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Small Change Loan Program Helps Cedaredge Winery

The Winery at Cedars Farm in Cedaredge is known for its hand-crafted “boutique” wines made in small batches. Located at 250 Southwest 7th St., you can come taste the wines on the winery’s patio, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and later during the summer.

Vintner and winemaker Larry Naslund began making wines at home 30 years ago using wild plums. He experimented with other fruits as well before he started using grapes, which he said makes a better wine. In 2008, Naslund began growing grapes on an acre-and-a-half of land; In 2014, he founded the winery.

In addition to growing his own fruit, Naslund also buys grapes from neighboring farms. He primarily uses the Landot Noir grape to produce his signature wine – which he describes as “deep colored red with floral notes, a slightly peppery finish with low acids and tannins.” Naslund also makes wines with little or no sulfites.

As a relatively young business coming out of a slow winter season, Naslund last year contacted a local commercial bank for a loan to cover the cost of printing labels, purchasing bottles, and the labor to do the labeling and bottling. The bank declined, saying the business wasn’t profitable enough; that there wasn’t enough volume, Naslund recalled.

Naslund then approached the Farm Service Agency for a loan. He learned his business didn’t qualify because he doesn’t grow all the grapes used in his wines. However, the agency referred him to Region 10 Business Loan Fund in Montrose. In March, Naslund applied for financial assistance from the nonprofit’s Small Change Loan Program and received financing.

Naslund said he expected he would have to come to Montrose for the closing, but Dan Scinto, director of Region 10 Business Loan Fund, came to the winery instead – which Naslund appreciated.

The Winery at Cedars Farm was a good fit for the Small Change Loan, said Scinto, because it provided access to capital the winery needed for the new season. Region 10 can help businesses deemed too small by commercial banks, he added.

“I needed the operating cash so I could sell the wine and stay in business,” Naslund said. “The loan was specifically made to help me with production costs; It would have been difficult without Region 10’s loan.”

Naslund said he is hoping next year to build a new, small winery building – where he’ll make wine and use the room for casing. For that project, he said he will again seek the assistance of Region 10. He’s also looking to hire a marketing person, in addition to the three seasonal part-time workers he currently employs.

Naslund’s wines are available at Cedaredge Creekside Café and at Stacy’s On Main in Cedaredge. The wines are also available at liquor stores in Delta County and Grand Junction.

The Winery at Cedars Farm is available for parties, club meetings, and other small events. For more information visit: the website or call 970- 623-9189.

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