Wine industry in Colorado quietly takes off

KUSA - While you were sipping a craft beer at one of Colorado's countless breweries, the local wine industry was working overtime.

Today, there are 148 wineries in the state, and most of them are closer than you think.

"More than half the wineries in the state are actually located between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs," Kyle Schlachter, outreach coordinator for the Colorado Wine industry Development Board, said.

9NEWS caught up with Schlachter on a snowy morning at Infinite Monkey Theorem, a winery in Denver's River North neighborhood. Even though the taproom was empty, it was easy to see why the concept of an urban winery would be an attractive business model. 

"There's new wineries popping up all the time; it's kind of hard to keep track of all the new ones that are wanting to get their foot in the wine industry here in Colorado," Schlachter said.

When did this happen? It's been a slow incline. Owner of Infinite Monkey Theorem, Ben Parsons, moved to Colorado 15 years ago and opened IMT in 2008. 

"When I first moved to Colorado in 2001, there were 36 wineries. Now there are over 140 wineries here," Parsons said. 

But it's deeper than getting a buzz with your friends. Drinking local helps all of Colorado. 

"When you're drinking Colorado wine, you're supporting Colorado agriculture because the fruit is actually grown here and you're supporting local businesses," Parsons said. 

So raise a glass of Colorado. If you want to do that this holiday season, we your guide to a the perfect holiday wine and food pairing.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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