Colorado Wines Ranked Among the Top in the Nation and Colorado Wine Country Named a Top Wine Destination
2018 was a year of accolades and national acclaim for the burgeoning Colorado wine industry. Home to more than 150 wineries, Colorado received recognition for both producing many outstanding wines and as a top destination for its two federally-designated wine regions. Last year began with Wine Enthusiast proclaiming the Grand Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) as one of the Top Ten wine getaways of 2018, and in the November issue, several Colorado wines surpassed the coveted 90-point threshold ranking. Sutcliffe Vineyards led the way with a 91-pt score for their 2015 Cinsaut. The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey and Snowy Peaks Winery earned 90 points for their 2015 Revelation and 2016 Mourvèdre, respectively.
“The Colorado wine industry is thrilled to be recognized by so many national outlets for our incredible wines and tremendously beautiful wine regions,” said Doug Caskey, Executive Director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board. “Thanks to the third consecutive top-notch grape harvest, our production and quality are flourishing.”
Top Destination Coverage
Other national publications also spotlighted Colorado as a top wine destination. USA Today Top 10 ranked the Grand Valley as one of the top 10 best wine regions in the country. The iconic FOOD + WINE Magazine named Infinite Monkey Theorem one of the top 10 best urban wineries in the country. And VOGUE Magazine included Colorado as one of the seven emerging wine regions to visit right now.
“If you drive just a few hours west from Denver (or take a quick flight over to Grand Junction), you’ll arrive in the Grand Valley AVA, where the landscape is dramatically different from anywhere else in the state,” said Todd Plummer, reporter for Vogue Magazine. “There are rivers, canyons, mesas, and mountains to explore, as well as some 22 up-and-coming wineries in one of the country’s most exciting yet unknown wine regions.”
Top Wine Rankings
In October, almost 900 American wines were tasted by the critics at JamesSuckling.com, a highly regarded website that focuses on the great wine regions of the world, at Barboursville Winery in Virginia. The tasting provided a comprehensive look at emerging quality producers across the United States, with entries from wineries in 14 different states. Colorado wines impressed the critics. In total, 47 wines from Colorado were reviewed with a median score of 89 points. Eighteen wines scored 90 points or higher, with Snowy Peaks Winery 2016 Elevé leading the way with the lone 92-pt score.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate reviewer Mark Squires also doled out some big scores to Colorado wineries in 2018 while noting that good USA wine can come from places other than the West Coast. He proclaimed that he’s found the samples from Colorado to be ”increasingly interesting.” The Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Bubble Universe sparkling wine garnered 91 points, BookCliff Vineyards’ 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve and Monkshood Cellars’ 2015 Syrah each earned 90 points. The BookCliff Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve also was included on Squires’ list of Top Value American wines of 2018 and praised for its combination of structure, depth, character and balance.
Governor’s Cup Competition
Finally, in the most comprehensive tasting of Colorado wines ever – the 2018 Colorado Governor’s Cup – 344 wines from 49 Colorado wineries were evaluated by a panel of 16 wine experts from around the country. The winners were poured at a public event at History Colorado Center where BookCliff Vineyards’ 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve was revealed to have earned the Best of Show.
About the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board is an agency of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, dedicated to promoting and furthering the development of Colorado’s grape growers and approximately 140 wineries. For additional information, visit www.coloradowine.com.