Colorado wine maker’s California connection

EVERGREEN — In some form or fashion, Colorado’s wine makers have a connection to the wineries and vineyards affected by the California wildfire.

At Creekside Cellars Winery in Evergreen, wine maker Michelle Cleveland has been keeping a close eye on the devastation.

“I mean it’s devastating for us when we get cold damage, but this is even more devastating,” she said.

Cleveland’s friends have a winery in Santa Rosa. Fortunately, they weren’t affected – but she knows many others aren’t as lucky.

“This is going to take a long time to recover and rebuild,” Cleveland said. “Three to five years to retrain that. It’s a major impact on what the wineries are able to produce. They’ll probably have to source grapes from elsewhere, where there wasn’t fire damage. Maybe out of state”.

All of Creekside’s grapes are grown in Colorado. In fact, they grow half their grapes on their own vineyard in Palisade out on the Western Slope.

“We source all of our grapes from Colorado, but there are a lot of [other Colorado] wineries that source their grapes from California,” she said.

Cleveland believes there will be a domino effect felt here in Colorado. Right now, she’s just concerned about the wine makers impacted by the fire.

“I’m praying for them,” she said.