Your getaway guide to Palisade, Colorado, with links to wineries and bed and breakfast accommodations
Palisade, Colorado, a small town along the Colorado River less than four hours west of Denver. It is the mailing address for tweleve of the fifteen wineries in The Grand valley. All Grand Valley wines are made western style – rambunctious and individual. You will find some great wines at all of these wineries.Learn where your bottle of wine comes from.
The Palisade area is the main engine of Colorado’s wine industry, producing premium grapes for wineries in the high country and the Front Range as well. The acres of vineyards in the valley are up against the dramatically austere Mt Garfield and the heat-reflecting Bookcliffs escarpment.
As close together as the wineries are, however, there’s nothing generic about their carefully-made, award-winning wines. One winery also produces mead, a wine made from fermented honey.
Plum Creek Cellars was founded in 1984. It pioneered the effort of producing premium wines exclusively from grapes grown in Colorado. Winemaker Jenne Baldwin creates wines that are rich in flavor, and which offer depth, complexity, and finesse -- in other words, premium wines. The inventory is based on five reds and three whites: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Rose of Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Riesling. The tasting room in Palisade is filled with local art and antiques. It is open in summer month daily 9:30 to 6; November to March 10:30 to 5.
Grande River Vineyards has the largest vineyard (60 acres) in Colorado. Started in 1987, the winery to produce wines that have the character and distinction that evokes a particular place.—or as the French say, “terroir.” The winery has won medals in more than 175 regional, national and international competitions. Its wines include Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Late Harvest Semillon(rare), Port and several red and white blends. Tasting hours are 9 to 6. Frequent summer evening concerts are held on the grounds.
Canyon Wind Cellars grows only three grape varieties in its breezy vineyard – Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition to these varietals, the winery makes Rose, Port and a red blend. Winemaker Bob Pepi releases about 4,500 cases a year. The winery is open daily from 10 to 5 year around. The tasting room is open May thru Oct 10 to 7. Summer tours held Friday and Saturday at 11, 1 and 3. Canyon Wind Cellars also has a tasting room in Georgetown, an hour west of Denver.
Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery released its first wines in 2002, three of which won medals in regional, national and international competitions. Wines of focus include Fume Blanc, barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and occasionally rare icewine. Winery tours and tasting hours are 11 to 5 daily.
St. Kathryn Cellars offers a variety of distinctive grape wines, along with “country wines” and fruit wines featuring the winery’s signature Blueberry Bliss. Varietal wines include Merlot, Chardonnay. St. Kathyrn’s operates one of the most extensive gift shops in Palisade, plus tasting room, catering kitchen and patio. Daily hours are 9:30 to 7 in the summer; 10 to 5 in the winter.
Confre Cellars has won awards for its Cherry, Plum and Concord wines. The tasting room carrys a line of wines and gourmet foods, and hosts a Fudge Factory. Open daily 10 to 5.
Rocky Mountain Meadery makes and sells mead, a honey wine fermented and filtered with “new technology” resulting in a clear wine with versions that vary from dry to sweet. The meadery also makes fruit and honey and fruit wines from apricots and peaches plus apple and pear ciders. The meadery, outdoor gazebo and gift shop are open daily 10 to 5 except major holidays.
Graystone Winery eight miles west of Palisade in Clinton, claims to be Colorado’s only “Port House,” offering two types of Port wine. Both are aged in oak barrels to produce complex bouquets of distinct aromas which evolve as you sip it. The Ports have won medals in regional and international competitions. The winery also makes Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc varietals. Visitors by appointment only.
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