Family roots and a love of wine run deep at the newly opened Deep Roots Winery & Bistro at 1516 Wazee Street in historic lower downtown Denver. Located in a long, narrow Victorian-era building just off the 16th Street Mall, the winery produces more than a dozen high-quality wines and a menu of tasty small plates, panini and desserts. The winery’s urban-chic decor and friendly staff make Deep Roots a great place to grab dinner and a glass of wine before heading home after work.
Carol Ann Edenburn, her sister Teara Walters, and Teara's husband, Steve Walters, opened Deep Roots to get back to what they loved most in life: making food and wine. The sisters and their late brother Rudy grew up “stomping Grandpa’s grapes and blackberries in the middle of nowhere Michigan” says Carol Ann. Teara pursued her interest in wine, serving as a vintner, a manager of a winery and a wine instructor. Meanwhile, Carol Ann trained as a chef. As time went on, however, the sisters found themselves working in the corporate world.
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Steve started his professional career as a nuclear scientist before moving into health care. The death of Carol Ann and Teara’s brother three years ago caused the sisters to re-evaluate the trajectory of their lives; “[Rudy] didn’t wait; he lived life to the fullest,” Carol Ann explains. The sisters decided to return to their first loves.
Carol Ann is the winery’s chef, Teara is the manager, and Steve is the vintner. Steve loves the science of wine, but “wine is 30 to 40 percent science and 60 to 70 percent art,” says his wife. It takes all three plus a small staff to make it work. The sisters employed local artisans to create the bar, tables and winery art, much of it from repurposed barrels and pallets, but they had their dad, a retired general contractor, build the brick wall behind the bar.
In addition to cozy seating, the one-room winery is filled with the aroma of wines in progress. Full batches of wine ferment in large steel casks, with small batches in glass carboys. Wine-making in a restaurant “can get messy,” says Carol Ann, like when an unexpected secondary fermentation blew the corks off bottles of muscat canelli bottles. “We lovingly call it ‘the accident,'” says Teara. They ended up bottling the wine in Champagne bottles, which can handle the pressure. The bubbly muscat canelli is a delightful, tasty accident; also enjoyable are the dark and velvety petit syrah, the chardonnay and the refreshing pinot gris. If dining, go with the Barbera 2016, which stands up well to food.
Deep Roots opens at 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with a weekday happy hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday Wine Down (4 to 7 p.m.) is an extended happy hour with 10 percent off wine and 15 percent off small plates. Closing hours vary, but the winery generally stays open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and until 9 p.m. the rest of the week.