For a two-day trip, heading west is best. Instead of touring the popular wineries in Palisade, head a bit farther south to West Elks American Viticultural Area (AVA), home to Colorado’s North Fork Valley wineries. Located in Delta County, West Elks AVA has more than 10 wineries, including Terror Creek Winery, the vineyard located at the highest altitude in North America.
Joanna Gilbert, co-owner of Leroux Creek Inn and Vineyard, said the region has a rustic feel not found in most other parts of the state.
“(It) reminds people of old-time Colorado,” Gilbert said. “It’s very untouched. A lot of people come here and say the area reminds them of Sonoma 40 years ago.”
Gilbert and her husband, Yvon Gros, lived in Vail for more than 20 years before moving west and opening their winery.
Gros said as with peaches, the cool nights and hot days of the area balance the acidity in the wine and give it a distinct taste.
“Our vineyards are small, so the quality of wine is pretty high,” Gros said. “The winemakers here are very attentive and add a personal (touch).”
Most wineries in West Elks AVA open the first week of May…