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Grand Valley Recognized as Third-Best U.S. Wine Region

Three Colorado wineries also applauded for winery experiences and tasting rooms

By Beth Buehler

Grand Valley AVA in Colorado - Walking in the Vines
Walking and sipping wine in the vines || Courtesy of Visit Grand Junction

A state well-known for its craft beer production prowess also has received a nod for its quality wines. Colorado’s Grand Valley has been recognized as the Third-Best U.S. Wine Region in the 2023 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Only California’s Paso Roblos and Temecula Valley placed ahead of Grand Valley, one of two American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in Colorado.

The top 10 wine regions were selected by a panel of wine industry experts before voting was opened to the public. The seven other wine regions to make it on the list are in Georgia, Maine, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington.

Additional Readers’ Choice Awards accolades for Colorado include Carboy Winery as No. 6 for Best Wine Tasting Room and The Ordinary Fellow as No. 5 and Sauvage Spectrum Estate Winery & Vineyard as No. 7 in the Best New Winery Experience category. All three are located in Palisade.

“We are elated to receive this recognition as one of the top wine regions in the country,” says Kyle Schlachter, director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, which supports the efforts of more than 170 wineries. “Our winemakers work hard in Colorado’s unique conditions and continue to produce high quality wine and introduce new varietals to locals and visitors to the state.”

Grand Valley for Groups

Wine Country Inn in Palisade, Colorado
Wine Country Inn is nestled among vineyards || Photo by Chad Mahlum, courtesy of Wine Country Inn

Grand Valley has the highest concentration of wineries in Colorado, including more than 35 located mostly in Grand Junction and Palisade. Several have tasting rooms and venues that can serve groups, and a few like Wine Country Inn that owns the adjacent Grande River Vineyards in Palisade and Two Rivers Winery & Chateau in Grand Junction also have accommodations, making small and medium overnight gatherings among the vines possible.

Two Rivers Winery and Chateau’s spacious property || Courtesy Visit Grand Junction

Warm valleys, plateaus, mountain runoff and 300 days of sunshine allow for unique growing conditions here, along with low humidity and cool nights. The resulting wine grapes are noted for their complex character and chemistry.

More Colorado Winery News

There are several new happenings that are worth mentioning in tandem with the announcement that Grand Valley has been recognized as the Third Best U.S. Wine Region. Sauvage Spectrum Wine Lounge has opened in Ouray, Colterris Collections has unveiled a location in downtown Palisade, and Carboy Winery launched a new Palisade tasting room with a patio overlooking Mt. Garfield.

Carboy Winery New Tasting Room in Palisade
New Carboy Winery tasting room in Palisade || Courtesy Colorado Wine Industry Development Board

In addition, the first winery to receive a license in Colorado after prohibition in 1933, A. Carbone & Co., is being restarted by Anthony Carbone’s great grandson.