Biking Palisade, Colorado’s Fruit and Wine Byway is the most “Colorado” thing a wine drinker could ever possibly do. You’re outside, getting exercise under the Colorado sun, the beautiful mountains of the Grand Mesa and Bookcliffs surrounding you. Colorado’s only legitimate wine region is compact, with more than two dozen vineyards and tasting rooms tucked into the eastern corner of Colorado’s Grand Valley. “Colorado is making a pretty good run at California,” says Dave Smith, owner of the company Pali-Tours. “We’ll never be that big, but we have the altitude. There’s just something about the grapes here.”
While some wineries here are larger and reminiscent of major wine regions like Napa or the Okanagan Valley, most are small mom-and-pop operations whose wines are both unique and often hard to come by outside of western Colorado. Any of the three biking routes discussed here provide a sample of both. Get out here soon — because Colorado’s wine country won’t be under the radar for much longer.