On these Denver wine tasting tours, you'll find out why Colorado isn't just known for its beer anymore. Wine making has become popular in Colorado, because of its prime location and weather conditions.
The state now has approximately 120 growers, 1,000 acres of vineyards, and 90 wineries and tasting rooms, making it an up-and-comer in the wine industry.
These group winery tours are a great way to sample multiple wines, because you'll visit several producers and tasting rooms in just one day. You'll also find many wineries and tasting rooms that offer individual tours.
Price: $148 Tuesday - Saturday, $98 Sunday
Duration: Approximately 5 hours
Start time: 11 a.m.
Departs/returns: Magnolia Hotel, 818 17th St., Denver, CO 80202 (free hotel pickup and drop-off within 10 miles)
You don't have to travel to wine country to taste some of Colorado's best wines. In the heart of the city, you'll travel in a luxury Mercedes to three urban wineries offering 30 samples, such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, riesling, and regional varietals.
The first stop is Balistreri Vineyards where we'll enjoy a gourmet Italian lunch and cheese plates. After lunch, we'll visit the wine cellar and learn how to make natural wines and why Colorado is an ideal place to produce wine.
After Balistreri Vineyards, stops will be at two other wineries, which could be Mile High Winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem, or Kingman Estates, among others. It's one of the best Denver wine tasting tours offered.
Price: $99 lunch tour, $199 dinner tour
Duration: Approximately 4 hours
Start times: 11:30 a.m. (Friday - Sunday), 5:30 p.m. (Thursday - Sunday)
Departs/returns: Terminal Bar inside Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO 80202
You'll feel like a VIP on your group tour with Denver Wine Tours. The tour company shuttles you to award-winning wineries and tasting rooms via a luxury limousine bus. Once there, you'll dine on either a locally prepared gourmet lunch or three-course dinner.
Plus you'll have private meet and greets with wine makers who will explain why Colorado's high elevation makes it a great place to grow grapes.
The tour visits three or four venues featuring tastings from throughout the state. The itinerary rotates eight different wineries, so no two tours are alike. This is another great choice for those looking for one of the Denver wine tasting tours that takes you to a few different locations.
In addition to group tours, several local wineries give a behind-the-scenes look at their wine-making process. Here are just a few Denver wine tasting tours you can do on your own.
Hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Monday - Friday)
Location: 1946 E. 66th Ave., Denver CO 80229
The Balistreri family emigrated from Sicily in the early 1900s and brought with them processes for making traditional Italian wines. Balistreri Vineyards, located in the middle of Denver, produces unfiltered, chemical-free wines made one barrel at a time from hand-harvested grapes. They are then stored in American oak barrels for one year.
This is one of the Denver wine tasting tours where you'll tour the wine cellar and facilities that produce award-winning wines. Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, port, red zinfandel, and Colorado cherry wines are just a few of the award winners. You'll also sample some of its whites, such as muscat, riesling, and viognier.
Duration: 1 hour
Start times: 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. (Tuesday - Saturday)
Location: 3200 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205
Turning traditional winemaking on its head, The Infinite Monkey Theorem ditched the rolling hills of vineyards for a warehouse in a back alley for its wine production.
This urban winery in Denver's trendy and hip RiNo arts district is the brainchild of winemaker Ben Parsons, who was named as one of America's "Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers" by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
During your visit, you'll tour its 15,000-square foot production facility, where it turns out kegged, bottled, and even wine in a can. It buys its grapes mostly from Colorado's western slope and produces white, red, moscato, rose, and more. During your visit, you'll get to sample five wines.
Price: Free, but $10 to taste all wines
Hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday), 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Thursday), 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. (Friday)
Location: 4640 Pecos St., Denver, CO 80211
Bonacquisti Wine Co. has a motto of "Wine for the People," which aims to remove the snobbery and elitism found in the wine industry. With that in mind, the winery — located in an industrial condo in the non-elitist Sunnyside neighborhood — offers a behind-the-scenes tour that helps educate those interested in winemaking.
At its urban location, grapes are crushed and fermented and either bottled or kegged. You'll see Colorado malbecs and cabernet francs being produced; Bonacquisti also makes pinot grigio, sangiovese, pink moscato, and syrah.
While you're there, get a refillable jug of one of its award-winning wines.
Hours: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays
Location: 3316 W. 64th Ave., Denver, CO 80221
Clyde and June Spero's boutique winery carries on a family tradition started by Clyde's father, Gaetano Spero (that's Gaetano on the label).
When Gaetano came to America from Potenza, Italy, he brought with him Old-World Italian winemaking processes. Those methods have now earned awards in the categories of zinfandel, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, cabernet franc, barbera, riesling, and more.
Located just seven miles from downtown Denver, the tasting room is open every Saturday afternoon. You'll get generous pours from a large selection of its oak barrel-aged wines.
Location: 7509 Grandview Ave., Arvada, CO 80002
If you're visiting Denver during the right time of the year, you'll have the rare opportunity to take on of the Denver wine tasting tours at Silver Vines Winery during its peak production season. The winery, located in historic Olde Town Arvada about nine miles from downtown Denver, produces wines at its warehouse facility, which houses its barrels, tanks, labeler, corker, foiler, and cased wine.
You'll get three tastings of wines such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, riesling, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and cab franc — all winners in international wine competitions. The grapes originate from the Pacific Northwest, where founders/brothers Danny and Jeff Chayer learned about winemaking.
Duration: 30 minutes
Start times: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Monday - Friday), 12:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Location: 4700 Pearl St., No. 2A, Boulder, CO 80301
If you're looking for a change from wine or beer, try some mead (aka "honey wine"). Word has it that this sweet drink is perhaps the oldest alcoholic beverage around.
Redstone Meadery, located in Boulder 28 miles from downtown Denver, began in 2000 and is now one of the nation's largest mead makers.
It's gone on to win many international awards for its sulfite-free meads. Come tour the meadery and enjoy free tastings of popular varieties such as Meadmosa, Nectar Be Darned, Mead Tai, and honey wine with black raspberry puree.