We weren’t looking for France, but that’s what Alan and I found at Leroux Creek Inn and Vineyards in Hotchkiss, Colorado. Well not exactly France, but we did discover a wonderful mix of Santa Fe adobe, warm hospitality and French cooking set amidst scenery worthy of any vineyard in Provence or the Loire Valley.
The Canyon Room, our southwestern-style home for two nights, included a king size bed, sofa and desk plus views of the vineyard with the West Elk Mountains rising in the distance. In the saltillo-tiled bathroom, a basket of Leroux Creek Spa Products sat on the counter. Owner Joanna Reckert developed the vine-therapy line of beauty aides from the organic grapes grown in her backyard.
The Inn’s public areas entice guests to lounge on the leather sofa in front of a kiva fireplace or linger over breakfast at the dining table with a vineyard view. A professional grade kitchen opens to the living and dining rooms, where owner, wine maker and classically trained French chef, Yvon Gros, presides.
During good weather, guests enjoy breakfast under the grape arbor on the back patio overlooking the vineyard. Hanging baskets of colorful flowers swing in the breeze while guests devour Yvon’s stuffed French toast or eggs benedict southwestern-style.
Baby boomers will find plenty of adventure tucked into this organic farming region of Colorado. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers hiking, rock climbing and rafting. Alan and I chose a trail on the isolated North Rim before gaping over the canyon’s edge at the sheer black walls that line the deep gorge.
Since Leroux Creek Inn and Vineyards sits on the flank of Grand Mesa, bicyclists and equestrians will find plenty of uncrowded trails. Of course, there’s also fly fishing, wine touring or photographing the scenery along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. Or, stay on inn property to explore 47 acres of hiking and nature watching.
Unless you’re at Leroux Creek Inn on one of the nights that Yvon hosts a group dinner, you’ll need to drive to Hotchkiss, Paonia or Crawford for an evening meal. Alan and I drove to Paonia to dine at the Flying Fork Cafe and Bakery in Paonia. We sat at a table in the garden where I tried the Colorado lamb with a mint-chipotle glaze while Alan tasted a pasta combination of fettuccine, mushrooms and sausage.
Whatever you do, end the day on the patio at Leroux Creek Inn. Enjoy the sun setting on the vineyard while sipping a glass of Leroux Creek Vineyard’s Rose de Leroux, made from organically grown Chambourcin grapes. That’s what we did!
Have you visited the Delta County region of Colorado? Post a comment to share your favorite tip about the area. One thing’s for sure. Alan and I will definitely be going back.