Our Colorado Wine Country Travel Guide shares a brief history of the state’s wine country, terroir, where to sip, where to stay and things to do beyond the vines
Colorful Colorado is known for its majestic mountains, world-class ski resorts and tons of breweries. But for all the wine connoisseurs out there, Colorado is also home to two designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs, wine growing regions) and more than 80 wineries, many of which produce award-winning wines.
This Colorado Wine Country Travel Guide is designed to help you explore Colorado’s wine scene. Be it downtown Denver’s urban wineries, to the wine country in the Grand Valley, and everywhere in-between.
Colorado has some of the highest elevations of vineyards – not just in the United States, but the entire world! Argentina is the only wine region with a higher elevation than Colorado. Most of the vineyards in the state are between 4,000 and 7,000 feet above sea level.
Colorado is blessed with warm days, cool nights and low humidity. This combined with vineyards at high elevation pairs perfectly for viticulture. The state is home to two AVA’s – The Grand Valley AVA and The West Elks AVA.
The Grand Valley AVA, is the larger of the two Colorado wine regions and home to the town of Palisade, which is considered the heart of the Colorado wine region. More Colorado Wine 101.
The Grand Valley in Colorado was nominated as one of the top 10 wine destinations in the entire world in Wine Enthusiasts 2018.
George A. Crawford, who later became the Colorado Governor founded Grand Junction, was the first person to see the Grand Valley’s potential for grape production. In 1881 he planted 60 acres of vines on Rapid Creek above Palisade, along the Colorado River. Wine production in Colorado was born. Like all states within the U.S. production came to a screeching halt in 1920 when Prohibition took effect. It wasn’t until 1977 that wine production in Colorado began to bud again.
WHERE TO SIP
Colorado is home to nearly 100 wineries statewide, with more than 10 urban wineries in downtown Denver.
Best Colorado Wineries to Sip In