One of Colorado’s oldest wineries, Stoney Mesa Winery was established in 1989 by the Neal family with the purchase of a 50 acre farm in Cedaredge, Colorado. Having roots in Western Colorado, they had began to notice a burgeoning wine industry in the fruit growing areas of Colorado. Having a love of wine and the area, in 1990 the first vines were planted and the roots of Stoney Mesa Winery took hold. Over the years we have expanded to multiple farms and also source grapes from many local growers.
Western Colorado has been known for producing spectacular fruit. The scenery is stunning , and the atmosphere is laid back. It is a great place to relax or even get out and exercise.
In the Beginning
As for many small business owners what once started as a hobby in a basement, turned into a business. Although farming is one of the hardest career choices, when you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings….. It is worth every heartache! Well… Almost!
Now over two decades into this, the thought that it would get this far was always there. And as planned, the torch has been passed.
Back to the roots. The original farm in Cedaredge was purchased in 1989 by Ron and Donna Neal. Like many crazy people that think a winery is a great retirement, they left their corporate lives in Denver. Ron’s parents were raised in the neighboring towns of Paonia and Hotchkiss.
This Job Can Get Dirty!
Bret has been active in the vineyard and winemaking of the wines since the beginning. Constantly trying to find a way to survive Colorado’s wild growing seasons, because Mother Nature has her own plans.
After several years learning as much as possible, he then took over the winemaking in 2000. It has taken many vintages to improve the quality of Stoney Mesa wines. As of 2010 he now oversees all aspects of the business. Bret is the first 2nd generation winemaker in the Colorado Wine industry.
Although Bret has no formal training, it is hard to replace over two decades of total immersion in the wine business. “I think I have made every mistake possible.” Says Bret, “If not, I will eventually!” Bret is very excited about the future of Stoney Mesa Winery. “We have a great foundation, the wines are getting really good, and we have so much experience to draw from!