The char-grilled oysters at Angelo’s Taverna at 6885 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton are out of this world. After you enjoy a dozen with a glass of Carboy Winery wine, walk through a side door and (ta-da!) you’ll be inside the Carboy Winery itself, where you can pull up a stool and sample more of the goods.
I recommend the 2017 Grand Valley cabernet franc with its delicate bell-pepper notes; the pale, refreshing, grapefruity pinot gris; and especially the 2015 Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon, redolent of grape jam and dark chocolate. There's also a viognier that's still in the tank but will be ready soon. Carboy makes fourteen wines using grapes from California, Washington, Oregon and Europe, as well as seven of Colorado’s Western Slope varietals. The winery purchases grapes and grape juice to make its wines, and also ages and blends wines made at other wineries.
“What makes Carboy distinctive is the quality, hospitality, and an unpretentious experience,” says Kevin Webber, director of sales and operations. “It’s a place where a snotty sommelier and a guy who likes a good glass of wine can both come away happy.” Webber himself is a sommelier — but far from snotty.
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Though the winery and Angelo's are adjoined, the ambience at the former differs, with cozy lighting, stainless-steel fermentation tanks, wood barrels and a rustic bar, so it’s worth taking a few steps to change venues. Both establishments are owned by Craig Jones and Eric Hyatt, who bought the original Angelo’s at 620 East Sixth Avenue in 2013. The second Angelo’s location in Littleton and the winery opened in 2016.
This year, Jones and Hyatt opened another winery location inside the old Gold Pan Saloon at 103 North Main Street in Breckenridge. According to the saloon's own lore, it was erected in 1879 and holds the oldest continuous liquor license west of the Mississippi. Jones and Hyatt converted the north dining room to the Carboy wine-tasting room while maintaining the historic appearance of the main Gold Pan Saloon. As with the Littleton location, the Breckenridge winery and the restaurant are connected but have slightly different hours and menus.
The Breckenridge connection continues down in Littleton: Breckenridge Brewery, Carboy’s neighbor at 2920 Brewery Drive, and the winery are planning a collaborative event on Sunday, July 15, with a five-course dinner complete with beer and wine pairings. “The premise of the collaborative dinner is to celebrate our release of the next Brewery Lane Series beer," says Terry Usry, communications manager for Breckenridge Brewery. "This release is a bière de garde brewed with meritage wine must from Carboy and aged in fresh oak barrels.” (Wine must comprises the crushed grapes and juice before fermentation begins.) The progressive dinner will start at the Breckenridge beer garden, and the next three courses will be served at Carboy; guests will return to Breckenridge for the dessert course. The executive chefs of Carboy and Breckenridge are working together to develop the courses and pairings. Check for more details and tickets in early June on the Breckenridge Brewery website, or call the Farmhouse at 303-803-1380.
Carboy Winery is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., with happy hours from 2 to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. Call the winery at 720-531-5252 or visit its website for more information.