Vineyard Descriptions

We own and lease several vineyards the Grand Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) located near Grand Junction, Colorado. Production of grapes from our vineyards began in 1998. In 2002 (an unusual year of problems at other vineyards) we produced 13% of the total Colorado winegrape crop.

The high desert climate of warm summer temperatures, low rainfall, and ample irrigation water creates unique mesoclimate ideal for the growing of fruit crops. Most of the peaches and grapes grown in Colorado come from the head of the Grand Valley near the town of Palisade. As Galileo noted, "Wine is sunlight, held together by water." With plenty of high altitude sunlight and water, the Grand Valley provides ideal conditions for the production of premium wine.

Bacchus amat colles -- Roman Proverb (Bacchus loves the hills)

Three of our vineyard locations are on Orchard Mesa, a predominant fruit growing mesa that rises about 200 feet above and immediately south of the Colorado River. The elevation of the vineyards is about 4820'. The mesa has exceptional cold air drainage into the surrounding valley.

Whitewater Hill derives its name from the hill that abuts our vineyards on the mesa. This projecting hill from the Grand Mesa divides the Grand Valley of the Colorado from the Delta / Whitewater Valley of the Gunnison.

The oldest vineyard is the 31 Road vineyard, aptly named because it is located on 31 Road. The vineyard consists of seven blocks, Cabernet Sauvignon (1995), Chambourcin (2013), Low Riesling (2010-2013), North Merlot (2000), High Merlot (2003), Chardonnay (1996) and North Chardonnay (2003).

The Cabernet Sauvignon is the oldest planting and was planted to the best soil and location on the property for growing grapes. The block is cobblestone clay soil and has excellent cold air drainage. It has produced quality grapes every year since 1998.

The High Merlot and Merlot blocks are also limited to top of the hill locations for better winter survival. The Low Riesling and Chambourcin are more cold hardy grapes and are planted on the lower and colder areas of the property. The Chardonnay and North Chardonnay blocks have had limited production in recent years and will probably be reduced in size in the future.

31 Road Cabernet Sauvignon (1/6/4)

The next oldest vineyard is located on 32 Road, which is also the location of our winery and tasting room. The 32 Road vineyard consists of seven blocks: Muscat Blanc (2000), Cabernet Franc (2000), Merlot (2000), Syrah (2000), Roadside Syrah (2003), St. Vincent (2014) and Aromella (2014). The entire vineyard is cobblestone clay soil and has excellent cold air drainage -- it is a premium site to the surrounding area. St. Vicent is planted in the lowest and coldest corner of the vineyard.

The Weigel Vineyard was planted entirely to Riesling in 2005. Only the best location and soil was planted on the property and is a premium site. It has produced quality grapes every year since 2007.

Irrigation water to the vineyards on the mesa is provided from the Bureau of Reclamation Grand Valley Project on the Colorado River where water is diverted and pumped using gravitational hydraulic energy up onto the mesa. The project operates two canals, a lower canal known as Number 1 and an upper canal known as Number 2.

Orchard Mesa Irrigation District Pumping Station and Power Plant (1/6/4)

For additional information on Colorado winegrowing, please continue to Colorado Viticulture.

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Lots of great world wide wine adventures on our niece Tracy's wine and travel blog. And it seems John and I were an inspiration, what a wonderful compliment!

Dear readers, I wanted to update you that this will be my VERY LAST POST here in this space. No tears please! I'm not going to stop writin...

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Whitewater Hill Vineyards & Winery's cover photo

Whitewater Hill Vineyards & Winery's cover photo

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