"Colorado’s burgeoning wine industry has made serious strides over the years, thanks in part to growing interest in boutique wines and a greater zeal to support locally-grown produce.
"Just two hours west of Vail is the epicenter of the state’s wine industry. With its high, arid climate that brings warm, sunny days and cool nights, the Grand Valley is sort of like the Tuscany of Colorado, producing around 80 percent of the wine grapes for the state.
"Palisade, a quaint town just east of Grand Junction and surrounded by vineyards and farms, is the natural home base for the growing throng of agri-tourists who head here. But its ability to capture that business has been limited by an utter lack of sizeable hotels or inns in town.
"That’s where Jean and Richard Tally have stepped in. The Tallys, who own property up Lake Creek near Edwards and have been visiting the Vail Valley for decades, aren’t exactly wine experts, but they are longtime veterans in the lodging industry, owning several hotels around the state. When Steve Smith, co-owner of the Grande River Vineyards, suggested the Tallys open a hotel near the winery, you could say the couple accepted the challenge, and then spent 10 years traveling to Europe and California doing the research that ultimately shaped the Wine Country Inn, which opened in August.
"The Inn represents the 'best of the best' of what the Tallys saw while visiting wineries during that 10-year period, Jean said.
“'The ones that we were drawn to, that seemed the most welcoming, had adapted the Victorian style,' she said. 'We tried to superimpose those features that we thought were so pleasing and appealing onto a regular hotel structure.'
"With its peaked roof, porches and rocking chairs, the inn complements the Victorian architecture and farmhouse sensibility found elsewhere in the town of Palisade. But it’s still a sizeable hotel, with 80 rooms, meeting spaces, a gift shop, a courtyard with a pool and the 'Vitner’s Guest House' — a large building for weddings, retreats and family reunions with its full kitchen, living and dining rooms and bedrooms. "
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