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Sonoma County may not produce as much wine as nearby Napa, but what it lacks in volume, it more than makes up for in variety. You’ll find everything from Chardonnay to Zinfandel here, and TripAdvisor travelers love the laid-back, unpretentious vibe of the wineries. After a strenuous day of wine-tasting, spoil yourself at one of the many local spas.
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse microclimates and soils uniquely suited to the cultivation of a variety of fine wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed wines produced in this small region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc. Small place, big reputation As the first Agricultural Preserve in America, it’s also a region of incomparable natural beauty and winegrowing heritage being preserved for future generations through environmental leadership and community stewardship.
More than 400 wineries dot the fertile soils of Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier viticultural regions. But wine is only the beginning. Lavish resorts and top-rated chefs, at scores of restaurants, work alongside the farmers who tend this land: the result is something understated and exceptional.
Plymouth is best known for its association with the California Gold Rush, but these days, travelers come here seeking great wine instead of precious metals. Fortunately, wine tasting is much easier than panning for gold, though, obviously, not as profitable—just visit one of the many small local wineries. One tip: Come to Plymouth on a weekend, as many establishments have limited tasting hours on weekdays.
Located in the coastal mountain range of central California, Paso Robles (Pass of the Oaks) is close to mountains, beaches and deserts. Grape-growing in the region began in 1797, and there are now more than 170 wineries, 26,000 vineyard acres and 40 varietals of wine. Visit the thermal springs, which are said to have healing powers, or one of the more modern spring resorts in the area.
This charming, small, rural wine region in southern California has a climate similar to that of Spain or southern Italy. So it’s no surprise that Syrah and Sangiovese are among the varietals grown by the 30-plus local wineries. Visit in late May/early June for the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, when hot-air balloons take to the sky over the vineyards.
The wine business in Colorado was booming in the early 20th century—until Prohibition wiped it out. Many vineyards were replanted with fruit trees. But in the 1970s, winemaking returned to Palisade, and the region now produces 75% of Colorado’s wine grapes. Furthermore, in what is truly delicious irony, many wineries make fruit wines using local stone fruit in addition to traditional grape vintages.
The Finger Lakes are a beautiful, quiet respite from the rat race. The region's micro-climate provides the ideal growing conditions for award-winning wines and sparkling wines. There are over 100 wineries along Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga and Canandaigua lakes. Aficionados can choose from several great regional wine trails.
We know what you’re thinking. Wine? On Long Island? And it’s good? Yes, yes and yes. Most vineyards are small and bottle their vintages in very limited runs, so you’re not likely to see them in your local wine store or on many restaurant wine lists. Hence, Long Island is a perfect destination for wine lovers who’ve already tasted their way through Napa and Sonoma. Local Syrah and Merlot are reliably good, but try some sparkling Pinot Blanc and excellent rosé, too.
A cool climate, rainy winters and long daylight hours during growing season add up to amazing Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Lodging options range from hip hotels in downtown Portland to cozy country B&Bs, so you’re sure to find the perfect place to relax after a long day of wine-tasting.
The Texas Hill Country Wineries are spectacular and fun! With 46 unique and visually stunning wineries scattered throughout the Hill Country, from Austin to Fredericksburg and Lampasas to New Braunfels, there’s someplace new to explore around every bend. Each place has its own personality, terroir and style of winemaking, yet all share a commitment to quality and a fervent passion for what they do. We invite newcomers and old friends alike to an award-winning wine experience only Texas can offer. . Stretching through the heart of Texas between major cities like San Antonio and Austin, this region has become a buzzed-about vacation destination, thanks, in large part, to its growing winery scene.
Wineries are beginning to rival the sweet-tasting Walla Walla onion as the hallmark of this lovely town at the foot of the Blue Mountains. In fact, the combination of excellent wineries and appealing scenery has put Walla Walla on the map as one of the hottest new wine-touring regions in the U.S. Try excellent Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
As Yakima Valley's viticulture has matured over the last three decades and its winemaking prospered, many Yakima Valley wineries have cropped up to quick acclaim. As the Washington State wine industry continues to grow, it is a must to visit the Yakima Valley often not only to taste your favorites but to see which new wines and wineries have joined the charming Yakima Valley wine country. The Yakima Valley in eastern Washington lies between Yakima and the Tri-Cities and includes the wine-growing towns of Zillah, Prosser & Benton City.