Tucked into the high alpine environment of the Rocky Mountains sits the Continental Divide Winery – the highest altitude winery in the world at 10,361 feet! Contrary to popular belief, the thin air found at this higher elevation actually helps preserve the original taste of the grapes for a much longer time period to provide the most authentic experience. Because the winery is located on the Continental Divide, grapes from California and Colorado are combined to make their wine. Using grapes from different areas help guests understand how different soils, weather and climate effect the flavor of a grape.
Beyond the unique location, Continental Divide Winery offers an award-winning blending experience for guests who are interested in not only sampling wine, but making their own using authentic vintner equipment. For $75 every guest will create, bottle, label and cork his or her own bottle of wine. Every participant gets a souvenir bottle, but if you would like to purchase multiple bottles or even cases of your wine creation you have that option! The experience from start to finish will take approximately 90 minutes. In order to provide a personalized experience, the maximum number of attendees is 16 people per session – therefore, reservations are highly recommended. This activity is perfect for any of age group interested in learning how to make wine and getting the chance to enjoy their work of art at the end. There is no previous experience necessary to participate in this unique activity!
Not only is The Continental Divide Winery well known for their wine tasting and making experience, but they are also an impressive winery because they participate in environmentally sustainable practices. Their advanced fermentation equipment uses 75-90% less water than other wineries which leads to a 95% reduction in sanitation agents that are sent down the drain! The grape waste that is created by the wine making process is donated to a company that turns the waste into probiotics or fertilizer so there is no landfill needed. One of the vineyards on the property, Gold Creek is one of the few entirely “off the grid” vineyards in the world where only solar powered is used. Additionally, the winery recycles styrofoam, glass and cardboard.
There are two tasting and retail locations for Continental Divide Winery – one in Breckenridge and the other in Fairplay. Both locations are open daily from noon to 7pm. There is plenty of lodging in both areas if you would like to stay the night before or after your wine making experience. In Breckenridge, check out Mountain Thunder Lodge, Beaver Run, Main Street Station and the Residence Inn. If you are in the Fairplay area, check out A Riverside Inn or the Fairplay Hotel. This is a must-do if you’re looking or a truly unique winery experience where you can learn to make your own wine. Support a locally owned and operated business, learn something new, and help out the environment all while enjoying your favorite vino!