In the Ultra5280 spirit of experiencing all local activities Colorado has to offer, I’ve been researching local wineries. One of Denver’s urban wineries is Bonacquisti Wine Company, located in the Sunnyside neighborhood at 46th Ave and Pecos. The vineyards used are not located in Denver, but they rely mostly on grapes grown in Palisade, CO, and more recently from California and New Mexico as well.
Bonacquisti Wine Company has been transforming grapes into wine at this location for nine years, a skill that owner Paul Bonacquisti learned from his Italian father. They currently produce 2,200 cases of wine a year and introduce three new wines each quarter. Two years ago they introduced 1 Liter growlers for guests that are refillable from any of their rotating wines on tap. This classic Italian format has caught on as a more economical way to buy wine, with 1,700 growlers sold since their introduction.
Paul keeps the Italian spirit of family, friends and good libations alive with various events, ever-changing wine blends, a tasting taproom and free tours of the winery. “We want to make this a place the whole family can enjoy" he says as he tells me about their weekly "Fridays Uncorked" event. Each Friday from 6-9pm the winery hosts a live band and a food truck either out on their patio or inside their two-story building. The lineup for each week can be found under their website’s Events tab.
They also hold special events, such as the DiFranco's dinner & wine paring event I attended. We were greeted by Paul Bonacquisti and chef Ryan DiFranco, and offered a glass of Bella Risa, a custom white blend wine to accompany a traditional antipasti meat and cheese platter from DiFranco’s restaurant. After a leisurely wine and antipasti sampling, DiFranco presented each person with their first course and an appropriate wine was poured alongside. All of the dishes were delicious and I could really taste the freshness of the ingredients. DiFranco’s Restaurant opened on 9th Ave and Lincoln in Denver in 2012, and won Westword’s “Best Italian Restaurant” its very first year. DiFranco also comes from an Italian family who loves good food. He recalls growing up, “We would be sitting at the table eating dinner, (already) talking about the dinner we would make tomorrow.”
The event was sealed up with a sweet Port style Grenache straight from the barrel and a chocolate cake and cannoli. Despite feeling satiated by the previous courses, I indulged in both desserts and may have asked for seconds on the Grenache. . .
thoughts by Tiffany Candelaria