Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States, the Mountain States, and the Southwestern United States.
The 2010 United States Census tallied the state population at 5,029,196 as of April 1, 2010, an increase of +16.92% since the 2000 United States Census.
Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado.
The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Rio Colorado for the red colored (Spanish: Colorado) silt the river carried from the mountains. In 1861, Jefferson Territorial officials decided that "Colorado" would be a fitting name for a new
territory. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it was admitted to the Union as the 38th state in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Colorado wines include award-winning varietals that have attracted favorable notice from outside the
state. With wines made from traditional Vitis vinifera grapes along with wines made from cherries, peaches, plums and honey, Colorado wines have won top national and international awards for their
quality. Colorado's grape growing regions contain the highest elevation vineyards in the United
States, with most viticulture in the state practiced between 4,000 feet (1,219 m) and 7,000 feet (2,134 m) feet above sea level. The mountain climate ensures warm summer days and cool nights. Colorado is home to two designated American Viticultural Areas of the Grand Valley AVA and the West Elks
AVA, where most of the vineyards in the state are located. However, an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range.
There is no universally agreed-upon breakdown of regions in Colorado. You'll often hear natives speak of a very simple structure comprised of the Eastern Slope (meaning everything east of the crest of the
Rockies), or the Western Slope (everything west of the range crest), and anomalous Denver or the "valley". The breakdown below is a bit more complex, partly for reasons of style and partly because the simple east/west/Denver formulation lumps areas together that are really very disparate. It's also roughly what's used by the Colorado Department of Tourism. If you are confused by some of the boundaries, simply consult a map of Colorado counties, as many of the regions follow county lines.