It is a winery, a vineyard, a peach orchard, a sorting and packing facility, a country store, agri-tours, an event center, a lavender garden, a corkscrew museum….what is it?? Colterris Wines and High Country Orchards. I was fortunate enough to spend 1.5 hours with owner, Theresa High and discover about all her endeavors. So where to start?? Wine, of course!
Lets start with the grapes…Theresa has 35 acres of grapes consisting of 4 vineyards all named after her family (Theresa, Scott, Katie and Two Brothers [Matthew & Kennan]) and is growing the traditional Bordeaux grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot). She is turning these grapes into delicious wines all under the Colterris Wines brand. She also sells her grapes to many of Colorado’s other wineries.
Next comes High Country Orchards. Here Theresa offers us a country store, where she sells her own brand of peach salsa, jams and honey as well as nostalgic souvenirs and other items. Her son, Keenan manages the store and also gives agri-tours. The orchard also falls under this brand and consists of 71 acres of Palisade peaches and 15 acres of sweet cherries….yum! The state-of-the-art processing facility for peaches is incredible. It is a digital processing facility whereby cameras take pictures of the peaches as they go through the line and are sorted according to size. All the peaches are tree ripened instead of picked green. There are solar panels that produce 119% of the energy needed to operate the packing facility. Michelle Obama was served some of Teresa’s peaches and thought they were the best she had ever eaten. In fact, the Obamas came to the orchard to pick their own in 2009!!
Theresa is currently growing several varieties of lavender, which is an emerging product in the Grand Valley. For more information on the Lavender Festival in Palisade, click here. If you are looking for a beautiful place for your wedding, look no further. For Theresa’s daughter, Katie’s wedding, they built a gazebo that sits on top of the mesa overlooking the Colorado River, the Book Cliff Mountains and the peach orchards. And finally, while you are enjoying some of Colterris wines, check out husband, Scott’s “Corkscrew Museum”….its a hoot!