Words from Doug Caskey upon learning the passing of Steve Rhodes on April 23, 2014:
It is with great sadness today that I received news that winemaker and Colorado wine pioneer Steve Rhodes of the West Elks AVA passed away last night. Steve began his career as a cellar rat in Napa Valley and came to Colorado to plant grapes on his family's farm. He may have been one of those cantankerous winemakers who was best kept away from the public, but his gift to wine consumers everywhere was some wonderful wines.
He helped put Colorado Pinot Noir from the West Elks AVA on the map. In 2000 a writer friend of mine assembled samples of regional wine from states outside the West Coast for an article he was writing for Bloomberg, to see just what business travelers could find on their travels to Nebraska, Missouri or Georgia.
We tasted a remarkable flight of Pinot Noirs blind that day. I commented that I wished Colorado could make Pinot Noir as good as the wines in that flight. Two out of the three Pinots turned out to be from Colorado and the best by far was the S. Rhodes.
Steve, thank you for all you did for our industry. I know that the angels will be singing to your cello accompaniment now.