When you think of wineries, the state of Colorado may not instantly leap to the top of your mind. However, the unique climate, warm days and cool evenings help create some of the most flavorful and robust wines around. From deep reds to light whites, there are lots of amazing bottles to try. Thankfully, there are also lots of fun and hip local wineries to visit where you can taste some of the different wines, go for a tour or even participate in some classes. If you’re a wine fan, and you haven’t discovered the many wineries right here in your own backyard, then this is your chance to get out and explore. Here are five local wineries not to be missed.
4640 Pecos St., Unit G
Denver, CO 80211
Ryker’s Cellars is a small batch winery in Denver, founded by Ryker Brandt. Following several years of working in wineries in Santa Cruz, California, Brandt packed up and moved to Denver with the goal of opening his own urban winery. Ryker’s Cellars offers six red wines, including the award-winning 2012 R-Red Blend and Petite Sirah. Though Ryker’s only offers one white wine, the 2013 Riesling is the perfect white for this small but impressive line. You’ll also find lots of great wine club events, wine tastings and other offerings by the team at Ryker’s, and many of those events are offered in locations throughout Colorado. Be sure to check the website for future events and to learn more about these impressive small-batch wines.
800 E. 64th St.
Denver, CO 80229
The Kingman Estates Winery is dedicated to proving that wine from Colorado is just as great, or even better, than the wines being created all over the world. The unique climate to Colorado aids in the creation of this line of wine, all made in the Kingman Estates Winery facility. You’ll find just about every type of wine available, from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot, Riesling and even Viognier. You can stop by the tasting room on weekends from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m., where you’ll get a chance to sample several of these fine Colorado wines. Once you have a few sips, you’ll be sold, and you may even end up joining Kingman Estates Winery’s Wine Club, where you can purchase a new bottle of wine every month (or four new bottles of wine every month).
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3200 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
“Back alley winemaking at its finest” is what The Infinite Monkey Theorem proudly boasts on its website. This urban winery is one of the most popular and hippest spots in town, thanks to it’s comfortable, relaxed approach to wine making. There are several unusual things happening here, including the availability of canned wine. The cans of white, red, Moscato or rose wine are the perfect portable solution for the wine-loving, active Colorado resident. Swing by for a one-hour tour, where you’ll get to taste five wines and learn more about the winery and how everything is created here, or you can opt for a private tasting for a special date night. There are also lots of other fun events happening here, including painting classes, yoga classes and even swing dancing.
1946 E. 66th Ave.
Denver, CO 80229
The legacy of Balistreri Vineyards starts with the Balistreri family’s earliest vision after arriving in the United States in the early 1900s. A few generations later
Balistreri Vineyards opened its doors in 1998 with a small tasting room to show off the family’s approach to wine making. Since then, this natural style produces approximately 6,000 cases of wine every year, all made one barrel at a time. Balistreri offers a full wine list with every type of wine you could want, including dessert wines and several special varieties. You can stop by the winery for a wine tasting or tour any day of the week, and stick around for a delicious lunch to complement the different wines you just enjoyed. Balistreri Vineyards is a wonderful place to visit for a special romantic lunch, or even just a fun girl’s day out.
2811 Walnut St.
Denver, CO 80205
Owner Jon Brickner has offered his specially crafted wines in Colorado since 2004. Today, Mile High Winery has settled into the popular RiNo District, with a new tasting room and plenty of space to learn more about Brickner’s flavorful wine. There are five red offerings here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Ruby Port and Red Zinfandel, and four white wines that include Chardonnay and Rose Zinfandel. In addition, you’ll find free music in the winery every First Friday, and a paint-n-sip art class (complete with materials and a glass of wine.) Activities aside, the proof here is in the wine, so be sure to stop by and pick up a bottle or two, as you just may be surprised how flavorful a truly local Colorado wine can be.
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