may not be the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Colorado, but the dedicated vintners in this wine producing state are working to change all that.
The climate is tough on the grapes and the clay soil can be unfriendly (to keep water from penetrating through to the deep grape vine roots.) All this is incidental to the new breed of winemakers who are forging a name for their wines in the international wine world.
During the past 25 years the number of Colorado
wineries has grown from one to more than 80... and there's more where they came from. Along with the increase in numbers comes an increase in experience that makes for better grape harvests and higher quality wines.
Wine experts are beginning to take notice.
The premium grape and fruit wines produced by Colorado wineries have begun to bring home the acclaim and awards in national and international competitions. The recognition is now putting Colorado in contention as a world class winemaker right up there with California.
Grand Valley wine country encompasses 32,000 acres with hot and dry days with lots of sunshine.
Wine styles range from dry white and red wines, to semi-sweet and dessert wines, and even icewine.
Photo credit: visitgrandjunction.com.
All told, there are nearly 1,000 acres of grapes being grown in Colorado today, with the majority of Colorado's best wineries located in Grand Valley in Northwestern Colorado. Notable Front Range tasting rooms are also located near Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.
While not boasting a very long growing season, Colorado's summer warmth allows for Bordeaux and Rhone-style grapes to thrive, while in higher altitudes German grapes such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer feel right at home at Rocky Mountain elevations.
Find out what you've been missing or plan your own wine tour
to get a real taste of the wines grown here...
More information about Colorado wine around the Web:
Grand Junction, Colorado - Wine Country - Everything you need to know if touring the Grand Valley area, with info and links to wineries, tour guides, restaurants and accommodations,
slideshow, weather, event calendar.
Weekend Winery Listings of Wineries in Colorado - A comprehensive list including links to wineries websites or contact information are the main offering in the Colorado section of this site. Check the articles for fun facts about wine and other areas to explore.
Colorado Mountain Winefest - The annual event in Riverbend Park in Palisade that includes bike tours, seminars, dinners, and tastings at participating wineries across the state, with ticket and schedule info.