For the first time in Durango Farmers Market history, alcohol is being offered by a vendor.
Sutcliffe Vineyards, located 20 miles west of Cortez near the Canyons of the Ancients, offers wine tastings every Saturday morning at the market.
“We thought this was jolly nice to be a part of the community,” owner John Sutcliffe said.
The vineyard, established in 1995, sells their wine to many local restaurants, including Eolus Bar & Dining, Ken & Sues and Seasons of Durango.
“It’s mostly restaurants,” Sutcliffe said. “It’s not really a wine store, liquor store market.”
Sutcliffe, who creates between 5,000 and 6,000 cases of wine a season, exports wine overseas as well. People can also visit the vineyard for a tasting.
All the employees are trained in every aspect of the work on the farm, which includes harvesting the grapes, fermenting the wine and farming the land.
“It’s a big family affair,” said Hannah Gerres. “It’s small and everyone has their hands on everything. If you work at the vineyard, you learn how to do everything. Everyone is a part of it and you can really taste it in the wine.”
The vineyard also raises sheep on the land.
“We’re artistry farmers who make wine,” Gerres said.