“Cognition” is gaining knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses.

Cognitive disconnect is thinking, “Wine made in Park City?”
Aft er tasting that wine, like the popping of a cork, you suddenly gain the knowledge and understanding that yes, it is possible.

Cognition Winery founderCognition Winery founders Dennis Romankowski and Gina Coccimiglio’s interest in wines and fun food pairings grew at their fine dining restaurant, Miglio’s in Sandy. “Gina was the chef and I managed the front of the house,” says Dennis. “I was responsible for putting the wine list together. I loved wine and wanted to be adept at food and wine pairings, so I became a sommelier.”

Dennis started learning how to make wine at home, using wine-making kits. “I went through 25 or 30 kits,” says Dennis. “Some batches were okay, some were acceptable, and a couple stood out.” Those few standouts encouraged him to continue, so he started sourcing his own “must,” freshly pressed fruit juice containing skins, seeds and stems of the grape. Making “must” is the first step in winemaking, and the length of time the solids, or pomace, stay in the juice determines the fi nal character of the wine. The pomace is pressed to extract the juice, and then mixed with yeast to begin the fermentation process.

Cognition WineryFollowing the success of at-home winemaking, and encouraged by the groundbreaking strides made by Wasatch Brewery and High West Distillery, the couple thought it was time that Park City had a winery. Th ey started making larger batches out of state and in 2013, Gina encouraged Dennis to intern at wineries in California, Italy and France so he could understand all facets of the process. Dennis’ other career in environmental consulting is an asset when contracting with vineyards, choosing varietals and analyzing the pH of his grapes. He picks the harvest date aft er looking at long range forecasts to determine when grapes will have the optimal sugar content. Grapes are then taken to a custom crush facility, and aft er the crush, refrigerated trucks bring the juice to Utah for the fermentation process.

Cognition Winery outgrew its humble beginnings and moved from a warehouse to their current location on Iron Horse Drive, where Gina whips up simple Mediterranean-style charcuterie platters and cheese boards in a cozy dining room surrounded by oak wine casks. The result is a relaxed social club for patrons 21 years old and over, featuring a full bar and a varied list of wines, including chardonnay, zinfandel, petite syrah, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc. Th e wines are available by the glass or bottle, and patrons can also buy bottles from their Park City store to take home.

“We pride ourselves on being local and creating wines that people enjoy.” Guests are invited to spend an intimate evening with a date, celebrate with new friends at a communal table or enjoy the outdoor patio. Join Dennis and Gina on Thursdays and Saturdays from 3:00-6:00 p.m., and on Fridays from 3:00-9:00 p.m. Cognition Winery also off ers live music on Fridays

SOURCECorinne Humphrey
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