Woman-Made Wines in Denver

BY Montana Rae

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Raise a glass to women in wine as we celebrate Women’s History Month with a lineup of female-made wines from around the world. Explore each remarkable bottle in Denver restaurants and learn the stories of the women behind the wines.

The history of wine spans centuries and is deeply rooted in tradition. Historically, it was uncommon for women to take the helm as winemakers. Today, the wine industry is evolving and many highly regarded wineries are led by strong women who touch and connect with every aspect of production from vineyard to winery to the tables of the remarkable restaurants listed below.

In this article series, you’ll find great wines for every budget produced by dynamic women from around the world in this global wine experience. 

Get to know female winemakers from Colorado, Oregon, New Zealand, and Italy, plus one very ambitious lady from Japan who dared to do it differently and became a saké brewmaster, a role seldom held by a woman in Japan.

Their stories and backgrounds vary, but ties to family, sustainability, and perseverance unite them.

You’ll find their wines waiting for you in the cellars of some of our city’s best restaurants. Prepare to experience the elegance and finesse these woman-made wines bring to exceptional Denver dining rooms.

Storm Cellar Riesling

Jayme Henderson at Mercantile Dining & Provision

1701 Wynkoop Street, #155, Denver, Colorado 80202

In 2017, Jayme and Steve answered the call of nature, departing the city and moving west as the new proprietors of a vineyard site in Colorado’s North Fork Valley. They recognized the potential of the property but also a need for significant rehabilitation of the land. The time had come to apply their understanding of balance and harmony to a new challenge: redefining the balance between Mother Nature and human effort in the vineyard.
In 2017, Jayme and Steve answered the call of nature, departing the city and moving west as the new proprietors of a vineyard site in Colorado’s North Fork Valley. They recognized the potential of the property but also a need for significant rehabilitation of the land. The time had come to apply their understanding of balance and harmony to a new challenge: redefining the balance between Mother Nature and human effort in the vineyard.

The Woman

Our journey begins right here in Colorado with sommelier-turned-winemaker Jayme Henderson of The Storm Cellar in Hotchkiss. Originally from a small town south of Orlando, Florida, Jayme grew up enjoying her mother’s scratch cooking. Over the years, her appreciation for all aspects of food, wine, and hospitality evolved steadily.

From hosting farm-to-table dinner parties to serving as a sommelier at renowned Denver restaurants alongside her husband, Steve, Jayme gained a deft understanding of the balance possible between flavors and structure in food, wine, and cocktails. The couple also spent years exploring the world’s wine regions where they captured knowledge and inspiration.

In 2017, Jayme and Steve answered the call of nature, departing the city and moving west as the new proprietors of a vineyard site in Colorado’s North Fork Valley. They recognized the potential of the property but also a need for significant rehabilitation of the land. The time had come to apply their understanding of balance and harmony to a new challenge: redefining the balance between Mother Nature and human effort in the vineyard.

In their first year on the property, the couple hand-pruned 18 acres of vines. They adapted to a new lifestyle at the winery and with much effort and determination, the first vintage of The Storm Cellar wines was crafted.

Today, Jamye and Steve produce award-winning, high-elevation white and rosé wines made from 100% Colorado-grown fruit. They roll with the punches and triumphs of their chosen environment, sharing glimpses at the day-to-day through candid, heartwarming Instagram stories.

A true insight into what they do, however, can only be experienced by tasting their lovely wines.

Jayme says, At its roots, the world of making and enjoying drinks is all about connection and enjoyment. I strive to maintain a sense of joy and wonder when I’m thinking up a cocktail recipe while keeping the process as simple as possible.

The same rule applies to learning about wine. At its core, wine is simply fermented grape juice, but it is also about history, geography, geology, chemistry, botany, and, of course, art. I aim to keep it simple while showcasing the attributes that make it unique.”

Be sure to check out Jayme’s acclaimed blog, Holly & Flora, where she shares seasonal cocktail recipes, gardening tips, and musings of vineyard and winery life.

Storm Cellar Dry Riesling. Image courtesy of The Storm Cellar Instagram

The Wine

At Mercantile Dining & Provisions at Union Station, you’ll find The Storm Cellar 2021 Box Bar Vineyard Riesling from West Elk, Colorado available by the glass or bottle. The wine is dry and delightfully aromatic with an acid profile underscored by flavors of tart tropical fruit, citrus, and jasmine flowers.

Try it with Mercantile’s Shrimp Cake appetizer with coconut soubise, cilantro, and pickled carrots or the Ricotta Gnocchi with brown butter cream, butternut, and sage. 

Learn more about Jayme and The Storm Cellar here

Check out Mercantile’s wine list here


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Montana Rae

Montana Rae is a CMS Certified Sommelier and WSET Level III residing in Denver, Colorado. She offers private wine tastings, classes, and dinners at clients’ homes and businesses around Colorado, as well as product recommendations, tips, recipes, and more through her company, The Wine Ship. Montana is also a commercial real estate broker specializing in sales and leasing of restaurant and retail spaces in Denver. Contact Montana at montana@thewineship.com and follow her on Instagram @montana.rae.sommelier

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