Stoney Mesa Winery – Ptarmigan Vineyards Review
Address: 16199 Happy Hollow Rd. Cedaredge,Colorado 81413.
Phone Number: 970-856-9463
Tasting Hours: May 1-Oct 31: 11:00-5:00; Nov 1-Apr 30: Mon-Sat 11:00-5:00, Sun 12:00-3:30
Review Date: 6/6/2013
Tucked away on 10 acres in the town of Cedaredge, Colorado sits a small turn of the century farmhouse that serves as a tasting room for Stoney Mesa Winery. The Town of Cedaredge is a small agricultural community with a population of 2,253 in the 2010 census. It sits in the Surface Valley below the southern slope of the Grand Mesa, the largest mesa in the world. The elevation offers southern views of the San Juan Mountains and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Among the apple and peach orchards that the area is known for, sit some of Colorado’s best vineyards, including those of Stoney Mesa.
Fruit and vegetables grow exceptionally well in the western part of the state, and several of Colorado’s top wineries and distilleries are located there. The climate in Cedaredge, like much of the Grand Valley and Uncompahgre Valley, consists of mild, snowy winters and hot and dry summers with scattered afternoon thunderstorms.
Stoney Mesa Winerys Cedaredge tasting room is in a remodeled, turn of the century farm house with lots of rustic charm. The house is the original homestead for much of the surrounding properties. The cottage serves as the tasting room and houses a small gift shop. The winery was established in 1989 by the Neal Family with the purchase of a 50 acre farm in Cedaredge, Colorado.
History:  In 1990, the first two acres of Gewurztraminer were planted south of the old farm house. The original winery was established in 1991 in an old 12 x 16 milk barn that was renovated and fitted with a small lab area with just a few hundred gallons of capacity. In 1993 another acre of Gewurztraminer was planted, and in 1994 Stoney Mesa released their first wines.
In 2003, Stoney Mesa purchased an eight acre vineyard on Orchard Mesa in the Grand Valley AVA that was planted in 1982. A new 4,000 sq. ft. storage/tasting room was built in 2006 on Orchard Mesa Vineyard. In 2007 a custom press, bottling line, and four custom tanks were purchased.
The Experience:  The sales staff at Stoney Mesa are courteous and knowledgeable about their wines, the winerys history, and local history. Jan Goodbread, who attended our tasting was quick to answer any and all questions and really made our experience very enjoyable.
On our next trip to Colorado we would like to visit Stoney Mesas newest tasting room at the farm that is called Ptarmigan Vineyards. It is located in the Grand Junction/Palisade area. They have an additional seven acre farm in Palisade on East Orchard Mesa, a highly regarded area that arguably produces Colorado’s best grapes.
The Wines:  Stoney Mesas larger scale production focus is primarily on white wines. The high altitude and cool desert nights give the grapes a thicker skin and a fairly bright acidity. This is especially true in Delta County, where the largest farm is located.
Dry White wines:
2010 Pinot Gris-Citrus aroma, a touch of sweetness and a light acidic finish
Blanca Del Mesa- A blend of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, fruit forward with a dry finish
Off-Dry & Semi Sweet wines:
2010 Riesling-Most medaled wine, nice aroma, hint of mineral
2009 Gewurztraminer-Nice legs on this wine, lined with rose, citrus
2009 Pinot Gris-Accidently oxidized by heat, producing a lightly sweet Pinot Gris (One of the most tasty accidents you will ever encounter and a super deal at $3 dollars a bottle with a 2 bottle minimum)
Dry Red Wines
2009 Merlot-Nice smoky aroma, hints of cherry, oak, and cedar, soft tannins
Rojo Del Mesa-Rich Bordeaux style blend, 50% Cab, 40% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, Deep fruit flavors, slightly earthy, oak aromas
2008 Port- From the Ptarmigan vineyards, Sweet wine fortified with Brandy and barrel aged for 2 years- Dark chocolate, coffee flavors and aromas
There is no charge for wine tasting, and prices range from $3.00 to $20.00 per bottle with better pricing for case purchases. Tours are offered at Stoney Mesa Winery, and appointments are recommended.