Weekend Unwinding With Wine: 6 Colorado Wineries to Explore

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Whether it’s a weekend with the girls or a getaway with the hubby, we need a momcentric break once in a while. We need a respite from chaperoning play dates and organizing trips to the zoo. Instead of conquering that ever mounting to-do list, we need a moment of Zen. Say it after me, “I will not do arts and crafts or create balloon animals for children’s birthday parties this weekend. I will not cook, run errands or otherwise engage in activities that might be deemed domestic or Martha Stewart-ish.” How will you spend the weekend? You’re going to unwind at a local winery, where you don’t have to choose whether or not you want to drink in front of the kids or not.

If you haven’t had a glass of wine since the days of Zinfandel in a box, or that Christmas when all your friends went gaga for blush and wine gift baskets were stacked beneath the tree like a Stonewall Kitchen showroom, a lot has changed. There are over 100 wine producers in Colorado, and according to Denver.org, there are a dozen wineries in the Denver metro area alone. The best terroir, as wine aficionados call it, is on Colorado’s Western Slope, and there are numerous wine trails meandering through the desert mountains of northwest Colorado. Here are six local wineries worth checking out:

Augustina’s Winery

With a shiraz blend named WineChick Red, Augustina’s Winery, located in Boulder, represents the independence and DIY free spirit of the city. Augustina’s is a small, homegrown operation. All the labels feature original artwork. Augustina’s Winery doesn’t have public hours, but you can book tastings by appointment.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem

The Infinite Monkey Theorem takes a counter culture approach to wine making. Purists might scoff at the operation, but hey, how many moms are wine purists? Save it for Wine Spectator, folks. Infinite Monkey Theorem is an urban winery in the RiNo Art District of Denver. There’s no vineyard or rolling hills. The grapes aren’t grown in Colorado, but handpicked and harvested from some of the best vineyards in the States.

Varaison Vineyards & Winery

For something more traditional, head to the Varaison Vineyards and Winery in the Grand Junction area. According to Colorado.com, Varaisons is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. It’s a large and elegant vineyard featuring tours, a restaurant, gift shop, private banquet rooms, and the David Austic Rose Garden, where 1,500 English Roses are on display. Price is determined by the size of the group.

Terror Creek Winery

The Terror Creek Winery, at 6,417 ft, is the highest altitude winery in world. Family owned, Terror Creek Winery makes Alsatian-style wines. You can unwind with a crisp Riesling or Pinot Noir as you enjoy a stunning view of the West Elks Mountains. If you want to get away from that to-do list, this hilltop gem is as far away as you can get without hopping a plane to Bordeaux. Terror Creek is open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend until the end of September.

Turquoise Mesa Winery

Using only Colorado grapes, the Turquoise Mesa Winery makes a Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Viognier, as well as a selection of red and white blends. All tastings are held on Saturday afternoons or by appointment.

Plum Creek Winery

Plum Creek Winery might be Colorado’s most famous vineyard. It’s been making Colorado-grown wines since 1980, and it is the oldest winery in the state. With its redwood bar, sandstone fireplace, hand-woven rugs and antique furniture, Plum Creek has a tasting room than radiates Old World charm. However, that’s nothing in comparison to the Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, both of which won the gold medal in the New World International Wine Competition in 2004.

Andrea Porter – A painter, mom, wife and photographer, Andrea always has material to write about. Finding the time to write is another story altogether.

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