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Black Forest Meadery emulates Colorado in wine

Nestled in the trees just off Black Forest Road sits one of El Paso Countyís most Colorado-authentic meaderies. Recently extending their hours for the summer months, Black Forest Meadery is always prepared to give wine enthusiasts a taste of Colorado.ìThere are only a couple wineries that specialize in Colorado-based wines,î said Shawna Shapiro, Black Forest Meadery coowner. ìWeíre one of the only winemakers in this county that use Colorado-grown produce; and where you can sample Colorado wines.îThe tasting shop located on Burrows Road is just one-month-old, and is an addition to the vineyards that Shapiro and her husband, Adam, own one block south on Shoup Road. The Shapiros opened the vineyards in 2007.Seasoned winemakers, their own love of wine inspired them to open the vineyard and eventually the tasting shop, Shawna Shapiro said.On the meaderyís website, Adam Shapiro wrote, îWe first had planted the vines in pots. My wife and I thought letís see what grows. We were surprised to see that they really made an impression.îWithstanding bad winters that killed the vines during their early years, the Shapiros and their vineyards persevered.Black Forest Meadery specializes in making meads – wines made with honey rather than grapes – and has a wide selection of ciders and wines fashioned from Colorado-grown produce.ìThese are meads and ciders that are not distributed in retail stores. You can really only get them here,î Shawna Shapiro said.ìWe have products you wonít see at a lot of places other than small Colorado wineries,î Adam Shapiro said. ìWe use Colorado grapes and honeys. The principle is that it helps the economy here. If you can create demand for Colorado produce farmers, you are helping your local economy and your local farmer.îThe locally grown produce also gives each bottle of wine a unique flavor, like a thumbprint, Adam Shapiro said. Bees in one area might produce honey from one type of flower, while bees in another area might produce it from another flower; the entire process produces different flavored honey.Because it uses Colorado produce, Black Forest Meadery is a Colorado Proud shop, and the meadery is also a popular spot on the Colorado Wine Trails list, drawing wine tasters from around the world.A stop at the tasting room allows visitors to choose from a range of spirits: sweet wines to rich-tasting brews; there is something for everyone.Drawing from recipes dating as far back as the Viking era, the Shapiros craft theirwines with care and pride.Each bottle of wine undergoes a ninemonth fermentation and distilling process. Every bottle dons the Shapiroís handdesigned labels and oil waxing.ìWe have a lot of plans for this place,î Shawna Shapiro said. For the future, she envisions wine tastings and tours, complete with cheese samples and live, local music.ìItís so quiet here, and you can relax. You want an escape when youíre tasting wine,î she added.Scheduled tours of the vineyards and a trip to the tasting room are current services the meadery provides. Thanksgiving turkeys and state-inspected lamb sides are also available for purchase. The vineyard is also home to a petting zoo.The Shapiros have plans to continue their expansion, recently purchasing 40 acres of land south of Pueblo to start a vineyard there in the future.Black Forest Meadery also participates in annual festivals such as Urban Winefest, the El Paso County Fair and Manitou Winefest, coming up June 4.Incorporating different recipes all the time, the Shapiros said there will always be different flavors to enjoy.ìYou wonít come to the same wine-tasting twice,î Shawna Shapiro said. The meadery is open April 1 to Nov. 23 or by appointment. Summer hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. or by appointment. The tasting room is located at 6420-A, Burrows Road in Black Forest.For more information, call 719-495-7340 or visit

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