Against All Odds, Family Celebrates Fifth Anniversary This Month

Palisade, CO, August 23, 2014 --( Mesa Park Vineyards celebrates their 5th Anniversary this August. The time has flown since the family re-opened the tasting room under new ownership. The Price-Webb’s have grown the business steadily for five years and have learned many lessons along the way. As the story goes, it was Labor Day Weekend 2008 and Brad when Brooke Webb took off on an innocent wine tasting weekend from Denver to Grand Junction. It was not their first trip to Colorado wine country, but this jaunt would become a life changer. The trip started innocently enough with a night’s stay in Glenwood Springs before heading off through the mountainous vinelands of Paonia on the way over.

On day three, they set off for Palisade and stumbled upon a winery they’d never found before. That’s when Brad and Brooke met Lydia, a wonderful woman, who was wise and witty. She and her husband, Joe, had been there for 10 years and their son Chris had made the wine. An idyllic red barn stored the wine making equipment and barrels. The Webbs tasted wine and purchased one of everything poured. Very impressive red wine for the valley, they thought.

The farm was for sale, they hardly noticed the sign, but a seed was planted that day.

“Just take a flyer,” Lydia said.

It only took a scenic seven-hour loop home to convince the Webbs to realize their dream of owning a vineyard and winery. It wasn’t terribly difficult to get Brooke’s mother and father on board, either. In 2008, all four went all in on a dream to own a winery.

It’s been a family-run operation ever since with Chuck Price (Brooke’s dad) serving as general manager of the property. Patty Price (Brooke’s mom) runs the tasting room. Brad is the vineyard manager and Brooke is an assistant winemaker and handles the sales and marketing. Both Brad and Chuck make the wine, they alternate the lead depending on the vintage. Brooke is the “house pallette”; she creates the blends, writes the descriptions and works with graphic artist, Amy Nuernberg to create unique one of a kind labels for their handcrafted wines.
Sure, they family took a big risk, but it was a welcome one.

The family jumped in headfirst with no formal training in winemaking or experience in running a vineyard. They are focused on creating superior wines, supporting local businesses and strongly supporting the Colorado wine industry.

The wines are all made by the winemaking Price-Webb team, Charles, Brooke and Brad. And although none of them is classically trained they are devoted, obsessively to their craft. Some recent success includes a double gold, best of show at the Mesa County Fair for their Estate 2012 Cabernet Franc Reserve.

Community Involvement
Brooke is involved in several community organizations including Cave: The Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology and the Palisade Tourism Advisory Board and Palisade Fruit and Wine Byway. In addition, she advocates for the Colorado River and conservation with Protect the Flows, the business voice for the Colorado River. Along with other local farmers she helped create a local young farmers group affiliated with the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Patty has served on the Palisade Chamber of Commerce board for the past few years. She volunteers for Palisade Peachfest each year and enjoys being a part of the Palisade community which consists of other wineries, artists, fruit growers and small business owners.

Brad joined the Colorado Agricultural leadership program in 2012. This 2 year program was a life-changer. Arming the leaders with information and education regarding all issues related to Colorado Agriculture and encouraging them to step into leadership positions in the community and the state, Brad made the decision to run for office in 2014. He believes the most important issue facing the Western slope today is economic development – driven by agriculture, energy, and tourism.

Hail storm in 2009. Part of being in agriculture is learning a new appreciation for the weather. It is often too cold, too early or late and warms up too early. The first year the Price-Webb’s vineyard was hit with hail and they lost their primary clusters. A smaller crop ensued and the family was pleased the wine in 2009 there just was very little. A different story in 2010, when the entire vineyard was killed from the ground up by a December hard freeze. And unfortunately 2014 is another devastating year in the vineyard. The family has gotten creative working with other growers in the Grand Valley that have slightly better climate in these tough years.

A growing and vibrant wine club is one of the families ingredients for success. Three bottles three times a year earns loyal customers deep discounts (20% off all purchases, access to new and special releases and invites to special events.

This year Mesa Park Vineyards’ received their first ever best of show. The 2012 Cabernet Franc took home the prestigious double-gold in the Mesa County Fair’s 2014 Commercial Winemaker’s Competition. The judges awarded the Cabernet Franc -- their “Best of Show-Commissioners Cup” award in the popular competition, which is now in its fifth year. The wine earned the highest point score of the day earning it a double-gold medal plus the “Best of Show”. Double-gold medals are awarded only when the judges unanimously vote gold after two tastings.
Mesa Park Vineyards
Brooke Webb