The Ride Collective proudly presents The Wine Ride, the 28th Tour de Vineyards that provides two course options and promises a vibrant blend of scenic views, sumptuous wines, and spirited cycling.
Due to its unique nature, it’s picked as one of our best road cycling events in Colorado and the Rockies, the two ride options showcase the beautiful scenery of Grand Valley and Western Slope, including multiple vineyards, orchards, and wineries.
Event & Course Info
There’s something magical about weaving through wineries, orchards, and mesas as fall’s first hues paint the landscapes. The Tour de Vineyards offers participants two distinct route options: relaxed 23-mile jaunt with 880 ft of climbing along the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway, or a challenging 58-mile course with a captivating loop up and over Reeder Mesa and 2,300+ ft of elevation gain.
Both paths immerse riders in the captivating beauty of the Grand Valley and the Western Slope. The charm of the route is complemented by the tour’s proximity to the Colorado Mountain Winefest in Riverbend Park, allowing participants to wind down with wines after their ride (though a separate ticket is necessary).
The shorter route is perfect for those who want to bask in nature’s beauty without the added physical challenge. While on the 58-mile route, riders should be prepared for diverse terrains, from smooth stretches to challenging descents and tight curves. Three aid stations are located at Carlson Vineyards at 9.6 miles, Lazy S Arrow Motel at 21 miles, and Lazy S Arrow Motel at 41 miles. These stations are well-equipped with hydration mixes, water, fresh fruit, snacks, portalets, bike tech support, and essential first-aid supplies.
Given that theTour de Vineyards takes place on open roads, safety is paramount. Participants will find route signs, law enforcement, medical personnel, road marshals, and SAG wagons for assistance. Cyclists are encouraged to start between 7:00 – 7:30 a.m., with all riders expected on the route by 8:00 a.m.
Post-ride, Downtown Palisade is the place to be! All participants are treated to a brunch, and the area will also host an expo featuring the latest in cycling gear, equipment, accessories, and nutrition. Those in the mood for relaxation can indulge in massages, while an exciting lineup of live music adds to the festivities. For those looking for an enhanced experience, the VIP Reception at Carboy Winery on September 15 is an unmissable event. It offers a plush evening filled with local delicacies, live music, vineyard tours, and private packet pick-ups. There are also multiple other wineries close to the finish line like Veraison Vineyards and Winery, De Beque Canyon, and Grande River Vineyards.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or someone looking for a novel way to experience Colorado’s Wine Country, the Tour de Vineyards promises a memorable event. Be sure to check out the official 2023 Rider Guide for all of the nitty gritty details.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
Palisade, nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Wine Country, boasts lush vineyards, scenic orchards, and breathtaking mesas, making it a picturesque haven on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. This charming town is celebrated for its rich agricultural heritage, especially its renowned peaches and premium wines.
Recommended accommodations for Tour de Vineyards include Wine Country Inn, Palisade Wine Valley Inn, and Spoke & Vine Motel. For those that prefer a more home-like experience there are plenty of vacation rentals depending on your needs, from vineyard cottages to downtown homes. And if you enjoy sleeping under the stars, there are many campgrounds in the area including Camp Eddy, James M Robb Colorado State Park, and RV Ranch as well as unique camping locations.
The area tantalizes the palate with a vibrant culinary scene deeply rooted in its agricultural abundance, offering farm-to-table eateries, renowned peach delicacies, and a plethora of wineries producing premium Colorado wines. The town serves as a gastronomic hub on the Western Slope, where fresh produce meets innovative culinary artistry. Local favorites include Peche. Restaurant, Fidel’s Cocina & Bar, and Le Snack Palisade.
As the golden hues of September blanket the region, outdoor enthusiasts find in Palisade an idyllic playground. The Palisade Rim Trail offers one of the most breathtaking hiking experiences in the region. As the name suggests, this trail takes hikers along the rim of the mesa, offering panoramic views of the Colorado River, the town of Palisade, and the sprawling vineyards. The Lower Loop spans about 3.5 miles, it’s perfect for those looking for a shorter hike with the same magnificent views, while the Upper Loop is a longer 6-mile round trip that ascends further and offers even more spectacular vistas, especially during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset. The unique Ute petroglyphs along the trail provide a touch of historical intrigue to the journey.
For the rock climbers of the group, the Cameo Cliffs just a short drive from Palisade, provide rock climbers with a range of routes that cater to both beginners and experts. The solid Wingate sandstone formations offer fantastic grip, and the routes are well-bolted. With the cooling September temperatures, climbers can enjoy longer sessions without the summer’s scorching heat. And as they ascend, the views of the Grand Valley below add to the thrill.
Finally, September’s mellow climate makes it an opportune time to explore the gentle yet invigorating waters of the Colorado River that meanders near Palisade. As vineyards showcase their fall colors, rafters can embark on a journey downriver, experiencing a mix of serene stretches and exciting rapids. Several local outfitters offer half-day to full-day rafting trips, often providing all necessary equipment and guidance, ensuring a safe and thrilling experience for both novice and seasoned rafters. As you glide down the river, expect to be treated to stunning views of the red rock cliffs, sprawling orchards, and the occasional wildlife sighting.
The Ride Collective, formerly known as the Outside Events Cycling Series, is a portfolio of eight professionally-produced events and races in both Colorado and New Mexico. Host venues and terrain vary from the Front Range to the Rocky Mountains to the High Desert. TRC strives to create an inclusive culture where cyclists of almost all abilities can enjoy the simple pleasures of riding a bicycle. For some, it’s about the challenge, others do it for a cause, but everybody enjoys surfing the energy of the group. The Ride Collective events range from 300 to 3,000 participants, with a portion of event proceeds benefiting local and regional nonprofit organizations. The full calendar of events includes the following:
- Wild Horse Gravel – May 20
- Sunrise to Sunset Castle Park – June 3
- Crooked Gravel – July 22
- Sunrise to Sunset Winter Park – July 22
- Copper Triangle – August 5
- Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour – August 12
- Tour of the Moon – September 9
- Tour de Vineyards – September 16
For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in the state of Colorado and broader Rockies region, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class trail running, gravel and mountain biking events.