The majestic valleys of Colorado's Rocky Mountains are blessed with warm days, cool nights and low humidity — perfect conditions for the cultivation of wine grapes with the complex character and chemistry required to produce award-winning wines.
Winemaking began on Colorado's Western Slope more than a century ago. With the advent of Prohibition, however, the early vineyards were uprooted and replaced with orchards. Modern vineyards featuring the world's classic wine-grape varieties have been reestablished in the area's fertile climes, and once again the art of winemaking is flourishing in Colorado. Building on the tradition of these pioneer winemakers, thriving wineries are now found in all parts of the state.
Today, Colorado's vintners enjoy a well-earned reputation for producing a wide variety of premium wines. From rich Chardonnays to robust Merlots to wines made from cherries, peaches, plums and honey, Colorado wines consistently win top national and international awards for their quality.
What makes Colorado wines unique? Vineyards in Colorado are mostly nestled in the temperate, high elevation river valleys and mesas of Mesa and Delta counties, with some acreage in Montezuma county. Colorado's grape growing regions range in elevation from 4000 to 7000 feet and are thus among the highest vineyards in the world, resulting in hot days accompanied by cool nights. The 'continental climate' in these regions create day to night temperature variations topically ranging from 25 to 30 degrees during the grape maturation months of August and September. The long warm daylight hours of intense high altitude sunlight mature the fruit completely and build the natural sugars. The cool evenings cause the grapes to retain the acids so vital to premium winemaking. However, the high altitude can also present a challenge to grape growers, in that the average frost free growing season ranges from 150 to 182 days.
We invite you to visit Colorado's magnificent wine country, tour our wineries and sample our wines. The complimentary tours and tastings are friendly and informative and we welcome the entire family. Visit us soon. It's the perfect way to spend a Colorado day. Or, look for Colorado wines in better restaurants or at your favorite retail wine and liquor stores. Please enjoy them in good health and moderation.
Contact: Doug Caskey, executive director
Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
2645 5th Street
Boulder, CO 80304-3203
Ph: 720.304.3406 / FAX: 303.239.4125 (CDA) / firstname.lastname@example.org