Sail and Sip (Thirst Colorado)

Jay Mckinney
October 19, 2023
Azura Sail boats

Azura cellars bottles wine, showcases art and offers sailing

Sail boats at Azura Winery

Colorado may be a landlocked state, but that doesn’t mean sailing is off the table. That is, miniature remote-control sailing where the boats can literally fit on a table. Located in Paonia in the West Elks AVA (American Viticultural Area), Azura Cellars & Gallery is more than a winery. Yes, they make incredible wines including cabernet franc, merlot, pinot noir and pinot gris, but the winery also doubles as an art gallery and the home of a yacht club.

The winery/gallery was founded by Ty and Helen Gillespie who were looking to relocate their design and art studio in Minturn and came across an abandoned miniature burro farm for sale in Paonia. They fell in love with the property, purchased it in 2006 and began constructing their dream art studio and gallery. With the property’s proximity to three other wineries and the neighborly guidance of Steve Rhodes (one of the original winemakers in the valley), the winery component of the business was inevitable.

They named it Azura, in honor of their 38-foot sailboat with the same name that took them safely around the world from 1989 to 1995. Originally hailing from San Francisco with an affinity for sailing, it’s surprising that the Gillespies would move so far inland and settle in Colorado after their circumnavigation. While they may not be journeying across the ocean these days, the Gillespies haven’t lost touch with their love for sailing.

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