Red or white? Sweet or dry? Wine lovers know that there is so much more to the drink than meets the eye. Fortunately, there are also more than a few regions across the country where you can sip until your heart’s content. Take a look at the top spots to quench your thirst!
Napa Valley, California
Napa is almost synonymous with “wine country,” in the U.S., and for good reason. There are more than 400 vineyards in Napa Valley alone, and if you include neighboring Sonoma, that brings the number to more than 600! All of the wineries feature tours and tasting rooms, so you’ll have to make a few return trips to experience them all. The area’s relatively warm and dry weather, along with many world-class restaurants, makes it a perfectly lovely place to explore year-round … especially if you’re a big fan of good food and drink.
Finger Lakes, New York
This sleepy section of Upstate New York boasts three distinct “trails,” each offering a little something different at the various member wineries that line the Seneca, Keuka, and Cayuga lakes. Check their website, www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com, for seasonal events that offer food and fun along with several different varieties of vino. Summer and fall are the best (and most popular) times to visit, but you may get a more personal experience in the off-season. Lodging is varied here as well, with accommodations ranging from B&Bs to campgrounds.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Just outside of bustling Portland, Willamette Valley wineries make for a great day trip destination at any time of the year. While most would agree there’s no such thing as too much wine, the 250 area wineries can overwhelm even the most die-hard aficionado. When you need a break from all of the tours and tastings, check out a local art gallery, take a bike tour, or even experience a hot air balloon ride.
The Monticello Wine Trail sounds good, looks beautiful, and tastes even better! It all started with Thomas Jefferson, who had a grand vision for his home state. Today, our forefather’s dream has certainly come to fruition (pun intended) with 30 member wineries spread throughout the gorgeous Charlottesville area. You may not necessarily associate Virginia with wine, but the state is actually the fifth largest producer of the beverage in the entire country!