First Look: Mile High Winery uncorks in the Ballpark 'hood

The owners of Winter Park Winery -- winemaker Jon Brickner and his wife, Cassidi -- have brought the grape divide to Denver, recently uncorking Mile High Winery, a tasting room, retail outlet and full production facility in River North. Like its mountain sibling, which is actually located in Fraser -- and opened in 2004 -- Mile High Winery will brandish unfiltered red and white wines (syrah, cab, merlot, blends, sauvignon blanc, Riesling, red or white zinfandel and ports) dispensed by the glass, flight, bottle or case.

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"We looked at several other locations across the Northwest and Southwest for our second winery, but we ultimately were drawn to the animated, art-influenced feel of the Denver Ballpark neighborhood," says Cassidi, noting that "We even designed the space to reflect this ambiance."

Among the mismatched wooden tables and vintage chairs, a hand-painted floor-to-ceiling mural, for example, showcases the Rockies in the background, while wine bottles mimicking Denver skyscrapers are front and center -- and the wine bar itself is surfaced with corks, while deconstructed wooden wine barrels create the facade. Shelves, painted bright blue, are splayed with plateware and wine baskets and carriers, and behind the bar resides a wooden wine rack that highlights the different bottles available to drink -- and purchase.

"Mile High Winery's new location in this up-and-coming neighborhood perfectly complements the type of retail and restaurants that are already flourishing in the neighborhood, and Jon's handcrafted wine will certainly appeal to residents and visitors alike," says Bob Bramble, a managing director with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail, a real-estate advisory firm that brokered the deal. "This is a vibrant downtown district of creative businesses, and it's quickly becoming a tourist must-see," he adds.

The winery is open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday; noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Happy hour flows from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There's no kitchen on site, but there are often food trucks, including East Coast Joe's, parked curbside and dishing out grub to soak up the swish.

Here's a first look at the space...

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