Palisade Wine Country: The Western Slope’s Hidden Treasure
When you hear Palisade, the first thing to come to mind is often peaches, if not cherries or apricots. Thanks to its nutrient-rich soil and temperate climate, as well as the significant temperature swings between night and day, this small town on the Western Slope is sometimes called the fruit basket of Colorado. And, while Palisade’s peaches are renowned state- and even nation-wide, the region also happens to be perfect for growing our personal favorite fruit: grapes! Those grapes turn into some magnificent Palisade wine. (Read more here about why Colorado’s climate is uniquely suited for growing grapes.)
Palisade, in fact, is home to more than two dozen wineries. Local wine tours — whether you’re walking, biking, riding in a limousine or even rafting — are often touted as a top attraction in Colorado, and the town hosts a popular wine festival each fall. Here at New Castle Liquors, we stock our shelves with as many Palisade wine choices as we can fit! Keep reading for information about some of the wineries we carry.
St. Kathryn Cellars, Talon & Meadery of the Rockies
All three are part of Talon Wine Brands, owned and operated by the Foster family, which has been making wine since the 1970s! At St. Kathryn Cellars, flavors come alive to intrigue the imagination and delight the palate, and their sweeter-edged, highly flavorful wines can be enjoyed chilled or on-ice, anytime and for any occasion. Flavors range from Apple Blossom and Cherry Wine to Cranberry Kiss and Lavender Riesling. St. Kathryn Cellar wines are unique, flavorful and authentically crafted to taste just like the fruit of origin; in fact, they ferment the actual fruit juice to create many of their best sellers!
Talon Winery is known for classic, fruit-forward wines created to preserve and enhance the flavors that develop naturally in grapes grown in western Colorado’s arid climate and mineral-rich soils. Their long list of award-winning wines includes Wingspan Red and Wingspan White.
Meadery of the Rockies is Colorado’s original meadery. Their wines are crisp, refreshing and “buzzing” with flavor. They use only 100 percent pure, raw orange blossom honey in all of their wines, and they use as much local produce as possible for their fruit blends. The meadery offers a complete range of sweetness, alcohol levels and flavors, from slightly sweet traditional wines to rich, chocolatey dessert wines.
Colorado Cellars Winery is Colorado’s oldest and largest winery. Founded in 1978 as Colorado Mountain Vineyards, today’s brands also include Rocky Mountain Vineyards, makers of the popular Roadkill Red Blend, and the Orchard Mesa Wine Company. They grow their own grapes and fruit, keep bees for honey wine and even bottle and deliver their own wines! According to their website, Colorado Cellars also created Colorado’s first mead and port, as well as a variety of wine-based food products. Learn more about their Palisade wines here and don’t forget to check out the history of the vineyard.
Another family-owned winery, Carlson Vineyards uses sun-ripened local grapes and fruit grown on the high-elevation slopes of the Rocky Mountains to create easy drinking, regionally distinctive wines. Their unique varietals range from the Laughing Cat Sweet Red to Peach and Cherry Wines. Read more about the owners, Garrett and Cailin, here.
Grande River Vineyards
Grande River Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in Colorado, is testled at the base of western Colorado’s Book Cliffs mountain range near the Colorado River. Their award-winning creations include Red and White Meritages, Malbec and Havin’ a Cow Red Blend. Owner Stephen Smith makes wines in traditional styles using only the finest Grand Valley-grown grapes. The whites are dry and fermented in both stainless steel (to showcase the exceptional fruit flavors) and in oak barrels (for just the right amount of flavor), and the reds are both Bordeaux and Rhone varietals made in a dry style to showcase the fruit, the terroir and the oak aging.
Plum Creek Winery
Plum Creek strives to create exceptional wines that are rich in flavor and offer complexity, depth and finesse. Grapes are harvested by hand in each vineyard, row by row, as they reach optimum ripeness and maturity. The high elevation in Palisade results in ideal soil, stable winters and a long, cool growing season, allowing Plum Creek to produce wines that emphasize concentrated fruit and excellent structure. You can read more about their wines (including a delicious selection of dessert wines) here.
Red Fox Cellars
The team at Red Fox Cellars has one goal: to make bold, adventurous, high-quality wines. None of them are classically trained in wine making; instead, they consider themselves respectful of but unbound by tradition, students of the entire spectrum of approaches to wine making. Read more about their unique wines, like the Bourbon Barrel Merlot and Cabernet Franc Rye Barrel, here.
Two Rivers Winery
Two Rivers Winery focuses on producing just six high-quality varietals—Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Syrah and Port—and, owners Bob and Billie Witham are Western Slope natives! Find a great video about the winery here.
Not a big wine drinker? Not to worry: We also carry delicious brews from Palisade Brewing Company, Snow Capped Cider and Talbott’s Cider Company! This summer, we can’t get enough of Palisade’s “Dirty Hippie” dark wheat ale and Talbott’s “ColoMosa” — an easy drinking cider made with 10 percent orange juice and a splash of lime. You can find Palisade’s Peach Street Distillery’s Jackelope Gin and Goat Vodka on our shelves.
New Castle Liquors is located just off I-70, exit 105, in beautiful New Castle, Colorado, so stop by to check out our selection of Palisade wine. We’re open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. 2019 Locals’ Choice Award winner!
Palisade wine country photo and Red Fox Cellars photo are by Palisade resident Lisa Levy Kral, Dancing in My Head Photography.