• Image about Fork
In a state that offers some of the world’s best terrain for skiing, hiking, biking, and just about every other outdoor sport, it’s easy to overlook Colorado’s wine country. But this fall, when the Rocky Mountain foliage is at peak viewing, venture an hour outside of Grand Junction into Delta County for a taste of the high country.

  • Image about Fork

STAY:
In the summertime, SMITH FORK RANCH (pictured above left and center) in Crawford offers activity-packed, weeklong dude ranch vacations. Come fall, the pace relaxes a bit, and the ranch welcomes guests for shorter stays to enjoy activities such as horseback riding, fly-fishing, and visits to local wineries and orchards. Just be back in time for dinner: Smith Fork serves up gourmet fare prepared with an abundance of local ingredients . Stay in one of the guest cabins or in the main lodge; all are decked out in ranch-chic furnishings. smithforkranch.com

  • Image about Fork

TASTE:
The Colorado Wine Board offers maps directing you to the many wineries that dot the region, but here’s a list of some to include on your itinerary. (Call ahead, though, to ensure that the proprietors are there to welcome you.) coloradowine.com

JACK RABBIT HILL in Hotchkiss is the only certified biodynamic winery in the state — and one of only a few dozen in the country. (970) 835-3677, jackrabbithill.com

Olathe is home to some of the best sweet corn in the nation; newcomer GARRETT ESTATE CELLARS hopes the town will soon boast wine as a favored export too. (970) 901-5919, garrettestatecellars.com

Enjoy art as you sip at the SURFACE CREEK WINERY & GALLERY in Eckert. (970) 835-9463, surfacecreek.com

  • Image about Fork
Don’t miss the awe-inspiring views — or the Alsatian-style wines — at TERROR CREEK WINERY in Paonia, said to be the Northern Hemisphere’s highest winery. (970) 527-3484, terrorcreekwinery.com

SHOP:
Pay a visit to DELICIOUS ORCHARDS, a farmer’s market that’s home to North Fork Cellars, a cider producer. freshapplecider.com

Abutting the North Fork of the Gunnison River, ORCHARD VALLEY FARMS is a farm market and home to Black Bridge Winery’s tasting room. blackbridgewinery.com