“Blake and I fell in love over Italian food and wine,” Tracy Eliasson tells me through a smile, as she glances out of the corner of her eye, at her husband Blake. Blake smiles back shyly.
“Oh, and we got married in September,” Tracy adds, hence the name, Settembre Cellars Winery (Settembre, Italian for September), as she pours the next glass of wine her husband carefully made, behind the bar of their urban, production winery in North Boulder.
Founded in 2007, out of their garage at first, since May of 2014 Settembre Cellars are housed in a winery and tasting room at 1501 Lee Hill Road, next to a few other local wineries, art galleries, and breweries.
As I spent the evening tasting the Settembre wine, carefully made by scientist, Blake, I knew there was something special about their wine. Blake has her certificate in Enology and Viticulture from UC Davis, but also has a PhD in Electrical Engineering so his careful monitoring, measuring, and scientific method shows in his purist care of the wine.
They believe deeply in supporting Colorado grapes, through 100% of their wines. Although they’re all Colorado grapes, their focus is on Old World wine with influences from France and Italy. They ferment in stainless steel tanks, they have French oak barrels, the wines are unfiltered and bottle-aged, before they’re releasing which allows for proper development. Their insistence on excellence, small batches, a long aging process, and not skimping on anything just to make a dollar, is very evident in their wine, work, and business.
The husband and wife team also love pairing food with their wine, and encourage people to bring a picnic, to taste food alongside their wine at their winery. You can find their favorite recipes, they believe are great parings with their wine on their blog, which I think shows their love for food, wine, and the experience making it very inclusive.
Even when I was tasting wine with them, they had tried a Grace(full) Plate veggie burger recipe with different Savory Spice spices (a partnership they have ongoing there) to see which we felt paired best with the wines.
If you’re interested in learning more or finding them, their winery is open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. They host groups (up to 20) if you want to pre-arrange, and also private events. I recommend their wine flights. They’re $10 for mixed and red flights, $15 for reserve flights, $2 per splash for add-ons or custom flights. You can also enjoy wine by the glass.
Their space is small and cozy, and is great for a different kind of evening out or even a weekend afternoon of wine tasting right in your backyard of Boulder.