Bonacquisti Wine Company has curated an impressive blend of aesthetic experience — combining wine and music as the foundation for an urban community winery. Tucked away in the Sunnyside neighborhood of north Denver, Bonacquisti Wine is a community-inspired hub promoting Colorado wine, music and education. Bonacquisti’s lively modernized warehouse provides an open and creative space for artistic showcasing and music experience. Local art colors the walls with skillfully designed images of grapes and celebration. An immersive vinyl collection and turntable sit downstairs, available for all listeners, and a cozy upstairs nook overlooks in-house barrels of Colorado wine.
Owner and winemaker Paul Bonacquisti designed Bonacquisti as a community-based winery acting as both an educational and music-inspired space. Bonacquisti explained, “I knew I wanted to incorporate music but initially opening the winery, we wanted to educate the public about wine and winemaking in Colorado. At the time that I opened, I think I was number 64 for wineries in Colorado — that was in 2006. People didn’t know we made wine in Colorado let alone right off of I-70 and Pecos. Education was the key and of course, live music”.
From the beginning stages, Bonacquisti has opened its doors to Denver musicians and has established a strong connection with local artists. “I look for bands that relate to our core customer base here,” Bonacquisti said. “And [bands] that represent the community on the North Side. So a lot of R&B, blues, and soul-based bands. We serve the community here in north Denver. So the things we do reflect that community and the people that come in — that’s what we are all about.”
Bonacquisti worked in local radio broadcasting for 20 years building a strong rapport with local Denver artists. To further promote the Denver music scene, Bonacquisti designed a personal radio station: Denver Wine Radio. Denver Wine Radio plays 24/7, streaming live sets all weekend and featuring local DJs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 to 12 p.m. Playlists are made daily with a “core format of R&B oldies, classic soul, Latin jazz and salsa. It is all mixed in — there is funk in there as well,” Bonacquisti said. Denver Wine Radio also features wine podcasts, aimed to continue educating the community on wine and the value of local wine. Broadcasts highlight basics in wine 101 and specify the differences between Colorado wine and global wine.
The Vinny & Vinyl club is Bonacquisti’s latest project. Vinny & Vinyl is a nontraditional wine experience, combining wine tasting with music culture. Starting in October as both a wine and record club, Vinny & Vinyl is a monthly celebration and vinyl listening party. The listening party is a space for members to come together and listen to the selected vinyl and taste a new style of Bonacquisti Wine. Bonacquisti described the vinyl club as “building a must-have collection.”
“We started with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings,” Bonacquisti said. “Really phenomenal soul that is relatively new. Her debut album from 2002 was part of that soul-revival era.” The latest release party featured Amy Winehouse and her legendary Back to Black album. Her soulful energy and jazzy vocals are perfect at any vinyl-wine-centric night. The vinyl selected is an essential collection of records to pair with wine and to enjoy with community. The collection is heavily influenced by the winery’s core musical format, with funk, soul, Latin, jazz and R&B at the heart of the project.
The Vinny & Vinyl club is the perfect intersection of community outreach, wine tasting and music appreciation. Each event treats members to new experiences with wine and music. The monthly listening party and record pick-up are held on a select day each month at Bonacquisti Wine Company. The listening party is another outlet for promoting the musical roots of local Denver. “That is the whole idea of it: bring people together. Bring them here to the winery to talk about wine and talk about music,” Bonacquisti said.