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Uncorking the World's Highest Winery

Introducing Tasting Room Manager & Assistant Winemaker, Andy Roberts

IT'S NATIONAL DRINK WINE DAY! To celebrate, we sat down with local wine expert, Andy Roberts, who works at Continental Divide Winery located in Breckenridge, CO. Sharing insight into the wine world, Andy provided us with his backstory pursuing his passion in the wine business to become an assistant winemaker of an award-winning Colorado based winery somewhat unexpectedly.

Après-Ski (AS): "What's your background?"

Andy: “I grew up in the DC area and decided to move out West to Utah for a few years. I eventually moved to Breckenridge in 2010 where I fell into a job at Continental Divide Winery. My manager who's been in the industry for years, John Bellencula, would spend hours every day schooling me on wine. He was an incredible mentor who took the time to really teach me about the whole wine making process from picking grapes to bottling wine.”

AS: "How do you make wine at high altitude?"

Andy: “You take the grape juice and let it ferment with the yeast and the yeast just kind of does its job. There are a few small differences though... For example, the yeast likes oxygen. This makes the beginning process of fermentation slower which can sometimes work to our advantage, but they tend to need more yeast nutrients up here than they would elsewhere. Another bonus is we don’t necessarily have to refrigerate our wines the same way a lot of other places would. Other places typically usually use the steel tanks and when we want to cold stabilize we can just push our tanks outside. All of Continental Divide Winery's award-winning wines are produced in the South Park (Fairplay) area which makes Continental Divide Winery the highest altitude winery in the world!”