Utah Wine Overview

Utah isn’t a big wine state, but grapes are grown here. Although parts of Utah are relatively flat with scorching summers, much of the state is shielded from harsh climate conditions by mountain ranges in the north and east. One specific area in eastern Utah, along the Colorado River near the town Moab, is quite suitable for grape growing and has the largest concentration of vineyards in the state.

There are two wineries near Moab, Castle Creek Winery which is quite near Arches National Park, and Spanish Valley Vineyards and Winery just a few miles to the south. Castle Creek uses their own grapes and grapes from other local Utah growers to produce distinctly Utah wines, including a Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Spanish Creek also grows grapes on site and offers a full range of wine styles as well.

For such a large geographical state, it’s interesting to note there are only five wineries in Utah. Much of that stems from the large influence of the Mormon faith in the state. Wineries were just recently allowed to remain open on Sundays and holidays to allow them to take advantage of tourists visiting Utah’s attractions. The sale of wine is tightly controlled in Utah. You can only buy wine at state-run wine stores, which interestingly enough, offer a tremendous selection, albeit at high markup.

Utah Wine Trail

Needless to say, there isn’t a wine trail in Utah. If another winery or two decided to set up shop in the Moab area, there might be potential for one, although we suspect winery owners would face ample objection from the state. On the positive side though, hearsay from Utah winery owners indicates they’re generally allowed to run their businesses as necessary, although they’re limited in some aspects of advertising.

Should you visit Utah, please try to support local Utah wineries! If you wish, you can order wine by mail, state laws permitting, directly from Castle Creek and Spanish Valley.

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