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Abstract

This trip will cover the terroir (geology, climate, and other natural factors) affecting the quality of Colorado's western slope vineyards and the wines produced. On May 17 the group will make a few key geology overview stops through the Rocky Mountains en route to the wine country on the western slope near Grand Junction. On the western slope the physical factors that allow great wine grapes to be grown in Colorado will be explored and these factors will be compared to other wine viticultural areas in the world. The first day vineyards and wineries will be visited for tasting and discussion of terroir, followed by a banquet dinner and a lecture by Meinert on terroir of some of the other wine regions of the world. The group will spend the night in Grand Junction and on May 18 other wineries will be visited for tasting and terroir discussion; lunch will be at the Canyon Wind winery, with a return to Keystone (and Denver) in the late afternoon.

At the end of this chapter, two geological maps (eastern half and western half) show the route of the field trip with trip stops and geological features. These maps are draped on a hillshade of a 90-meter DEM; geological data modified from Green (1992). An 11″×17″-format simplified geological map of Colorado also will be handed out as a reference for the geological transect.

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