total wine mkt. doubled Hit 1.84% market share Economic Impact in 2005:$21.1 million Additional $20.6 million including wine tourism

7 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado!

8 Most grape growing areas avg annually Vines need at least 20 Maybe the Spectator was right! Oil shale development could shut down water for CO ag. Irrigation Requirements

9 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Extremely dry climate means very low pest and disease pressure Much less need for chemical pesticides, etc. Irrigation adds control over vine development Irrigation Advantages

10 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Air drainage is second only to water

11 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Statewide Map View Western Slope Front Range

12 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Designated AVAs: Grand Valley (Colorado River) West Elks (N. Fork of the Gunnison) Other Growing Regions: Surface Creek Olathe McElmo Canyon Western Slope

13 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Grand Valley and Delta Co.

14 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! The Grand Valley

15 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! The Grand Valley 20 wineries Follows Colorado River Elevation: feet above sea level Precipitation: approx. 8 annually Bordeaux and Rhone Valley varietals Former sea coast Soils: –pH: , very high; Low organic matter (~1%) –Moderate to high salt content, replenished from CO River water –Frequent potassium or magnesium issues in grape vines

16 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Grand Valley by the numbers Station (elev.)Degree daysLast Spr Frost1 st Fall Frost 1. Palisade (4720)3822April 21Oct Grand Jct. (4850)3560April 23Oct Powderhorn (8090)n/aJuly 10Aug

17 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Delta County and West Elks Highway

18 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Designated AVAs: Grand Valley (Colorado River) West Elks (N. Fork of the Gunnison) Other Growing Regions: Surface Creek Olathe McElmo Canyon Western Slope

19 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! West Elks and Surface Creek Surface Creek on Grand Mesa N Fork of Gunnison River Elev: Precip: Former Lake Bed and Shores Better pH and org content

20 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Delta County by the numbers Station (elev.)Degree daysLast Spr Frost (32° F) 1 st Fall Frost 4. Cedaredge (6180)2525April 30Oct 3 5. Paonia (5690)2404May 8Oct 9 6. Delta (5120)2893May 14Sept

21 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! The West Elks AVA 12 wineries Home to highest commercially producing vineyard/winery in the world (6400 ft.) Emphasis on Central European varietals Pinot Noir High-acid Riesling Cooler Temps

22 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Designated AVAs: Grand Valley (Colorado River) West Elks (N. Fork of the Gunnison) Other Growing Regions: Surface Creek Olathe McElmo Canyon Western Slope

23 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Designated AVAs: Grand Valley (Colorado River) West Elks (N. Fork of the Gunnison) Other Growing Regions: McElmo Canyon Surface Creek Olathe Cañon City Larimer County Front Range

24 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Why not the Front Range? F°F°C°C° 404.5Acclimation begins 320Ice nucleation Freeze induced desiccation stress Injury likely Lethal for v. vinifera Important Temps for grapes Front Range 10° avg. colder in winter than West Slope Extreme fluctuations in winter Artic express

25 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! CO Growing Regions Comp Growing Degree Day units are computed as the difference between the daily average temperature and the base temperature. (Daily Ave. Temp. - Base Temp.) One unit is accumulated for each degree Fahrenheit the average temperature is above the base temperature. Negative numbers are discarded. Example: If the days high temperature was 95 and the low temperature was 51, the base 60 heating degree day units is (( ) / 2) - 60 = 13. This is done for each day of the month and summed.

26 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Temperature Comparison

27 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado!

28 Lets Taste Colorado Terror Creek Winery 2005 West Elks Gewürztraminer S. Rhodes Vineyards 2006 West Elks Pinot Noir Balistreri Vineryards 2006 Grand Valley Zinfandel Mesa Park Vineyards 2005 Grand Valley Merlot

29 9 March 2008 You Cant Grow Grapes in Colorado! Thank you very much.


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