Like choosing a prom date, choosing a favorite wine necessitates sampling a variety to determine which one will produce the nicest bouquet. Enjoy the fruits of competitive courting with today’s Groupon to The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City. Choose from the following options:
- For $20, you get an after-hours wine-and-cheese tasting for two (a $40 value).
- For $40, you get an after-hours wine-and-cheese tasting for four (an $80 value).
- For $80, you get an after-hours wine-and-cheese tasting for eight (a $160 value).
Buttressing the West and Rocky Mountains, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey lures in oenophiles with staggering scenery and 14 award-winning wines. As the last rays of sunlight sink behind the abbey steeple, the winery shutters its doors to all but private wine tasting guests. The sweeping arches of a 100-year-old cottage ensconce sipping companions as they sniff, swish, and, if startled¬, comically expectorate their way through the winery’s finest elixirs. The 2009 monterey chardonnay, skidoos into mouths on a wave of ripe fruity notes, trailing a hint of oak. The winery’s signature wine, a bold 2009 merlot, surprises with its bursts of cherry and spontaneously combusting bottle. Vintners on hand answer inquiries about varietals, while gourmet cheeses readies palates to delve into the next decanter. For guests not content with fleeting sips, this Groupon also entitles guests to 10% off any bottle ($12–$50).
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey
Like the Benedictine Fathers to whom his winery pays homage, Matt Cookson upholds tenets of concentration and discipline as he makes his lauded varietals. He’s been following these principles throughout his extensive winemaking career, which began in New York state and the Napa Valley. In 2002, he relocated to Cañon City and co-founded The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Since then, his wines have racked up more than 100 awards at various international competitions. The vino ranges from a dense 2010 merlot reserve to a light and fruity apple-blossom wine made with juices from five apple varieties.
Matt and his team dole out sample flights beneath the sweeping arches of the winery’s tasting room, a 1911 cottage that also stocks travel books and pottery imported from countries such as Spain and Tunisia. Outside, picnic tables at a tree-shaded park accommodate scenic meals surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and Wet Mountains. Every autumn, Matt shares more of his handiwork during the winery’s annual Harvest Fest, where guests can taste wines, sample local produce and cheeses, get their faces painted, or showcase their air-sax abilities as live jazz and blues music plays.