Utah’s First Winery: Castle Creek Winery
Moab, Utah is full of surprises: dinosaur fossilized footprints, over 2000 naturally occurring rock arches, and Utah’s first winery: Castle Creek Winery. Castle Creek Winery is one of two Moab wineries which total six in the entire state, but Castle Creek Winery remains the largest commercial winery in Utah.
As a father/son labor of love, Will Friar ventured to grow grapes on their cozy Red Cliffs Lodge property on the banks of the Colorado River, about 20 minutes outside of Moab on Hwy 128.
With nine wines, their ambition is admirable and it’s starting to pay off. Over the last 15 years they’ve pulled themselves up by their cowboy boot straps to create award-winning wines out of Moab’s red clay earth. Among those blue-ribbon wines include Castle Creek Lilly Rose White, Castle Creek Chardonnay, Castle Creek Gewurztraminer and Castle Creek Outlaw Red.
Due to Utah liquor laws, the tasting room is open daily at 10 am, but only allowed to offer pours at noon. My friend and I did not know this and got there a bit too early, but they have a quaint little museum downstairs about Utah’s wine industry, which dates back to the 1800’s, and a little movie to watch, so we spent our time well while counting every minute until the clock struck twelve.
A tasting consists of up to four of their wines that you mark off like you would if you were ordering sushi. Castle Creek Wines are winsome wines, especially if you prefer your fermented grape juice on the sweeter side. My personal favorite was the Castle Creek Kid Red wine. Besides their whimsically labeled wines which make great souvenir gifts, compared to pricey California wines, Castle Creek Wines are budget-friendly at around $9-$13 a bottle.
Also on the Red Cliffs Lodge property is an elaborate museum to all the movies that have been filmed in Moab with actual memorabilia and posters from John Wayne westerns to Thelma & Louise. Speaking of JW, don’t forget to say hello to him and ask him to strike a pose.
Castle Creek Winery & the Museum of Film & Western Heritage is a unique way to spend an afternoon in Moab to add a little diversity to your rugged outdoor activities like hiking, biking and white water rafting.
Castle Creek Winery, Milepost 14, HWY 128, Moab, Utah 84532. Open daily 10 am – 7 pm.
For more things to do in Utah’s majestic Moab playground, visit www.discovermoab.com
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