Neither forest fires or droughts can keep Colorado grapes down. And grown at 5000-plus feet, they deserve some applause. If you haven’t tried our local wines, don’t wait any longer—these creative and innovative selections can compete with California’s conventional options. As we transition into autumn, these wines offer zesty flavors and textures, and blends abound, combining varietals into true works of art. Here are some distinctive options to try, love, and stock up on before the snow flies. All are available for purchase at your local liquor store or directly from the winery.
This gem is one of the few un-oaked chardonnays in the state, aged in stainless steel tanks, not barrels. A clean, clear white with a light straw color, it will help wean white wine–drinkers off those snappy summer sauvignon blancs. And surprise—this chard has no traditional butter tones, but features bright apple and lime instead. Whitewater Hill is guaranteed to compliment baked ham or turkey during the holidays, so it’s worth stocking up on.
This wine is the result of blending French and German influences into an Alsace-style wine that’s fresh, crisp, and pleasantly light. It has lovely floral notes and well-balanced sweetness with a dry finish—without one element overpowering any other. Overall, the wine’s complexity is underscored by its drinkability. This 2018 vintage has patiently aged in its bottle for just the right amount of time and pairs well with Asian or Mexican dishes with a bit of heat.
A late-ripening petit verdot blended with petite pearl makes this unusual Bordeaux-style red worth trying. Both are boutique grapes, and it’s a rare discovery to find this combination in Colorado. The garnet-colored wine delivers big aromas on the nose, and the mouthfeel presents deep and full-bodied fruits, with a long, semi-dry finish that stays with you—in good way. A glass (or two) also goes well with steaks or juicy hamburgers on game day.
By carefully combining his single red varietals, award-wining vintner Alfred Eames offers up an unfiltered blend with blackberry and spicy notes. The bright, ruby wine offers an aroma of berries and a touch of vanilla, while the juicy mouthfeel and medium body provide a lip-smacking finish. An all-around winner, this wine pairs well with pasta or is simply great on its own while relaxing by the fire pit.
Two Rivers’ highly praised port is ideal for drinking at sunny autumn picnics, in front of roaring fireplaces, or as an after-dinner surprise when hosting guests. The deep garnet dessert wine rings in at 18 percent ABV, so we recommend sticking with a small pour. Aged 29 months in neutral oak, it’s not too sweet—only sophisticated—with smooth, velvety notes of cocoa and wild berries.