Utah – Wine Tasting in Moab
As a mountain biking and National Park destination, you may not think of Moab as place for wine tasting. Especially with the amount laws related to alcohol in Utah! We learned the laws the hard way the first night, when browsing the grocery store for meal ingredients as well as a bottle of wine. No wine could be found in the grocery store. Turns out, wine is sold at the State Liquor Store down the street. Although disappointed, it allowed us to do the Delicate Arch Hike at Sunrise. With persistence, we not only made our way to the State Liquor Store, but also two wineries on the outskirts of Moab.
State Liquor Store
The State Liquor Store in Moab is nothing special, but the prices are decent (compared to California) as is the selection. Check the hours before trying to visit, because they extend the store hours during the summertime.
Wine Tasting in Moab
We visited two wineries in Moab: Castle Creek Winery and Spanish Valley Winery. Each had a limited, but delightful selection of wines to taste – primarily light to medium body red wines. Part of the experience is chatting with the locals and learning about how they grow the wines in a challenging climate. Another bonus: the wineries are very casual. I did not feel out of place with sandals, shorts and a blouse.
At a Glance:
- Rating: 3 stars, would stop in to taste again
- Intensity: Sandals, shorts, and a blouse
- Duration: 30 mins – 3 hours
- Cost: Depends on the winery, but the places we went were $1 – $5 and typically waived, if you purchase a bottle of wine
- Location: Outskirts of Moab
- Restrooms: In most tasting rooms
- Mid-day activity that doesn’t involve being in the heat
- Unique wine – have you ever tried cherry wine?
Castle Creek Winery
The drive to Castle Creek Winery is almost worthwhile it its own right. You follow the Colorado River upstream through a valley of gorgeous red rocks. If you look to your left, you are looking at the edge of Arches National Park. The winery is located about 20 minutes outside of Moab and you might lose reception along the way. Just when you think you have passed the winery, the valley walls open up to a canyon and the winery is sitting right at the edge of the Colorado River.
Inside the building there is air conditioning, snacks, and a store of wine-related goodies. Once you snuggle up to the serving bar, but big shocker will hit: it only costs $1 to taste the wines! We couldn’t believe our ears! I believe there are 10 or 12 wines to choose between. Although I was blown away by the wine, I was fascinated by how the grapes were grown and how the soil impacted the wines.
If it wasn’t blistering hot outside, it would have been delightful to buy a bottle of wine and enjoy a picnic on their patio overlooking the Colorado River. If you need a little break after wine tasting, we found a secluded beach to dip our feet in the water. The water was chilly, but also a welcome relief from the heat. Next time I’m in the area during summer, you can bet I’ll be whitewater rafting.
Spanish Valley Winery
Just south of Moab and a little inland is a small vineyard and tasting room called Spanish Valley Winery. We enjoyed a long conversation with the winemaker and about five or six different wines. They have very small batches of wine, so each time we visit, there would likely be new wines to try! The big hit of this winery was their cherry wine. Although it smelled like cherry pie, I was shocked that it taste light, slightly tart, and only a dash sweet. Both Rebecca and I couldn’t resist how refreshing the cherry wine tasted. The perfect drink for summer in Utah. If you visit, you absolutely MUST try the cherry wine.
Although I did not originally plan on going wine tasting while we visited Utah, it was an excellent and inexpensive way to enjoy a leisurely afternoon out of the sun. The wineries also took us a little out of town with a beautiful drive along the Colorado River. I cannot recommend enough to try wine tasting in Moab.
What unusual locations have you been shocked to find wine tasting or other fun tastings?