Right where the trailhead to Canyons of the Ancients is located, in McElmo Canyon just about six miles from the city of Cortez, you might be surprised to find lush vineyards in Mesa Verde Country. Every season, these high mesa vineyards grow stellar grapes that make many varietals of world-class wine. Among the Four Corners Region’s many treasures, the wineries in Mesa Verde Country are the perfect place to end a day of exploring ancient cliff dwellings, as you remember your adventures over a few glasses of great Colorado wine.
You’ll find the local Sutcliffe Vineyards and Guy Drew Vineyards within just a few miles of each other. Both beautiful wineries, they’ve each been recognized by Wine Enthusiast, are among Colorado’s most acclaimed wine producers, and they both make quality wines that identify the beauty of the Four Corners, and that are featured in many Colorado restaurants. Both vineyards share a deep love and respect for the surrounding area, and farm and create their wines with eyes on sustainability as well as quality.
Sutcliffe Vineyards takes the idea of Farm to Table to a whole new level, with three farming vintners that share a passion for good wine made in the best ways. Guy Drew Vineyards, located between Sleeping Ute Mountain and Canyon of the Ancients, farms and creates wine with painstaking care for the rich cultural heritage and archaeological background the Four Corners area holds.
Acres of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Petit Verdot – all are organically grown, right at the foot of Sleeping Ute Mountain, taking full advantage of the arrid Four Corners climate and rich soil. To try them, visit either the Sutcliffe Tasting Room, open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, or the Guy Drew tasting room in Cortez, at the Mesa Indian Trading Company & Gallery, each Tuesday – Saturday from 1 pm to 6 pm from May to mid-October.
The high mesa air and just the right sunlight seem to favor the growth of these grapes, and they lead to some truly stellar wines, all from our own backyard in Cortez, Dolores and Mancos. As Colorado’s reputation for craft brewing and artisan distilleries continues to grow, so does its reputation for fine wines, and the wine from Mesa Verde Country’s Four Corners Vineyards is leading the state. Come visit and get a true taste.