North Fork Valley Wineries We Love
Smith Fork Ranch’s award-winning private wine cellar (just honored again by Wine Spectator with the 2016 two-goblet Best of Award of Excellence) is stocked with hundreds of fine vintages from California, France, Italy, Australia and beyond. But some of our bottles haven’t had to travel that far. A visit to Smith Fork isn’t complete without sampling some of the wines from our own North Fork Valley region. The region is part of the West Elks Viticultural Area, home to some of the highest altitude vineyards in North America and a place where you’ll find many of Colorado’s finest wines.
Oenophiles should definitely consider an afternoon wine-tasting adventure in the North Fork Valley, visiting the excellent wineries and vineyards featured below, where the sips are matched only by the high mesa scenery. And when you’re back at Smith Fork, ask for recommendations, food pairings, and more info on the Colorado wines in our cellar. Cheers!
Stone Cottage Cellars
41716 Reds Rd., Paonia, CO
Located just a short drive from Smith Fork Ranch in Paonia, Stone Cottage’s sustainably farmed vineyards are situated between 4,500-ft. and 6,500-ft. in elevation, bringing a distinctly Colorado nuance to their organic, crisp wines.
In The Smith Fork Cellar: Chardonnay 2010, Syrah 2010
Visit: Everyday, 11am – 6pm, May 22 – November 1
Jack Rabbit Hill Farm
26567 N Rd., Hotchkiss, CO
The 70-acre Jack Rabbit Hill Farm grows 18 acres of grapes – and it’s all about keeping things natural. First-use irrigation water, biodynamic preparations, on-site compost, and organic sulphur are the only farming inputs, and the property is USDA certified organic and Demeter-certified Biodynamic. That attention to detail equals vibrant, expressive wines.
In The Smith Fork Cellar: M&N Blend 2009 (Pinot Noir / Meunier blend), Barn Red (Colorado red wine)
Visit: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit.
Alfred Eames Cellars
11931 4050 Rd., Paonia, CO
A premium Colorado winery since 2000, Alfred Eames can be found in the heart of the West Elks Viticultural Area, just south of Paonia. The winery brings a touch of old world class to its traditionally crafted offerings, with the reds barrel aged in French oak.
In The Smith Fork Cellar: Pinot Noir 2009, Needle Rock Red 2012 (a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend that Alfred Eames Cellars made expressly for SFR)
Visit: Please call 970-527-3269 to schedule an appointment.
Other scenic wineries in the North Fork Valley not to miss:
Azura Cellars, Paonia – Winemakers and Artists offer a charming art gallery of their work in their tasting room and a portico with fabulous view of the North Fork Valley. Open daily 11am – 6pm; May 30 – Nov 1; 970-390-4251.
Leroux Creek Vineyards, Hotchkiss – A transplanted Frenchman and his wife welcome guests to a vineyard that remind one of a view in Provence. Open daily 11am – 5pm; May 30 – Oct 31; 970-872-4746.