A Western Slope Wine Tour During Harvest Season
In my opinion, it’s always time for wine. However, harvest season is the ideal time to tour Colorado’s tasting rooms and vineyards.
WineFolly.com says that it’s best to visit during harvest season because the weather is cooler, the grapes are ripe and everywhere is bustling with activity. This is true of Colorado wine country, and in Colorado, you can enjoy the bounty of the harvest without the crowds of a place like Napa Valley. It’s a win/win or should we say wine/wine?
In Colorado, the place to experience the most wine culture possible is Palisade. This area hosts 75 percent of Colorado’s premium wine grape vineyards, and it’s home to more than 20 wineries (source).
During harvest season, the area is buzzing. Wineries host multiple events, including bands, wine-pairing dinners, and more. In addition, the Colorado Mountain Winefest, in Palisade in mid-September, is the state’s largest and oldest wine event featuring chef demos, seminars, a grape stomp, live music and dozens of Colorado wineries.
There are lots of ways to tour the wineries in Palisade and one of the most popular is by bike. Rapid Creek Cycles offers bikes for rent as well as wine country maps. Their cruisers are equipped with baskets for purchases along the way. Electric bike rentals start at just $55.
If you’d rather not sweat it out during your wine tour, but don’t want to drive, you can book a ride with a local shuttle company or limo service. There are several businesses in the area that provide wine tours.
However, a wonderful alternative to a motorized tour is to book a tour with JR Carriage Service. We did this outing earlier this summer and it was a truly memorable experience.
This outfit provides half-day wine tours like no other. Guests are transported like royalty in carriages pulled by draft horse teams like the Belgian girls, Sarah and Molly, or the studly pair of Percherons, Commander and Chief.
The party in the carriage get to pick their rate of travel; visiting multiple wineries throughout the afternoon. There’s a break for lunch at Palisade Brewing Company and an optional, end-of-day visit to Peach Street Distillers. The carriage stops at five to seven wineries during the outing.
Touring this area by carriage is not only relaxing, but it’s scenic.
Photo: Lisa Kral of Dancing in my Head Photography
JR Carriage Services provides other tours including pub crawls, sunset rides, orchard and fruit stand tours and much more. Visit them online at www.jrscarriage.com.