The only thing more surprising than finding lush vineyards in Mesa Verde Country is quality of the locally grown wine! Just six miles from Cortez, McElmo Creek cuts through the desert landscape giving way to a slender oasis – ripe for vinemaking.

What began as a hay farm gradually transformed into one of Colorado’s most acclaimed wineries – Guy Drew Vineyards. Guy Drew wines have been recognized by Wine Spectator and are featured in numerous restaurants throughout Colorado. Tours of the winery are available everyday from noon to 5 p.m. Visit the new tasting room in Cortez at the Mesa Indian Trading Company & Gallery, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from May to mid October.

Just down the road is Sutcliffe Vineyards. The landscape consists of 36 organically farmed acres of Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Petit Verdot nestled at the foot of the Sleeping Ute Mountain. Everything from harvesting grapes to making and bottling the wine takes place here. Several of Sutcliffe’s wines have been recognized by Wine Enthusiast. The tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wines may be purchased on its site or ordered through the Sutcliff Vineyards Wine Society.

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