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Tom and Mary Joan Bueb holding their 2015 Governor's Cup award in the tasting room at Turquoise Mesa Winery. —Photo by Terri Cook

Behind the Vines: Turquoise Mesa Winery

Broomfield’s award-winning producer focuses on bringing friends together with great wine.

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The Winery: Turquoise Mesa Winery

Opened: 2003

The People: Although winemaker Tom Bueb grew up in a family with a long tradition of brewing beer, he had always been more interested in making wine. Each fall throughout the ’90s, Tom, his wife, Mary Joan, and kids would gather with friends at the end of their cul-de-sac to crush grapes, which he fermented in their walkout basement. As Tom began experimenting with different blends and varietals, his wines won a number of awards, and friends began clamoring to buy them. So in 2003, Tom and Mary Joan made the leap into the commercial realm, opening Turquoise Mesa Winery, which is named for their favorite gemstone.

The Space: Whereas the exterior is wholly industrial, the Broomfield-based tasting room is a welcoming space with a large, central bar, attractive merchandise displays, and warm and friendly community atmosphere. While I was there, several members of their sizeable wine club dropped by to taste the newest releases and catch up with Tom and Mary Joan, while other visitors relaxed with glasses in the snug art nook, which features regularly rotating works created by local artists.

The Grapes: Whenever possible, Tom sources his grapes from Colorado, including several growers on the Western Slope and Worden Farms in Burlington, which grows cold-tolerant hybrid white varietals, including Cayuga White. Tom combines these with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes to create the Sunset White blend, a bestseller for events like wedding receptions due to its floral nose and delicious, sweet-and-spicy taste.

The Wine: Mary Joan’s favorite has always been Tom’s Syrah, even before the 2013 vintage won the Best of Show award at Colorado’s 2015 Governor’s Cup competition. The full-bodied, ruby-red wine has a delightfully spicy taste that pairs well with grilled lamb or a juicy steak. Tom prefers his blends, including the Colorado Crimson—a mix of two red varietals, Syrah and Mourvèdre, with white Viognier grapes—named for University of Denver’s official deep-red color. The Colorado Crimson also won a Governor’s Cup gold medal this year.

Buzzed Trivia: Turquoise Mesa produces what Tom believes to be Colorado’s only Fumé Blanc, a smooth, pale-yellow wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes aged in stainless tanks with oak staves, slivers of wood that provide the benefits of aging wine in oak without the need for barrels. Tom’s Fumé Blanc has a slightly sweet nose and light oak taste that is not overly sweet.

Taste it: Turquoise Mesa offers wine tastings Thursday through Saturday, from 1 to 6 p.m. For $5 you can enjoy six of the currently available wines. In addition to the Syrah, be sure to try the 2012 Frontenac, a more sublte and fruitier red made from cold-tolerant hybrid grapes that pairs very well with turkey, making it the perfect choice for bringing your friends together this Thanksgiving.

Take Home: In addition to wine by the bottle or the glass, Turquoise Mesa offers a selection of wine-related merchandise, including locally made jams, bbq sauces, and toffee, as well as handmade jewelry, ornaments, and even cozy cork birdhouses.

Visit: Turquoise Mesa Winery is located at 11705 Teller Street #C, Broomfield; 303-653-3822

(Read about more Colorado wineries in 5280‘s Behind the Vines series)

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