Located on the fertile western slopes of the Colorado Rockies, 12-acre Hassett Vineyard was listed on April 25, 2017, for $2.9 million. The vineyard was planted in the 1990s by celebrated winemaker Steve Rhodes (who died in 2014), one of the pioneering Colorado vintners who put the state on the wine map in the ’90s and 2000s.
Hassett Vineyard, previously known as S. Rhodes Vineyards, offers approximately six acres of mature vines comprising Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer grapes. The fertile soil, plentiful sources of water for irrigation, abundant sunlight, low humidity and long growing seasons all combine to make the area—part of Colorado’s North Fork Valley—a prime horticultural region. Apples, cherries, peaches and pears also all do very well here. Indeed, there are more Colorado-certified organic farms and orchards in the North Fork Valley than anywhere else in the state.
The North Fork Valley is part of the West Elks American Viticultural Area, one of two designated AVAs in the state. With its high-altitude climate and terroir reminiscent of France’s Alsace region, West Elks AVA is known for producing a number of top-notch dry Rieslings, Gewurztraminers and Pinots. Hassett Vineyard’s grapes are currently bottled and sold by nearby Stone Cottage Cellars, one of ten wineries currently listed in the West Elks AVA.
Steve Rhodes arrived in Colorado in the early 1990s from California, where he learned his craft among the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa valleys. He opened his vineyard on the current location in Hotchkiss in 1996, joining a band of entrepreneurial winemakers in the Grand Valley and latterly West Elks AVAs who began garnering awards and international acclaim for their wines throughout the 2000s. Rhodes was said to be particularly fond of his Ellie’s merlot, named after his daughter, which he noted in an 2008 interview as offering “a lot of backbone and depth.”
Beyond the existing six acres of vines and infrastructure for orchards, greenhouses and other growing areas, the property offers a number of other attractive features for a future private buyer in the market for an exclusive, private estate or investor looking to continue the vineyard as an income-producing venture. A handsome 3,708-square-foot contemporary farmhouse overlooks the vineyard, with modern features like radiant floor heating and water purification system combining with rustic touches such as exposed oak-wood flooring, porcelain sinks and custom ironwork throughout the house.
Often overlooked for Colorado’s other outdoor playgrounds to the west and north of Denver, the towns of Hotchkiss and nearby Paonia (home to Stone Cottage Cellars) are part of Delta County, a 1,149-square-mile area with elevations ranging between 4,000 and 11,000 feet. Along with multiple vineyards and wineries, the lower slopes comprise farms and ranches, u-pick-em orchards and small towns for farmers’ markets, antiques and crafts. The county is also the gateway to 30,750-acre Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, a popular outdoor destination for backpackers, kayakers and anglers. Gunnison Gorge is also a popular venue for summer whitewater rafting excursions down the wild and rugged Gunnison River.
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