Something Peachy in the Palisades

In the world of wine, there are those who turn their noses to anything fermented that isn’t a grape.

But in the wine country of Palisade, especially during the Palisade Peach Festival, there are those that show up expecting to taste some fermented peach.

“A lot of people come in looking for the peach wines,” said Nora Welch, sales associate at the Colorado Wine Room in Fruita.

Natalie Foster, co-owner of Talon Winery, goes to bat for fruit wines: “They’re a starting point. Fruit wines aren’t as intimidating as other wines. They’re a great introduction for people just starting into wine. Then as they develop their tastes, they may get into the dryer wines.”

Wineries and other beverage makers are getting in on the peach action, despite the investment. The latest is St. Kathryn’s Cellars, which bottled its newest Peach Passion wine early last week. There were 278 cases made, amounting to 3,341 bottles.

Parker Carlson, owner of Carlson Vineyards, made the first peach wine in the Grand Valley and started production 21 years ago.

“Over the years, there have been wine makers that look down their nose at fruit wines,” Carlson said. “But there wasn’t that much reaction at all when I first started making it. It was natural, with so much fruit around here. Ours are fruity — not syrupy, but more of a sweet tart.”

Carolyn Vastine, 28, of Stamford, Conn., and Amber Twombly, 28, of San Francisco, tried the Peach Passion on their road trip to move Vastine to San Francisco.

“It’s light, refreshing, and not too sweet,” Vastine said.

“It’s peachy,” said Twombly, who bagged a bottle of it. “I think it would taste good with mahi mahi for some reason.”