Known for its outdoor recreation and abundant ski mountain snow fall, Colorado is rapidly becoming known for a new kind of natures bounty. Home to over 80 wineries spread throughout several regions, the warm valleys and plateaus of Colorado’s Western Slope, watered by mountain runoff, offer some of the best vineyards in middle America. Colorado Wine Country includes Delta/Montrose and the West Elks regions, the Four Corners, the Grand Valley, in addition to the Pikes Peak/Arkansas Valley, the Front Range, and pockets elsewhere.
The once fledgling wine industry has exploded over the past two decades, with the Palisade/Grand Valley area leading the charge. Colorado has some of the highest elevation vineyards in the country, if not the world, with many grapes grown at 4,500+ feet and some even at 7,000 feet. With nearly 100 vineyards and cellars in the state, one is sure to be close by on your next visit. Fly into Grand Junction, Montrose, or Durango and be only a short drive away from the best the state has to offer, or travel nearly anywhere along the Front Range of the Rockies and stumble upon a cellar.
One can sample the variety and soak up the scenery. A relaxing respite from the action packed pace of skiing, biking, and the states other popular adventure sports, Colorado vineyards are laid back and most are family friendly. Regional maps that designate vineyards and tasting rooms are available and several areas offer group tours for those not as inclined to do-it-yourself touring.
Many festivals are held to celebrate wine in the state including the Colorado Mountain Winefest in the Grand Valley, and the Mountain Harvest Festival in Paonia within the West Elks region. Fall is the key time of year for most of these celebrations however travelers can visit the vineyards and tasting rooms year round – each season offering it’s own beauty and experience. Whether a stroll in the cliffside vineyards of the Palisades delighting in a Chardonnay, or a visit to a quiet mountainside tasting room with a glass of Pinot Noir in the West Elks, your palette is sure to be pleased when you experience the wines of Colorado.