Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are blessed with warm days, cool nights and low humidity – perfect conditions for cultivating wine grapes with the complex character and chemistry needed to produce award-winning wines.
—The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
Wine making began on Colorado’s Western Slope over 100 years ago. During Prohibition, these early vineyards were uprooted and replaced with orchards. Modern vineyards have reestablished themselves on the Western Slope and across Colorado, and winemaking is again flourishing. Western Slope vineyards are at elevations ranging from 4,500 to 6,000 ft., among the highest altitude vineyards in the world. According to the New York Times, in this area of Colorado, a dry climate helps prevent vine disease, intense summer sunlight gives grapes good flavor and color, and low nighttime temperatures promote acid retention, which is regarded as a key to premium wine making.
Colorado wine making has grown in both popularity and numbers. Today you can find over 100 wineries all across the state, along the Front Range, on the Western Slope and anywhere from Steamboat Springs to Cortez.