As an avid ski family, this year has been an exceptional season for two reasons: (1) the weather has been amazing and the Colorado resorts have had so much snow very early in the season and (2) the Epic ski pass was made available to military and military families this year for $99 with no blackout dates and includes all Vail resorts and partners! To put this in perspective, the Epic ski pass in the past has been AT THE LOWEST around $600 per person! So, we have made great use of our proximity to world class skiing at every opportunity possible.
The only challenge we have is childcare. If we ski two days in a row, we typically schedule one day for our four-year-old daughter to attend ski school while our ten-month-old is in the resort nursery, then the second day my husband skis with the four-year-old and I’m back with the baby. This allows us to have one day together as just a couple to explore the mountain at our own pace and then one for our older daughter to get some one-on-one time with my husband (did I mentioned he’s a certified ski instructor? SCORE!). We would do more time in the nursery for the baby but that gets a bit pricey!
So on these days that I take off from skiing with the baby, I’ve been exploring the local towns and in particular, the wine scene! When I want to investigate the wine venues of a town I do the following: Google “wine in ___”. Seriously, that’s been pretty effective! So when I was recently visiting Breckenridge, Colorado, I did my “in-depth research” and found a winery and tasting room that recently opened in downtown Breckenridge: Carboy Winery. So I strapped the baby into the Ergo carrier and I headed that way!
As I approached Carboy Winery from my Google Maps directions, I noticed the winery was located in a small strip of an old Western-Style building. I thought “that’s cute” but it didn’t cross my mind that the style of the building would have such a significant connection to the history of the town and alcohol consumption. I was instantly greeted by Darby, the wine specialist and marketing manager for Carboy Winery and after telling her I was a wine blogger, she insisted that I take the winery tour with their Tasting Room Manager, Anne.
Anne started the tour by taking me into the tunnel below the Carboy Winery building. These tunnels historically connected many important sites of Breckenridge and also facilitated transportation of alcohol during prohibition days! Today’s Carboy Winery location now stands where the tented Long’s Saloon stood almost 160 years ago – WOW! The owners of Carboy Winery expanded the tunnel into a full basement where they now produce and store some of their wines. They also have a larger location in Littleton, Colorado. One fascinating aspect of Carboy wines is that they store their wines in bottles and on tap. If you haven’t had wine from a tap – it is a different experience that I highly recommend!
Anne was able to tailor the tour to my preferences as I was the sole participant of the tour! We started with a Viognier which they produce at their Breckenridge location and it was to die for! The wine was so refreshing with amazing attributes of apricot and florals. Carboy winery produces their wines from grapes grown locally in Colorado but also from grapes grown in California and Washington.
An exceptional opportunity that I had as part of the tour was to taste a Roussanne wine, unfiltered, from the barrel! This was a first for me and quite the experience. The smell and taste were floral with hints of pear and spice. It was truly a treat!
Back in the tasting room, tour attendees are offered more tastings of bottled and tapped wines. I chose to taste their Sonoma County Syrah (a classic Syrah whose fruit-forward full-body nature did not disappoint) and their Vin 59 (a Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah and Petite Sirah blend, that was so good I chose to take a bottle home with me).