"Rocky Mountain HIGH"! Colorado’s grape-growing regions are among the highest in the world – from 4,000-7,000 feet. Quality grape growing requires an environment where there are hot days and cool nights. The high elevation vineyards ensure this here, with cool evenings maintaining acidity and hot days ripening the grapes. There are currently around 750 acres under vine, spread mostly between two viticultural areas, Grand Valley and West Elks. By 1910, there were more than 1,000 farmers with vineyards and the industry was booming. However, Prohibition wiped out the wine industry in these parts. Today there are over 60 wineries in the state, with more on the way. Vinifera varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Hybrids are also cultivated here, as their winter hardiness makes them an ecological success.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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