There's another spotlight of the Grand Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), with a particular emphasis on the culture and small town charm of Palisade. There is also a nice mention of some of the area bed and breakfasts, as well as the Wine Country Inn.
Under the headline, "Big Doings in Small Wine Country Town: Renewed Town Plaza To Premiere in Pocket-size Palisade, The Unofficial Capital of Grand River Wine Country," Travel Reporter Claire Walter writes:
"In Europe and in the longer established wine regions of North America, vineyards surround charming towns boasting a few lovely little inns and a handful of terrific local restaurants, cafes and bakeries. Rather than centuries or even decades old, Colorado's wine industry has mushroomed from virtually nothing to significance in just over 20 years. Of the state's two American Viticultural Areas, the Grand River AVA centers around the Town of Palisade."
"Palisade is stunningly set between the signature Book Cliffs and the soaring Grand Mesa and with the Colorado River (originally called the Grand River) flowing by its doorstep. Surrounded on three sides by orchards and vineyards, it is working hard to retain its agricultural ambiance and also boosting the appeal of the town itself with much-needed visitor-pleasing amenities. The centerpiece is the renewed Town Plaza at Third and Main Streets. The dedication, which is open to the public, will be on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. and will include live music, food and refreshments."
"Town-center improvements include more parking, landscaping, railroad buffering and most importantly, an inviting public gathering place for festivals, events, markets, or just meeting friends. The one-acre Plaza features new trees, shrubs, 15 planting beds, a two-tiered seating wall with a sandstone veneer and improved lighting and electrical service. The Plaza also is the venue for local artist Lyle Nichols's sculpture “Harley,” to be unveiled May 10, 2009. Eventually, a town clock will be located nearby, thanks to the generosity of the Palisade Lions Club."
"Palisade has several appealing bed-and-breakfast inns (A DiVine Thyme, Dreamcatcher, Palisade Wine Valley Inn, The Orchard House and Vistas & Vineyards), an unremarkable motel (the Mesa View) and since last summer, a sizable inn set in the middle of vineyards. The 80-room Colorado Wine Country Inn has more rooms than all the B&B's combined and provides in-town lodging for visitors attending the town's myriad special events (see below) or creating their own special events (weddings being a specialty)."
"Among the upcoming events on the Palisade calendar are the Peach Blossom Art Show (next weekend, April 17-19), the Grand Valley Winery Association's Spring Barrel Tastings (April 25-26 and Mary 16-17), the Palisade Bike Festival (bicycles, not motorcycles, May 8-10), Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival (June 23-13), Parade of Roses (May 30-31), the 41st annual Palisade Peach Festival (August 13-16), Ravenshire Renissance & Pirate Faire (August 21-23) and the Colorado Mountain Winefest (September 17-20). For Coloradans and visitors alike, Palisade is easy to reach. It's right off I-70 and railroad tracks run right through town. Amtrak trains, of course, do not stop in Palisade (the old depot now houses the Peach Street Distillers, which makes vodka and Colorado's first bourbon in the middle of wine country), but the California Zephyr does serve Grand Junction, just a dozen miles away."
"Palisade has scenery that won't quit, vineyards and wineries, orchards and fruit stands, a handful of neat shops, galleries and eateries, places to stay, easy access and terrific festivials other special events. All it needs now, IMO, is a few more really good restaurants -- and locals and visitors to patronize them."