Wines and vines on Sunshine Mesa
The husband-and-wife team behind Storm Cellar Wine knew their grapes, as sommeliers for 20 years. But they were much more accustomed to dressing up— in their jobs in the upscale Denver restaurant industry — and less accustomed to dressing down, which they now do most every day as they farm the land on which the grapes are cultivated.
In 2017, Jayme Henderson and Steve Steese made a major life shift, purchasing a vineyard. In the challenging pandemic year of 2020, the pair started wine tastings of their signature whites and roses made entirely from Colorado-grown fruit. In 2022, they’re hitting their stride.
“We originally chose the Hotchkiss/Paonia area for the actual vineyard and have since fallen in love with the rich agricultural valley that is the North Fork,” says Steve, the de facto storyteller of the duo. (Although Jayme is a freelance writer and photographer.) “We love the welcoming sense of community and the support we’ve received from other vintners since coming here.”
He describes Jayme’s superpower. “She’s able to break boundaries; she’s usually the one driving the tractor around the vineyard and likes to be hands-on,” he says. And Steve loves the connection to the land, the history of winemaking and sharing those stories with his guests.
Every Friday in the summer Storm Cellar Wine welcomes chef Joseph Kerns for Steak Night, featuring locally raised, never-frozen, wood-fired steaks, served alongside some of the valley’s best produce. Reservations are not required. Winemaker-led tastings are also available at various times of the year, clustered around the weekends and published on stormcellarwine.com.
“I’m moved that Alpine Bank would take the time to highlight our operations,” says Steve. “And to encourage community members to shop small.” Storm Cellar wines are available at the vineyard, by online order and at restaurants and wine stores across Colorado.
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