If you've been out to Palisade for the Colorado Mountain Winefest and are now dreaming of relocating to Palisade to open a winery, drink local wine or perhaps to simply enjoy the charm of the Grand Valley's peachiest town, you may have to be persistent in your search for the right property.
"There haven't been enough properties for a long time," said Tammy Craig, owner of Fruit and Wine Real Estate in Palisade. "When we opened in 2004, we were averaging 135 to 145 total properties - residential, commercial and land. Right now, we only have 51. It's been around 50 properties for the last two years and has been as low as 38."
What that means to buyers is that if they see a property they like, they might want to make an offer immediately and not take a few days or weeks to think about it.
There is, however, a new residential subdivision currently under construction in Palisade that will eventually bring 72 homes to the community. Cresthaven Acres, which is just east of Palisade High School, right off G Road, is a Chronos Builders development that has taken a little longer than initially planned to have homes available for sale. Three homes are currently under construction, however, with one that will be in the October Housing and Building Association Parade of Homes.
Chronos has six different floor plans that it will use in the neighborhood, with two ranch style plans and four two-story homes. Home sizes range from 1,562 to 2,609 square feet, with estimated price ranges currently ranging from $362,000 to $576,500. Chronos is hoping to start a few pre-sales in the neighborhood once people see the existing homes.
Those who are thinking of Palisade as the perfect place for a second home may want to take a look at Palisade Legends, which is off D 1/2 Road between 33 Road and 33 1/2 Road. Although it's a little farther away from downtown Palisade, it's about a quarter mile from the Colorado Riverfront Trail and the Fruit and Wine Byway, which takes cyclists or drivers on a scenic tour of vineyards and orchards in Palisade and East Orchard Mesa.
Palisade Legends will have 36 cottage-size homes when it is completed, with great neighborhood amenities that could make it perfect for second home owners. Right now, eight homes are under construction, with a completion date of early 2020.
Both Cresthaven Acres and Palisade Legends might be good options for those who simply want to live in Palisade, but wouldn't work for those who want to own a vineyard, open a winery or enjoy a more agricultural lifestyle.
Those who have deep pockets and who would prefer that the heavy lifting of building and establishing the reputation of an award-winning winery to be already done might want to consider Grande River Vineyards. The winery, which is one of the oldest in the state, is currently listed for sale for $3,999,000.
The property includes the 7,800-square foot building, with its winemaking space, lab, offices, warehouse and tasting room, along with a huge dock area, a parking area large enough for 100 cars, a lovely outdoor lawn area that has been the home of a summertime concert series for years, and one of the best locations in Palisade. In addition to the five acres immediately surrounding the winery, there is another adjacent vineyard that is also available.
Operating a vineyard, winery and tasting room is not for anyone who plans on being semi-retired, at least not if they want it to make a profit. It's also not for anyone who has just enough cash to cover the purchase of the property.
"It takes a full year to have any income," said Steve Menke, enologist with Colorado State University Extension. "You can buy a winery and make money, but it's a risk, and you have to have enough money to buy it and operate it."
According to Menke, operating a winery is an emotional business.
"You are in it as a lifestyle or you are not successful," he said. "It's a labor of love, and you have to be committed to it."
Laura and Brandon Black took the plunge almost two years ago, leaving their Front Range jobs and selling their home to buy Mesa Park Vineyards. Although Brandon had a background in broad acreage farming, neither one of them had any experience in the wine industry. Fortunately, the former owners of the winery were willing and able to mentor the young couple, who also remodeled the home that was on the property last winter during the slow season at the winery.
"It's been a ton of work, more than I ever imagined that it would be," said Laura. "But the community in Palisade has been absolutely wonderful. The lifestyle we lead is more fulfilling than what we did in Denver. I wouldn't trade it."
Check out the listings in this week's Real Estate Weekly to find your perfect Palisade property.