Meadery of the Rockies produces one-of-a-kind wine in Palisade
Visit Meadery of the Rockies’ tasting room between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. — 3701 G Road, Palisade — to try a wide variety of mead produced locally.
Taste each mead carefully and savor each sip. Five complimentary tastes are provided and each additional taste after that is $1 each. Try to taste the meads in the order they are presented — staff places them in the most advantageous tasting order so that you may best appreciate each one. Skip forward if you would like, but don’t taste backwards. Don’t feel obligated to drink all the mead. A dump/spit bucket is provided; it’s not offensive to use it. Don’t forget to ask lots of questions!
Fred Strothman, of Palisade, was a part-time bee-keeper with lots of excess honey. An avid agriculturist, he and his wife also planted a vineyard in hopes of making wine; little did they know at the time, it took three or so years to harvest the grapes.
To get started on their business, the Strothmans then decided to make mead with their honey, creating Colorado’s first meadery — Rocky Mountain Meadery — in 1995. They ran it for 12 years until Glenn and Natalie Foster took over in 2008 and renamed it Meadery of the Rockies. The Fosters also own and operate St. Kathryn Cellars and Talon Winery in Palisade.
WHAT IS MEAD?
In basic terms, mead is the fermentation of honey. There are a variety of meads available, including carbonated, stilled, or blended with fruits and spices.
“There’s a lot of fun vocab that goes along with it,” Foster said, who also encourages people to try many types of mead and ‘bee’ adventurous.
The mead-making process is long, but well worth the wait, he added. First, producers must water down the honey, as it is roughly 86-percent perfect sugar. Then, it is watered down to about 22-percent sugar. The watered-down honey is then fermented (a process using yeast to convert sugar to alcohol).
Since honey doesn’t spoil — a key to making mead — Meadery of the Rockies purchases all the honey they need from farms in California and Florida to make small batches throughout the year. On average, this local business makes and sells around 95,000 bottles of mead a year.
“It’s a good alternative to create mead because at times a grape harvest could be bad,” Foster said. “It’s nice to be able to make wine any time.”
Meadery of the Rockies won multiple awards over the years, including gold medals at Colorado Mountain Winefest, Denver International Wine Competition, Colorado State Fair Craft Brewing Competition, and more. It also sells in liquor stores throughout Colorado and ships to 19 other states. Bottle prices range from $11.95 to $34.95 (Honey Sher’e is their highest-priced bottle).
“Pairing mead is kind of a do-it-yourself project,” Foster said. “Enjoy it with friends and family during dinner and find what works best with your taste.”
For more information, visit http://www.meaderyoftherockies.com or call 970-464-7899.
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