As a member of the Sotheby’s family, it may come as no surprise I know a little something about wine. But historically, you wouldn’t automatically assume a resident of Utah to be a “wine-o”. In fact, you’d probably assume the opposite. But the times are changing. And while the quantity of Utah wineries might not match up to other states, the dedication of the winemakers is applaudable. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the couple of wineries that have popped up in Park City.
Castle Creek Winery
The largest Utah winery is located just outside of Moab on the picturesque Colorado River. Castle Creek has been around since the 1970’s. The story goes that a few test plantings of grape vines were successful on what was historically a working ranch. The high desert gets hot during the day but the cool evenings make it a hospitable region for grape growing. They produce 8,000 cases of wine each year from their own fruit and from other local growers in southern Utah. The winery has daily tastings and their bottles can be purchased at Utah State Liquor Stores.
Chateau La Caille Vineyard
If you’ve ever driven to Little Cottonwood Canyon, you’ve probably passed La Caille. With a restaurant, pavilion and gardens, it’s about as pleasant as a place gets. But did you know they had their own winery? The estate vineyard was planted in 1986 with Seyval Blanc grapes. At 5,300 feet above sea level, the cool evenings allow the grapes to ripen slowly, resulting in a fully matured and well-balanced grape. In addition to the Seyval Blanc (the heart and soul of La Caille), they also offer a Columbia Valley Red, a Pinot Noir, and a Merlot. Tastings are offered each afternoon and by appointment.
The Hive Winery was started by two engineers who simply loved making wine. Over the years they have incorporated local foods and best environmental practices into a successful and unique winery. They specialize in honey and fruit wines, and also make ciders and brandies. All together, they offer about 50 different items. The Hive Winery and store is located in Layton and most of their products can be found at State Liquor Stores and area restaurants.
Old Town Cellars
Coined as the “official wine of après”, it’s no surprise this next winery is one of Park City’s own. These folks strive to make great, affordable wine that is welcoming and fun for everyone to enjoy. Sounds like a great après-ski, après-bike, après-hike or après-shopping activity to me. They source wines from the top growing regions to blend and bottle on-site. Stop in 7 days a week. I recommend the Townie Rosè. They are located on lower Main Street, just around the corner from Mustang and Vinto Pizzeria.
Park City, Utah can now boast two wineries, and Cognition is the second. Located in the up-and-coming Ironhorse District, Cognition was started by a husband and wife team — “the scientist”, Dennis Romanowski, and “the nurse by day”, Gina Coccimiglio. Wines are available for tasting with the winemaker by appointment and for purchase at State Liquor Stores. The Cognitive Friends Wine Club allows you to enjoy appellation-sourced wines at sanctioned events, or by delivery if you live out of state.