Two Western Slope vineyards will be marketing more than their white wine this summer.
Terror Creek Winery, a 260-acre property in Paonia, went up for sale last week for $2.9 million.
And if that’s not in your budget, Mesa Winds Farm in Hotchkiss hit the market for $895,000, just 17 miles northeast. That 36-acre parcel includes peach and apple orchards as well as grape vines.
Each property comes with the equipment to grow, harvest and ferment grapes.
“It’s very unusual,” said real estate broker Mark Shaffer, who is co-listing the properties with Yvon Gros. “We sell some orchards, we see them come up. But you don’t see (vineyards) coming up very often at all.”
Local winemakers say the area’s high elevation, dry climate and cool evenings especially suit white grapes. There are ten wineries within a 40-minute drive radius and more nearby in Palisade. Colorado has more than 100 wineries, according to the state’s tourism office.
John and Joan Mathews took over the Terror Creek Winery in 1992. The pair had previously lived in Switzerland, where Joan learned the art of making Alsatian-style wines. Terror Creek lists three white and two red wines for sale on its website.
Besides the vineyard, the property includes a four-bedroom home, a tasting room and livestock.
Mesa Winds Farm, half an hour northeast, was started in 1973. The property comes with a five-bedroom home, a guest house, a winery building with coolers and sheep that graze the vineyard and pasture.
Current owners Wink Davis and Max Eisele took over the farm in 2005. They bottle and label 4,800 bottles of wine a year.
“I like to say that I gave myself a sixtieth birthday present of buying the farm I’d always dreamed of,” said Davis. “Now I’m 71 years old. The vast majority of farmers in this country are reaching retirement age and we’re among them.”
For a buyer looking to sell produce, the spot is a mile from an organic fruit packing facility. Mesa Winds uses the packer to send its peaches and apples to local grocery stores like Whole Foods and City Market. And Davis said the property sale includes available wine inventory, so that his successor can sell bottles “right from the get go.”
Davis, who was a lawyer at the nonprofit Trust for Public Land before taking over the farm full time, would like more time to advocate for agricultural policies. And he said both he and his wife want to visit their grandchildren out of state more often.
Shaffer, the broker co-listing the vineyards, said that while both operations are profitable, most prospective buyers aren’t interested in the money.
“What you’re selling here is a lifestyle,” Shaffer said. “It’s not a great money maker at this point, but if you’ve got some ambition and you’re young and strong and want to do that kind of work, there’s upside that way.”