Fall is the ideal time to escape from the mundane, and explore Colorado’s high desert. Just as tourists bike through an Italian countryside, visitors to wine country can cruise through the vineyards of Palisade. Perfect for both wine lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, the experience is as easy as renting a bike and setting aside a weekend. Well known as Colorado’s wine country, Palisade is a hidden treasure just waiting to be explored. Just a four hour drive from Denver, travelers will come down through dry rocky canyons to find a lush green valley filled with vineyards and peach trees. Imagine pedaling leisurely around the quaint streets to enjoy as many wine tasting rooms before the sun sets. An added bonus is that the majority of the tastings are complimentary.
Nestled in between colorful rocks and cliffs are several cozy bed and breakfasts, and there’s the affordable luxury of the Wine Country Inn. The view from the guest rooms spies the high desert beauty of sandy layered cliffs and bright blue skies. Guests enjoy spacious rooms with granite bathrooms, fresh decor, and plush bedding. With plenty of outdoor seating for socializing, the clear blue pool and Jacuzzi offer a swim in the sunshine. There’s a French restaurant for fine dining, and a delicious tapas menu and drinks can be found in the lounge. The free bed and breakfast style meal will leave guests beyond satisfied.
With at least 20 wineries to dazzle the senses, there are three that are must visits. The top of the list should be the DeBeque Canyon Winery where dry wine lovers will have their pallet explode with flavor when they test the Malbec. Sweet wine enthusiasts will find themselves in heaven at the Carlson Vineyards as they sample a myriad delicious sweet wines. To shake things up travelers must visit the Peach Street Distillers. Not only will they find a faux tequila called Dagave, they will be treated to fun mixed drinks on the patio.
Probably one of the busiest and exciting times of the year is September for the annual Colorado Mountain Winefest. Hotels and bed and breakfasts book up in advanced for this weekend packed with live music, great local fares, and some of the best wine made in the state.