Blanchard Family Wines is amping up production with a new Golden location.
Co-owner James Blanchard said the company will open this weekend at 15810 W. 6th Ave.
But unlike the company’s first spot in the Dairy Block and its second in Fort Collins, Blanchard said the 3,000-square-foot Golden location will focus on production and won’t feel like a wine bar. It’s located in a largely industrial area.
“This location is not only going to give us the ability to improve and increase the production of our Colorado wine, but it’s a little bit more intimate, hands-on wine-tasting experience,” Blanchard said.
The Golden location, formerly occupied by the winery Atōst, will offer reservation-only wine tastings to start.
Blanchard started the winery with his brother, Mark Blanchard, in California in 2009, and the company still makes wine in that state. He lived in Colorado for 13 years while in the Air Force and eventually expanded Blanchard Family Wines to the Centennial State in 2018.
“It (Colorado) became home,” Blanchard said. “When I retired from the Air Force my preference was to start an expansion here in Colorado versus moving myself and family back to California.”
Originally intending to just sell its California wines after opening on the Dairy Block, Blanchard said that quickly changed once they learned about Colorado’s wine scene. He said roughly 50 percent of Blanchard’s production is now Colorado wines. It sources Colorado grapes from the Palisade and Cortez regions.
“At this point in our company’s journey it’s important to take the leap into Colorado wine, full feet forward,” Blanchard said. “It’s still so shocking within the state how few people know we have Colorado wine and a Colorado wine country.”
Unlike California, which has thousands of wineries, Blanchard said Colorado has less-established wine-making traditions, with roughly 140 wineries in the state. He said his next goal is to expand into the Western Slope and south of Denver.
“Because the wine industry is still so young and so small, there aren’t established rules and protocols and traditions that we have to follow in the state like we do in California,” Blanchard said. “Here in Colorado, there is no norm … there’s so much freedom to try new things and expand and explore possibilities.”
Up to this point, Blanchard Family Wines has been bottling its Colorado wines at 1855 Blake St. in the Dairy Block. The company makes roughly 20 different kinds of wine in the two states that range from $30 to $45 a bottle. Blanchard declined to disclose revenue.