Bicycling Around Wine Country
The area surrounding Palisade has been fully preserved as a green belt. The small town is nestled amid fields, orchards and vineyards, and the best way to experience the area is by bike. A well-established route will take you through the fields and from winery to winery, orchard to orchard. Your cycling, however, is best done in the spring or fall, as Southwestern Colorado gets plenty hot in the summer. Rapid Creek Cycles (237 S. Main St., Palisade, 970-464-9266 rapidcreekcycles.com) is the source of tour maps, advice and bike repairs and rentals.
Colorado Mountain Wine Fest
It’s the celebration of the season. Each year more than 20,000 wine lovers descend on the small town of Palisade for the three-day celebration of Colorado wines. There are seminars, tastings and, the main event, the food and wine festival in Riverside Park on the Colorado River. Book early; the town’s hotels, B&Bs and rentals fill up far in advance. This year’s festival will be held Sept. 13–16. 970-464-0111, coloradowinefest.com
Peach Street Distillers
There’s more than wine and fruit going on in Palisade. The Peach Street Distillers (144 Kluge Ave., Palisade, 970-464-1128, peachstreetdistillers.com) create a variety of vodka and gins. They make a mean Moscow Mule but their specialty is a giant Bloody Mary in a quart mason jar. Be careful, though. Colorado is a free-pour state, and they certainly pour freely at Peach Street.
Food Meets Wine
Palisade’s restaurant scene is still catching up to its wine culture, but Inari’s Bistro (336 Main St., Palisade, 970-464-4911, inarisbistro.com) is a charming little restaurant on Main Street that prides itself on pairing local produce with local wines.
Although the Colorado River as it passes through Palisade is not the wild white water found further downstream, it is a pleasant float that can be undertaken on even a small craft. Rapid Creek Cycle also offers rentals and float trips.