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A Mile-High Taste of Colorado Wine Country

Flying to Colorado last weekend, I had beer on my mind. (Hey, as long as I kept my watch set to Eastern Time, it was almost an appropriate hour for a drink.) Since the Denver area is home to big-name brewers like Coors, more than 100 craft breweries, and the annual Great American Beer Festival, I thought I’d begin my three-day weekend with an ice-cold glass of local beer.

When I arrived in Boulder, though, I happened upon a tasting that instead turned my attention to wine as I was introduced to the delicious products of Colorado wine country–a place I’d never even heard of before.

I learned that Colorado’s Front Range Wine Trail boasts four winemaking areas: the Northern, Boulder, Denver, and Southern regions. With the lucky Boulder tasting, I got to enjoy an excellent selection of the range’s offerings in one place, but you can easily plot your own tasting route (which comes with the added advantage of changing Colorado scenery).

The area produces rich reds and crisp whites; Merlots, Rieslings, Chardonnays, Cabernets, and Syrahs; dry blends and sweet Muscat dessert wines; even offbeat creations like “backpacking wine.” The variety on offer was impressive, and the winemakers were passionate and Boulder-friendly. For me, the standout was Redstone Meadery; I’d never had mead before, but Redstone’s honey wines–in flavors from boysenberry to juniper–were so good, I practically jumped for joy when the meadmaker told me the bottles were coming to New York soon. Sips of mead went particularly well with decadent treats from Concertos in Chocolate, whose table was piled high with some of the best chocolate creations I’ve ever had.

Based on the tasting, I can also highly recommend visits to Settembre Cellars, BookCliff Vineyards, Boulder Creek Winery, and Augustina’s Winery. Napa is beautiful and Bordeaux is lovely, but it’s hard to beat the scenic peaks–and potent Palisade grapes–of Colorado wine country.

michelle_doucette

My name: Michelle Doucette

How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at IgoUgo.com.

Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.

Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.

Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.

Comments

Kelly
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Wow, I was not aware that Colorado had a wine country either! I am heading to Boulder to visit a friend in February. I am going to guess that winter is not the best time to go, but I will have to consider visting the wine country in Colorado if I ever make it there for a summer visit.

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