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Secrets of Salt Lake: Utah’s first urban winery

Hidden in an industrial part of South Salt Lake is a gem that any wine-loving Utah queer should experience. The Kiler Grove Winegrowers, located at 53 W. Truman Ave., is making high-quality wine at an affordable price without the liquor store mark-up.

The wine-tasting room opened its doors in January and is one of the few places in Utah to receive a free wine tasting and tutorial. After entering the charming building, customers are greeted by the smiling face of Rhea Cook, the tasting-room manager. She is knowledgeable, not just about her own wines but about wine in general; from the growing of the grapes to the table and every step in between, Cook is an expert. The wine tasting is paired with chocolate and cheese and Cook is a terrific resource for helping you find a wine to pair with all kinds of food and situations.

“We want to make this an experience that everyone can enjoy,” Cook said. “Whether it’s your first time tasting wine or you are a touring expert, we want to make this a true delight.”

The winery offers five kinds of wine and all of them are blended. The grapes are grown in California on the west side of the Paso Robles appellation. Before making any purchases, customers can try all five.

The wine is designed to be approachable and not lighten your wallet too much while still offering a unique taste and flavor, said Michael Knight, the owner and winemaker.

“Our wines are all unique and are table wines, meaning we want this to be something everyone can enjoy,” Knight said.

Prices are kept low because all distribution is done through the South Salt Lake location and there are no distribution points through the Utah liquor stores, although some local restaurants carry the wines.

Knight draws on more than 40 years of grape-growing and winemaking that include old world and new world styles. Kiler Grove became Utah’s first urban winery. The vintages date back to 2005 and the crop is always unique, Knight said.

The winery has tastings and sells wine from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday. For more information, go to kgwwine.com.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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