Wineries & Agritourism
The Montezuma Valley region is an excellent place to grow fruits and at the turn of the century apple and peach orchards were planted in McElmo Canyon, southwest of Cortez. In 1904, peaches from the canyon won national awards at the St Louis World's Fair. Apple orchards were planted north of Cortez around 1910. Orchard decline began once fruit production shifted to large scale farms and more easily shipped cultivars.
Two major crops are grown in the area, alfalfa in irrigated fields and beans using dryland farming methods. One of the most popular varietals is the Anasazi bean, an old cultivar with a beautiful purple and white speckled color.
With the construction of the McPhee Dam in 1986 on the Dolores River and the rising interest in local food production, the Montezuma Valley region has seen a resurgence in small scale farming. There are number of ways you can experience this agricultural resurgence so for more information, click here.
Montezuma Valley Farm Hub
We are excited to introduce you to the Montezuma Valley Farm Hub, an association of local people who come together around a common passion for Montezuma and Dolores counties' agricultural economy and culture. By supporting producers, consumers, and the connection between the two, we envision a region known throughout the Southwest for its quality fruit, vegetables, beans, grains, meat, dairy, wine and myriad of locally-produced agricultural products.
Our general areas of interest include:
Education: Addressing the significant void left when Pueblo Community College and the Vo-Ag school ceased to offer agricultural classes and training, by developing educational opportunities that focus on the needs of area producers.
Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project: Preserving our local fruit growing heritage and restoring an orchard economy to our region, by working to revive these orchards and the beautiful fruits they once produced.
Support services for local producers: Developing markets, shared resources, regional branding, tools, new directions, and scaling up.
Preserving our rich agricultural heritage and traditions: Sharing the stories and lessons of historic producers.
Partnership: Collaborating with existing markets, organizations and efforts.
High altitude viticulture has found it's way into the Montezuma Valley area where grape varietals such as Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and others are grown. Our hot, dry days and cool evenings create an excellent climate for growing wonderful fruit filled with the complex flavors of our unique terroir. Make sure to take a day to visit these lovely vineyards set in dramatic McElmo Canyon southwest of Cortez and on the high desert plain just north in Pleasant View.