Grand Valley AVA

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Grand Valley AVA
Wine region
Colorado River Grand Valley.jpg
Colorado River running through the Grand Valley
TypeAmerican Viticultural Area
Year established1991[1]
Years of wine industry40 years
CountryUnited States
Part ofColorado
Climate regionContinental
Heat units3215 degree days
Precipitation (annual average)9 inches annually
Total area75,990 acres (30,752 ha)[2]
Size of planted vineyards600 acres
Grapes producedBlack Muscat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Ottonel, Orange Muscat, Pinot gris, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Sangiovese, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Viognier[3]
No. of wineries25

The Grand Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Mesa County, Colorado, surrounding the cities of Grand Junction and Palisade. The AVA is defined as the irrigated agricultural area served by canals within the Grand Valley of the Colorado River.

The AVA encompasses 75,990 acres (30,750 ha); the terrain is varied, ranging from alluvial soils along the Colorado River to stony and loamy soils on mesas. Climate is high desert, subject to swings of temperature and wide diurnal variation; the AVA enjoys the most temperate climate within the state of Colorado, with the USDA cold hardiness zone ranging from 6 to 7.[4] The eastern part of the AVA near the town of Palisade has consistent breezes that provide good air drainage, reducing the risk of frost. During a typical growing season, the valley is hot and dry with lots of sunny days.[3]

Viticulture began in the area in the late 19th century. State Governor George A. Crawford planted a 60 acres (24 ha) vineyard in the Grand Valley in 1890. Most of the Colorado grape production is from the Grand Valley AVA and hence many wineries are located there. Vineyards in the valley are planted at elevations as high as 4,700 feet (1,400 m) above sea level. However, the continental climate somewhat limits the varieties used in grape production and not all varieties produce adequate yields. Grape varieties planted within the AVA vary widely and average yields are relatively low at about 2.5 tons/acre.[5] Wine styles range from dry white and red wines, to semi-sweet and dessert wines, and even icewine.[6]

In 2018, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Colorado's Grand Valley AVA one of the Top Ten wine travel destinations in the world.[7]


  1. ^ Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.137 Grand Valley." Archived 2009-09-07 at the Wayback Machine Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Feb. 1, 2008.
  2. ^ Colorado Wine (2019). "COLORADO’S UNIQUE AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS". Retrieved Feb. 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Appellation America (2007). "Grand Valley (AVA): Appellation Description". Retrieved Feb. 1, 2008.
  4. ^ USDA. "USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map""
  5. ^ Colorado State University. "Colorado Grape Statistics"
  6. ^ Colorado Wine. "Colorado Wine - Grand Valley AVA"
  7. ^