BEN PARSONS, WINEMAKER, INDUSTRY PIONEER AND CREATOR OF COLORADO’S MOST SUCCESSFUL WINERY, DEPARTS THE INFINITE MONKEY THEOREM TO PURSUE NEW WINEMAKING PROJECTS
After 11 years of disrupting the Colorado wine industry, founder, winemaker, and CEO of Colorado’s leading winery, Ben Parsons, is departing The Infinite Monkey Theorem (TIMT), the company he founded in a Quonset hut in the heart of Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District in 2008. Since launching Colorado’s most successful winery, Parsons has elevated the State’s reputation as an emerging wine region, at the same time becoming known as an industry innovator for propelling alternative categories of canned and kegged wine to the mainstream. Under Parsons, TIMT has become a nationally recognized wine brand, available in 26 states through retail partnerships with Wholefoods, Target, Safeway and through its onboard wine program with Frontier Airlines.
British-born Parsons began his career selling wine for Layton’s Wine Merchants of London, then studied Enology at the University of South Australia in Adelaide and worked harvest seasons in New Zealand, before landing in Colorado in 2001 as winemaker for Canyon Wind Cellars and then Sutcliffe Vineyards. While working in Colorado’s remote growing regions, Parsons recognized the opportunity to bring the wine production process to an urban audience and began his plans to create a winery in Denver. A full biography is available here.
Parsons, who has crafted some of Colorado’s most highly rated wines, announces his exit during the Food & Wine Classic Aspen weekend, the premium food and wine event where Parsons launched the infamous “Wine at The Mine” fringe party which has become known as the hottest party invite of the weekend.
“The Infinite Monkey Theorem started as my passion project and has come a long way in a short period of time. It has been and always will be a labor of love for me. I am excited to see the company move to the next level. We have an enthusiastic investor base and a recently reconstituted board. In connection with these changes, I am stepping away from the day-to-day operations to free up my ability to focus on new winemaking projects. I will continue to be involved as a significant shareholder and expect TIMT will continue to lead the industry in innovative winemaking, packaging and customer experience,” said Parsons.
Parsons is considered a thought-leader and expert within the wine industry, with many partners and peers acknowledging his influence:
Michael Hranicka, President and CEO of Microstar Logistics says of Parsons: “I first met Ben a decade ago in a graffiti-riddled Quonset hut to discuss his “crazy” idea to can wine. Since then, I have watched with admiration as he built the TIMT brand, crafted highly-respected wines and single-handedly changed the approachability of the space through packaging innovation. I cannot wait to see what he does next.”
Doug Caskey, Executive Director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board said: “Ben has made tremendous contributions to the Colorado wine industry over his many years here and in his many different roles. He has probably done as much as any other single person to bring high-quality Colorado wine to the attention of Colorado consumers at restaurants, in liquor stores, and especially in fun, fanciful packaging. He pioneered can wine for the entire country and took Colorado’s reputation to the next level. He made wine fun. I know that TIMT will miss his creative energy and vision. I hope he stays in Colorado.”
Ashley Hausman, Master of Wine,Old World Wine Co/Craft Wines said:“I admire Ben Parsons. He is an individual—an innovator and a risk taker. He has pushed boundaries, ruffled feathers and introduced Colorado wine to so many local consumers. He helped realize Colorado’s potential by making high-quality wine that’s also fun, relevant and a vehicle for community. Ben Parsons has been an instrumental figure in Colorado wine’s becoming.”
Aaron Forman, leading Denver sommelier and restaurateur, founder of Proximus Tequila and Winc, said: “Ben Parsons and I go back more than a decade in the constantly evolving Colorado wine industry. He is the one who taught me you can truly make great wine without being from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Piedmont, Napa, and beyond. Ben is an innovator in the winemaking community. He showed me that an urban winery could not only exist but thrive! In the right hands, with the right people and understanding of the craft, you can make amazing wines regardless of your location. This is what Ben does on so many levels; he sees the possibilities and follows through. (If you want to taste brilliance, ’08 100th Monkey! Boom!) Ben has been able to make great wines that are approachable and beautiful, which come from an uncommon part of the world. His hard work and truly innovative spirit have brought a new and ever-expanding revelation to the wine industry. His passion and resilience is one of the main reasons I got into the wine world as I knew the infinite possibilities that Ben helped me witness not just in Colorado, but across the world.”
Cassidee Shull, Executive Director of the Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology (CAVE), said: “The Infinite Monkey Theorem has played an instrumental role in the successes of the Colorado wine industry. From being the first winery to can wine to one of the first wineries located in a city, Ben Parsons is the force behind these innovative risks. These decisions have assisted in elevating the Colorado wine brand and this ripple can be felt today in our growing industry.”
Ron Vaughn Co-Owner Argonaut Wine and Liquor said:“I was at a wine tasting in downtown Denver in 2008 and happened to sit next to an interesting guy with an accent. I asked what he did, and he replied, “I am starting a winery in downtown Denver”. Downtown Denver how is that going to work? Well as Ben Parsons has proven to me and many others in our industry creativity is his strong point. Not only did he open an urban winery in downtown Denver but made great wine and then put it in a can (brilliant). I am in retail and we pride ourselves on supporting Colorado products, so we put Infinite Monkey Theorem in the store, and it has done great. Ben has always been supportive of our projects, always offering great insight. More than that Ben is a visionary, making creative wines, first of its kind packages, events, a great businessman and a supporter of Colorado business and charities. He will do well in any venture he becomes involved in.”
Ben’s full biography is available here.