PAONIA, CO – – Sometimes even Colorado locals need to go on a search for new adventures to stimulate the senses. This is exactly how one can come to discover the high altitude wine country in sleepy Paonia, Colorado. Paonia is similar to the other numerous small mountain towns scattered thru out the Rockies, but different in just as many ways.
The Rocky Mountain Inn located at 304 Niagara Avenue in Paonia features a beautiful backyard to relax in with an inviting set of dining tables for guest to use if you choose to bring home your own dinner, we are in Colorado after all. The Inn also offers a handful of dog friendly rooms, for the Colorado local or visiting tourist.
After breakfast (plates filled w/ griddlecakes, potatoes, eggs, and bacon from Nelle’s), begins the Garvin Mesa Wine Loop. The first stop of the Loop is Black Bridge Winery and Orchard Valley Farm Market.
The tasting bar sits in the middle of the open store that supplies local honey, lotions, and the house wine. The loop takes you up the hill to Azura Cellars & Gallery. Azura, no doubt, has the best views of all the wineries, and the winemaker shared that he and his wife focus on making smaller batches. The main focus of this vineyard is the breathtaking art gallery that opens up to the panoramic views of the West Elk Mountains.
Delicious Orchards offers sandwiches made with the freshest vegetables directly from the fields. They also offer a tasting bar where you can sample wines from neighboring wineries. Shawn, the manager of the store (as well as the bartender), made you feel like your old friends.
Flying Fork Cafe & Bakery is a simple restaurant with Italian food made to perfection. Located on the corner of 3rd & Main St. The patio at the Flying Fork is surrounded by grape vines providing a nice ambiance.
If you have the need to get outside a bit why not head over to Crested Butte, Colorado for horseback riding.
Revolution Brewing is a one of a kind micro brewery that sits in a former church. With live music playing on the patio, you feel at ease in this tiny town nestled in such majestic surroundings.
There is no question that Colorado wine country is a different world compared to California wine country. But when you are thinking about a weekend getaway that is different from the world class hiking and biking that Colorado has to offer, think about going a few miles further to experience a weekend getaway tasting the local wines in the North Fork Valley.