The Grand Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located east of Grand Junction in Colorado, and its first vineyards were planted in 1890 (it was the first AVA designated in Colorado.) This Colorado wine region produces some of the finest Chardonnay, Merlot and Viognier wines you will ever taste, among others. Over 75% of all of the wineries in Colorado are located in the Grand Valley AVA, where the high altitude, consistent breeze, hot dry summers and mild winters all contribute to some amazing wine grape growing. For an overview of some of the best wineries, vineyards and wines of the Grand Valley AVA, see below.
St. Kathryn Cellars Winery. This Grand Valley winery opened in 1999 and produces some very distinctive Colorado varietal wines, including some interesting fruit wines (strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, and pear, to name a few.) St. Kathryn Cellars is owned by Talon Winery, whose owners are Colorado winemakers as well. These Grand Valley wines have only light oak flavors, resulting in wines that are softer than many oak fermented varietals. Be sure to try their White Merlot, which has aromas of raspberries and fresh watermelon, followed by flavors that include cherries and other fruits. Their Chardonnay is also a great choice, with aromas of pear and lemon, and flavors of peach and vanilla. And don’t forget to try their signature wine, Blueberry Bliss – the name says it all. For more information on this Grand Valley AVA and its Colorado wines, click here.
Whitewater Hill Vineyards. Classic varietal wines are the product of this Grand Valley winery in Grand Junction, Colorado. Whitewater Hill both owns and leases vineyards in the Grand Valley AVA, where they grow wine grapes that include Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and many more. Sample their 2007 Cabernet Franc, a delicious wine with aromas of nutmeg and black currant, followed by flavors of spice and black cherry. This Grand Valley winery also has an outstanding red wine blend (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz), Ethereal 2006, which has aromas of blackberry and French Oak, and flavors that include more oak and raspberries. For more information on this Grand Valley AVA and its Colorado wines, click here.
Desert Moon Vineyards. Planted in the summer of 2002, this Grand Valley winery produces some outstanding wines, including Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. They use a mix of American and French oak barrels to age their wines, as well as stainless steel fermenters, to perfect their small, hand-crafted batches of wine. Desert Moon Vineyards also practices sustainable farming, which includes minimal spraying and less mechanical farm methods. Their 2006 Merlot is a good example of some of Colorado’s finest wines, a deep red wine with aromas of leather and smoke, followed by flavors that include plum and dark cherry. Also try their 2009 Pinot Grigio, a medium-bodied wine with aromas of papaya and blackberry, and flavors that include apricot and grapefruit. For more information on this Grand Valley AVA and its Colorado wines, click here.