Those visiting the beautiful Chaffee County area have a few options for wine tastings. Between Salida, Poncha Springs, and Buena Vista there are two wineries and a neat wine bar to choose from.
Mountain Spirit Winery and Vino Salida Wine Cellars are two wineries near Buena Vista and Salida. Both provide a variety of well-made wines in a welcoming atmosphere. Another option that wine lovers can also appreciate is The Cellar on Railroad. It’s a wine bar serving tapas and dozens of different wines from around the world.
Keep in mind, as with any winery or wine bar, availability, menu and hours may change.
Mountain Spirit Winery
Mountain Spirit Winery produces wine on five acres of farmland, just west of Salida. This boutique winery opened in 1995 and is family-owned by Terry and Michael Barkett, along with their son-in-law Andrew Ritchie.
Surrounded by 14,000-foot mountain vistas, their motto for wine making is “quality wines with a difference”. Cabernet Sauvignon, Blackberry Cabernet Franc, Zin Port, and Merlot Raspberry are a few of the options for red wine. For white wines, there is a Chardonnay and Symphony in White, which is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
For a sweeter option, there are some dessert wines, too. Apple Ice Dessert Wine is a fruit wine that is best served chilled. Similar to a White Zinfandel, Angel Blush has flavors of apple, pear, and raspberry. It’s recommended to pair with Mexican food, stir-fry, and other spicy dishes.
Guests of the winery can tour the facilities and sample wine for free or order a glass or flight. There is seating available both inside and outside, where you’ll find lawn darts, corn hole toss, and a mini-frisbee golf net. Well-behaved dogs are allowed here, as well. Hours vary by season.
15750 CR 220, Salida | 719-539-1175 | mountainspiritwinery.com
Vino Salida Wine Cellars
Situated in Poncha Springs, Vino Salida Wine Cellars has an eclectic variety of award-winning wines. The Rosso Vino Vermouth won Double Gold at Colorado’s Governor’s Cup. For a fee, visitors can take a wine tour, and learn about Colorado wine. The tour also includes a sample of wines and a locally-curated antipasti plate.
Winemaker Steve Flynn’s passion for local also inspires him to make honey mead. There are two styles of mead here – Oak Barrel Aged and Semi-Sweet. Besides wine and mead, the tasting room also serves hard cider, beer, spirits, seltzer, and non-alcoholic options (juice, soda, CBD soda, tea, and non-alcoholic beer).
To go along with the wine, there’s bruschetta, hummus with pickled veggies, cheese, olives, assorted nuts, and a baguette with herbed olive oil. The winery has a dog-friendly patio, live music on the weekends, and patio games. There is also an option for hosting weddings and other private events.
104595 CR 120, Poncha Springs | 719-539-6299 | vinosalida.com
Wine Bar: The Cellar on Railroad
For a comfortable wine bar in downtown Buena Vista, The Cellar on Railroad is a go-to option. It’s described as a relaxed space without pretension, serving numerous wine options and food to complement. Some days offer a happy hour with a discount on the wine.
The extensive wine list is divided into red, white, rose and orange, pet nat, and weird bubbles and bubbles. Symbols are listed next to each wine when applicable, whether the wine is organic, biodynamic, or from a female owner/winemaker. Other drink options include local beers, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic items.
The food menu consists of a few different cheese and charcuterie platters, paninis, and small plates. Tapas include warm Greek olives, pesto with baguette, Greek hummus with warm naan, marinated olives, and bread and oil.
301 East Main Street, Suite 180, Buena Vista | 719-581-0438 | thecellarbv.com