Purgatory Cellars is proud to be the first winery in Colorado to utilize the ancient Croatian/Georgian method of Amphora-aged wines. Using Georgian Amphorae (to store and ferment wines) is a tradition in wine-making dating back to 6th century, B.C., and it is an incredible experience to try these wines. Amphora-made wines show complexity and soft tannins on the pallet, with a long maceration period (up to 9 months) on the skin and seeds which creates deeper and darker colors. Our wines are hand-made onsite at the main production facility in Parker, Colorado. Minor production is conducted at the Highlands Ranch, Colorado location.
Wine grapes are shipped to us from local vineyards in large plastic totes. When they get to our main production facility in Parker- we de-stem, crush, ferment, filter, press, bottle, filter, label, all on site. We are a local small business and do this production in-house. Minor wine production is also done at the Highlands Ranch location- under the label Dragonship.
Oak Barrels: We have 2 Croatian oak barrels in Highlands Ranch that are aging Dragonship wine which will be a red blend under James' (Glista) personal label. Each barrel holds around 330 bottles. One barrel on-site is from Breckenridge Distillery and will be a bourbon flavored red blend (also under the Dragonship label). In Parker, we have many different oak barrels ranging in size. Our largest barrel currently holds 4,500 bottles of Malbec. Wow!
Amphorae: In Parker you can witness giant clay amphorae that are currently in use. Fermenting in clay amphorae creates a neutral state, so there are no hints of oak with the wine. We also ferment on the skins and seeds which makes the wines exciting and different from what you have ever tried before. Highlands Ranch has one smaller amphora on display.
Oak Bourbon Barrels: Hans (head distiller) was nice enough to sell us some barrels for aging Dragonship wine. We wanted to use a local Colorado bourbon maker for this red blend. Keeping it Colorado!
American Oak Barrels: Dragonship Reserve Wine. Chardonnay wine with a Wheat Bourbon taste. First of its kind! Aging now- 300 bottles will be ready in October.
We have 2 Croatian oak barrels in Highlands Ranch that are aging Dragonship wine which will be a red blend under James’ (Glista) personal label. Each barrel holds around 330 bottles. One barrel on-site is from Breckenridge Distillery and will be a bourbon flavored red blend (also under the Dragonship label). Both wines are super tasty!