It may not take a rocket scientist to conceptualize an urban oasis for curating and producing craft wine — however, it probably didn’t hurt that owner, Chad Yetka, boasts a background in ventures ranging from rocket science to business. Prior to creating RiNo’s wino haven, Chad and his wife — co-owner, Marla Yetka — possessed a simple dream of sharing their passion for wine with the people. From this, Bigsby’s Folly was born — lovingly named after the Yetkas’ first golden retriever, Bigsby. With an impressive lineup of craft wine and award-winning winemaker, Brian Graham, on the team — it makes sense why a land so distant from wine country has embraced a boutique winery with such open arms. The stunning, roaring ’20s-inspired taproom reflects some of RiNo’s industrial charm with glimmering light fixtures, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, chic furniture and contrasting rustic elements. Additionally, the open, inviting atmosphere gives Bigsby’s a special sense of versatility.
Since opening its doors in 2015 — Bigsby’s Folly has managed to stay ahead of the game with a playful approach to wine consumption. Over the summer, Bigsby’s introduced a fresh new menu thanks to chef Sarah Machado-Seltvedt — complete with a wine-forward, dog-friendly, “boozy brunch.” Prior to taking the reigns in Bigsby’s kitchen, Machado-Seltvedt, a graduate of the esteemed Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, had temporarily hung up her chef coat in favor of a front-of-house position with Bigsby’s. In an interesting twist of fate, Machado-Seltvedt found herself back in the kitchen, delighting diners with beautifully assembled meat and cheese boards ($27), New England style lobster rolls (market price), and surprising bites such as chakalaka flatbread ($14) with South African spiced flank steak, charmoula, cotija, serrano and cilantro — among other notable dishes. Brunch items range from a loaded breakfast sammie ($13) to an elevated version of chicken ‘n waffles ($16) featuring buttermilk bacon waffles, crispy chicken tenders, bourdon-butter pecan syrup and peach. For dessert, Machado-Seltvedt has introduced the satisfying combination of a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie ($3) with 64% dark chocolate and sea salt to be dunked in a tasting glass of Bigsby’s merlot ($3.50).
Recently, Bigsby’s has given portable wine a time to shine with innovative new “cottles” — can/bottle hybrids that allow consumers to conveniently carry the equivalent of three glasses of wine on-the-go. While canned wine has been appearing on shelves more commonly these days — Marla took it upon herself to come up with a stylish, resealable solution that could contain a higher volume of Bigsby’s wine. The 500 milliliters Bigsby’s Folly cottles are currently available with Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the award-winning Rosé of Grenache — which took home the Double Gold at The Rosé Experience in Healdsburg, California, out of over 800 rosé selections.
Active wine enthusiasts may seek these cottles at Argonaut, Hazel’s Beverage World, Bonnie Brae Wine & Liquor and RiNo Liquor along with various sports and entertainment venues throughout the Mile High City. Of course — the cottles, along with the rest of Bigsby’s wine is available on their website.
Bigsby’s Folly is located at 3563 Wazee St., Denver and is open Monday-Thursday – 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday – 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday noon -11 p.m.; Sunday – 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; bigsbysfolly.com