Carlson Vineyards


Garrett and Cailin Portra

In 1981, Carlson Vineyards’ founders, Parker and Mary Carlson, planted their first vines over four acres on East Orchard Mesa above Palisade, Colorado. Seven years later, they established the winery in a vintage, 1930s fruit-packing shed. What started out as a humble hobby eventually took over all spare space in their house, and has grown into one of Colorado’s most award-winning and recognizable wineries.

Their sun-ripened local grapes grow best along the Western Slope, where warm days and cool nights yield juicy grapes that produce distinctive wine flavors. This family-run winery, currently run by Garrett and Cailin Portra, is a favorite stop among Coloradans and tourists alike, who seek a “homey” and relaxed tasting room.

They are known for their unique and often humorous wine names, like Sipasaurus, Prairie Dog Blush, along with names like Fat Cat and Laughing Cat, a reflection of their deep affection for their pets.Today, their national and international award-winning wines can be found in liquor stores and wine shops, as well as online. For more information, visit and find them on Facebook.

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