While Denver may be considered the Napa Valley of beer, we also have a knack for good wine. Urban wineries have become a trend in the Denver-metro area lately, producing local wines that fill a niche for wine connoisseurs and neophytes alike. For Doug and Karen Kingman, their winery, Kingman Estates Winery {800 East 64th Avenue, Denver; 720.560.7270} in north Denver, has truly become an oenological oasis.

Five years ago, the couple decided to open the winery with simple intentions. “We wanted to own a business and we like wine, so we figured why not?” says Doug, very matter-of-factly. Of course, many of us enjoy wine—as did the Kingman’s, what with a history of vineyard tastings under their belt—but the couple took it a step further by touring local wineries and enrolling in a few winemaking courses at UC Davis. Ultimately, through trial and error, the duo found their own process and opened in Kingman Estate Winery in 2011.

Based on their 600-acre farm out in Palisade, Kingman Estate Winery produces a type of wine that is uniquely Colorado. Due to the high elevation and multicultural profile of the soil, the grapes produce a wine that hits a middle ground between the fruity flavors of California wine balanced between the earthy tones of traditional European wine. The grapes are transported to the winery every season and are de-stemming and crushed in an empty parking lot (which is about as urban as it gets) before the Kingmans bring them inside for the fermentation processes.

Although Colorado may not be as renowned for its wine as Europe, Kingman Estate Winery has become quite popular, distributing over 3,500 cases a year. This growth in local, quality wine has not gone unnoticed; the winery has been awarded multiple accolades, including two gold medals in this year’s Governor’s Cup. As an added bonus, their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon was selected to be a part of the Governor’s Case.

Despite all the buzz, the winery is approachable for all drinkers. The quaint sitting area housed inside the winery allows patrons to sit amongst the wine itself, as stocks of barrels, filled with red wine, line the tasting room. Tours are always welcome, during which guests can view the fermentation tanks and the bottling room with a glass in hand. Offering a wide selection of 16 unique varietals for tastings, guests can pay by the glass or opt for a fantastic flight of six wines for $7 or experience the entire lineup for $10. As for purchasing a bottle, which runs up to $24 in-house, the Kingman’s recommend buying at one of their distributor stores. The rustic setting also serves as the perfect event space; the winery holds multiple events throughout the year, including chef dinners and chocolate pairings.

Explore the variety of wines in the tasting room

Moving forward, the Kingman’s plan is to expand their selections to restaurants—looking to roll out boxed wine by the end of this year—and are hoping to grow their production to 10,000 cases a year. As for now, the winery serves as a spot to sit down, relax, and truly enjoy wine in comfort.

Kingman Winery is open Saturday and Sundays from noon-5pm, or by appointment by phone. 

By Morgan Carter, Editor

Dining Out Magazine