High Altitude Vines & Wines: Top 3 Colorado Wine Tours


“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.”

Colorado’s mile high altitude and arid climate is Mother Nature’s garden for making delicious wine. The vineyards of Colorado are probably one of Colorado’s best kept secrets with more than 80 wineries across the state. Boasting the highest elevation in the US and one of the highest in the world, the cool desert nights and hot sunny days not only means no mildew and blight, it also means more natural acids and sugars cultivating in the wine grapes.

Pesticides are not often needed in Colorado vineyards since there is less moisture. The desert soil of sand and clay allows better drainage so that the vines don’t end up sitting in the water rotting. Also, the extreme temperatures in Colorado are very ideal for growing grapes for white wines, hence the great reputation for wines. The majority of Colorado wines are made at an alcohol content of 15% or higher, which means a better aging process. This also explains why Colorado wines often win top national and international awards for quality.

Grand Junction is known as Colorado’s wine country—more specifically, Palisade. With acres and acres of beautiful vineyards, it is definitely worth taking a trip to one of the many wineries and vineyards to learn about the viticulture as well as partake in some wine tasting. Most of them are family friendly as they also grow various fruits too. These are three top high altitude Colorado wine tours to definitely take.


Bookcliff Vineyards

Bookcliff Vineyards won Colorado Winefest’s “Best of the Fest Red Wine” for their Bookcliff Vineyards Syrah Reserve 2010. The Syrah has a deep blackberry fruit flavor laced with hints of cocoa. Their winery is located in Boulder but the vineyard is located in Palisade. Both locations are available for tours and tastings but those who would like to visit the vineyard should make a reservation first.

Their Palisade vineyard is 37 acres of grape glory consisting of 14 different varieties: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Graciano Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Blanc, Orange Muscat, Riesling, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, and Viognier. The farmers practice sustainable viticulture with no pesticides or herbicides. They even create their own compost from apple pulp, saw dust, and chicken manure.


Bookcliff Vineyards – Winery

1501 Lee Hill Rd.

Number 17

Boulder, CO 80304


Bookcliff Vineyards – Vineyard

3860 G Rd.

Palisade, CO 81526



Plum Creek Winery

Located in Palisade, CO, Plum Creek Winery is known for their premium wine, Plum Creek Winery Grand Mesa. The Grand Mesa has a multi-layer of flavor consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. They boast a large variety of award-winning wines, which they can probably thank to their fine location, Colorado’s original wine grape-growing region. Their winery license No. 10 is the oldest license of all the state’s wineries currently in existence. As wine enthusiasts know, with age comes quality.

Visitors are greeted outside by a 7 ½-foot tall rooster sculpture known as, “Chardonnay Chicken.” Inside, the tasting room is full of rustic, antique furniture, a sandstone fireplace, hand-woven rugs, and fine art to appeal to the classic feel of having some wine that takes you back in time.


Plum Creek Winery

3708 G Road

Palisade, CO 81526



Jack Rabbit Hill

If you decide to try a Colorado Pinot Noir, you can’t go wrong with one from Jack Rabbit Hill (they are the top in the state!). Jack Rabbit Hill also offers Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Riesling. This certified organic vineyard is located in Hotchkiss, CO, and it features a Biodynamic standard for growth.

The overall goal of Biodynamic farming is to improve soil quality and biological activity using livestock like the many cows, chickens, and sheep they have living on 70 acres of land. The sheep play a double role in providing manure as well as providing weed control. Jack Rabbit Hill also creates their own compost using dairy manure, apple pressings, and wood chips. In addition, this green vineyard was the first winery in the state of Colorado to sell wine by steel-barrel kegs to reduce their environmental footprint.

Jack Rabbit Hill definitely gives off the romantic farm and vineyard vibe with two Great Pyrenees dogs to guard their animals. You’ll need to schedule a tour or tasting before taking off towards Palisade. All tastings take place on porch of the owners’ home or dining room.

Jack Rabbit Hill

26567 North Road,

Hotchkiss, CO 81416


Colorado is definitely rising in the ranks for quality wine production. These are just a few of the many beautiful vineyards in the state that have wines worth tasting but also a fun weekend adventure to pursue.

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The author of this article is Erin Tran. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @JadeFable. When I’m not checking out checking out what the best wine online is, I’m reading up on how to grow and create my own backyard wine.

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