Utah Wine

Wine-Searcher editorial  ·  Last updated 28-Sep-2018
Chardonnay vines at Montezuma Canyon
?Montezuma Canyon Ranch

Utah is a state in the American West, bordering Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona. It has a small winegrowing industry, and higher-profile distilleries and breweries. Utah is often portrayed in the media as one of the least liquor-friendly states in the United States. This largely reflects the Mormon faith's position on abstinence through the late 19th and 20th centuries. All wine, spirits and beers above 4 percent abv must be sold in state liquor stores, and other means of sale and consumption are tightly controlled.

Currently Utah is much better known in other markets for its whiskeys and beers. There are now a handful of distilleries, and over two dozen craft breweries, collectively employing around 5000 people. High West Distillery in Park City was founded in 2006, becoming Utah's first legal still since 1870. In the 1860s there had been 37 distilleries in the state, all owned by Mormons, including one by Brigham Young himself.

Wine

The state's cold, dry climate – along with some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the United States – is not particularly hospitable to vines, but a small wine industry has been built up here since the late 1980s. Classic vinifera varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Muscat Blanc are the most commonly used grapes here.

Vines were first planted in Utah in the 1860s by Mormon settlers who hoped to use the grapes to make sacramental wine. A sizable but short-lived wine industry sprang up in southern Utah in this time near the town of Toquerville, where the Mormon Wine Mission began producing wine to be shipped to the rest of the state. The spread of Mormonism (a religion that practices temperance) led to the abandonment of this industry, which was not to be revived until the 1980s.

The state covers just under 85,000 square miles (220,000 sq km) of high-altitude land within the Rocky Mountain range. Many of the state's wineries can be found along the southern border with Arizona, around Moab and Cedar City. Reaching altitudes as high as 6000ft (1800m) above sea level, these vineyards benefit from warm sunny days and much colder nights, leading to the development of varietal character along with acidity in the wines. Most of these mountain vineyards require irrigation during the dry growing season, and careful frost control due to the marginal climate here.

Currently, Utah has fewer than 10 wineries located within its boundaries. While the harsh terroir may have something to do with these low numbers, the restrictive laws surrounding the production and sale of alcohol have not helped matters.

The Hive winery is probably Utah's best known winery. It specializes in fruit wines and brandies, rather than grape wines.

Utah Wines
Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Product
 
Grape
Popularity
Critics' Score
Avg. Price
Wine Label of High West Distillery A Midwinter Night Dram Straight Rye Whiskey, Utah, USA
976th in popularity
$ 339
93 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 'Yippee Ki-Yay' Blended Straight Rye Whiskey, Utah, USA
3,534th in popularity
$ 277
92 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 'Bourye' Limited Sighting Blended Straight Rye & Bourbon Whiskey, Utah, USA
7,608th in popularity
$ 91
93 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery Very Rare 21 Year Old Rocky Mountain Rye Whiskey, Utah, USA
11,295th in popularity
$ 3,166
89 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery Campfire Whiskey, Utah, USA
12,572nd in popularity
$ 78
91 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 'Rendezvous' Straight Rye Blended Whiskey, Utah, USA
13,654th in popularity
$ 73
90 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 'Double Rye' Straight Rye Whiskey, Utah, USA
15,825th in popularity
$ 37
90 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery Son of Bourye Blended Straight Rye & Bourbon Whiskey, Utah, USA
18,820th in popularity
$ 95
89 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 16 Year Old Rocky Mountain Straight Rye Whiskey, Utah, USA
26,776th in popularity
$ 1,001
86 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery American Prairie Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, Utah, USA
27,624th in popularity
$ 37
89 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 14 Year Old Light Whiskey, Utah, USA
30,802nd in popularity
$ 1,001
Wine Label of High West Distillery 7000 Oat Vodka, Utah, USA
38,536th in popularity
$ 36
Wine Label of High West Distillery Silver OMG Pure Rye Whiskey, Utah, USA
55,384th in popularity
$ 52
85 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery American Prairie Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Utah, USA
60,525th in popularity
$ 39
89 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 'American Prairie' Barrel Select Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Utah, USA
63,613th in popularity
$ 78
Wine Label of High West Distillery The 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan Whiskey, Utah, USA
72,404th in popularity
$ 50
Wine Label of High West Distillery Silver Western Oat Whiskey, Utah, USA
79,118th in popularity
$ 40
84 / 100
Wine Label of Beehive Distilling Jack Rabbit Gin, Utah, USA
Gin
87,373rd in popularity
$ 28
89 / 100
Wine Label of Ogden's Own Distillery 'Porter's Fire' Liqueur, Utah, USA
93,857th in popularity
$ 34
Wine Label of Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka, Utah, USA
97,584th in popularity
$ 29
89 / 100
Wine Label of Uinta Brewing Co. Crooked Line Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine Ale Beer, Utah, USA
115,646th in popularity
$ 12
95 / 100
Wine Label of High West Distillery 'Old Fashioned' Barrel Finished Cocktail, Utah, USA
115,646th in popularity
$ 47
Wine Label of High West Distillery The Barreled Boulevardier, Utah, USA
127,670th in popularity
$ 47
Wine Label of High West Distillery 7000 Peach Flavored Oat Vodka, Utah, USA
134,965th in popularity
$ 77
Wine Label of Uinta Brewing Co. Pumpkin Ale Beer, Utah, USA
134,965th in popularity
$ 4
To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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