Jackson Hole Winery’s Anthony Schroth knew there would be challenges producing wine at a high elevation. But he didn’t realize there would be many advantages, too.
This year’s Fall Arts Festival signature wines, a syrah and a chardonnay, originated in California but were made in Wyoming. After the grapes were transported to Jackson — packed on dry ice to keep them fresh — the fun began.
“It’s the best of both worlds, really,” Schroth said. “California is one of the best wine-grape-growing regions in the world. And when we make wine at a high elevation it slows down the fermentation process, allows more skin-to-juice contact, and we’re able to more fully preserve fruity aromatics.”
Maureen Murphy, director of special events for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, said the local wine was a big hit last year.
“Why not celebrate the fact that we have a winery here, too? It’s refreshing,” she said.
Schroth said both wines came out beautifully this year.
“The chardonnay is a bigger, richer chardonnay than last year,” the winemaker said. “It has a lot of green apple, melon and citrus notes, with more of a buttery, oaky texture. It’s more on the fruit end with the oak as a complement to build texture and mouth feel.”
Schroth described the syrah as a “rich wine with a big mouth feel” with “lots of layers of black cherry, plum, currant and raspberry notes with cocoa and caramel notes coming out as well.
“It finishes smooth, with a little touch of acidity,” he said.
The syrah was aged in French oak barrels for 20 months to bring it into balance.
Colorado artist Edward Aldrich’s featured oil painting for the festival, “Greeting The Dawn,” graces the wine labels.
Profits from wine sales go back to the Fall Arts Festival to help put on the event year after year.
You can pick up a bottle — or two — at the Liquor Store and Wine Loft, WestSide Wine and Spirits, Smith’s, Dornan’s Wine Shoppe in Moose and the Jackson Hole Winery.