For award-winning wines and a friendly, laid-back tasting experience, visit Zion Vineyards just outside of Zion National Park in southern Utah.
On our recent trip to a couple of Utah's stunning national parks, we also enjoyed checking out the state's burgeoning wine industry.
Utah hasn't been a huge wine destination in the past, but several vineyards have been popping up in recent years. Some of them have even banded together to create the Utah Wine Trail.
Zion Vineyards opened their tasting room in May 2023, just a couple of weeks before we visited! It turned out to be a fun stop on our trip, with a chance to try some award-winning wines. Here's what to expect if you go!
Finding Zion Vineyards
It's right there in the name — this vineyard is an easy drive from Zion National Park. It's located in the small town of Leeds, Utah.
Water Canyon Winery is another great stop, less than an hour further south.
The Tasting Room
The tasting room is open 7 days a week and costs $25 per person as of 2023. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can call for a reservation if you have a larger group, or fill in the request form on the winery website.
Utah doesn’t allow tasting discounts, even if you buy a bottle.
The new tasting room is a relaxed space, with a door that rolls up so you can enjoy the fresh air and a view of the vineyard.
There are mostly Spanish and Italian style wines made here (no sweet wines, which is okay by me!). The tempranillo won a gold medal at the 2022 Utah Wine Festival, which sounds like a lovely event.
This was probably the most laid-back, casual tasting I’ve ever had. And I loved it!
We sat with Dan (and his dog Bash) and chatted while we tasted wines. It was a wonderful experience — the wines were fantastic.
We noticed that there were lots of flavorful, dry wines that weren’t so tannic or dry that they were hard to drink in the desert heat.
Our favorites were:
• Grenache Blanc, a cloudier white with extra fruity (but not overly sweet) notes that reminded me of a dry cider
• Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, which was jammier than a lot of cabs I’ve tried
• Primitivo, an Italian-style Zinfandel with mildly sour bites. We were sure it would go perfectly with a hard or stinky cheese.
We also had the chance to look over the vineyard a little bit and see the early stages of grape growing, surrounded by the rugged, red terrain that Utah is so well known for.
Bash kept us company. The vineyard dogs are friendly to visitors and add a note of happy light-heartedness to the property.
If you're spending any time in southern Utah, I hope you get to visit Zion Vineyards and have just as fun a day as we did. Let us know in the comments what your favorite wines are from here!