Lord Byron rightly said, “Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil.” If your travel dream right now is about wandering through vineyards with a glass of the local wine in hand, we have a perfect plan for you. Here are the top wine destinations in the United States of America that all the travel-loving wine aficionados need to add to their travel bucket list for 2021.
Here are the top wine destinations in the United States of America
California boasts of endless rows of vines that generate amazingly diverse wine tasting experience. It is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world and about 90 percent of all wine in the United States is made here. So, it’s the perfect place for experienced and novice drinkers to taste and learn about wine.
Sample the flavors at the two world-famous wine regions of the Golden State: Napa Valley and Sonoma County, both about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Follow Silverado Trail, the ultimate Napa Valley wine route, which is a rural, scenic route dotted with stellar wineries. Prestigious wineries with Silverado Trail addresses include Joseph Phelps, ZD Wines, and Miner Family Winery. Sonoma County encompasses 18 American Viticultural Areas, (or AVA, a recognized wine-growing region) which are home to more than 425 wineries producing more than 60 grape varietals. Top wines include pinot noir, chardonnay, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc.
You can also visit Gold Country in the Sierra foothills. The roots of old Zinfandel grapevines run deep in this northeastern region of California — winemaking here dates to the Gold Rush era of the 1850s. Today, the Gold Country is booming with wineries, wine tours, tasting rooms and restaurants. Other wine regions in California include Mendocino County, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara,and Temecula.
Virginia is for lovers of wine and is home to more than 300 wineries, and dozens of wine trails surrounded by lavish scenery, breathtaking views, quaint small towns and monumental historic sites. Northern Virginia is next door to the United States’ capital, Washington, D.C. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, Loudoun County, features more than 40 wineries and tasting rooms on rolling hills and cliff-edged slopes. Notable wineries here include Breaux Vineyards, Chrysalis Vineyards, Stone Tower Winery, and Greenhill Winery and Vineyards.
Wine lovers will find plenty to toast to in West Virginia, where off-the-beaten-path wineries often boast rolling mountain views and tranquil grounds. Shenandoah Valley is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the Appalachian region of the eastern US, covering land along the western edge of Virginia and spilling into the easternmost portion of West Virginia.
In Central Virginia, Charlottesville makes a great starting point for a tour of the Monticello Wine Trail, which will lead you to some of the area’s most renowned vineyards. Jefferson Vineyards and Barboursville Vineyards — two pioneers that boast both excellent wine and historical roots going back to the first attempts at vine growing in the region — should be on anyone’s short list.
The premier wine region within Oregon is the Willamette Valley, which has gained a worldwide reputation for its stellar Pinot Noir wines. Take your time in Oregon’s largest wine region; it’s a place you’ll want to explore. Here you’ll find lush vineyards and farms, tended by families who are passionate about growing the best wine grapes and freshest foods. Sit back and savor a glass of the world-renowned pinot noir and mouth-watering meals prepared from locally grown ingredients. Enjoy the scenery by cycling along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. The route winds through nearly the entire valley, past vineyards and orchards and through historic towns. The Willamette Valley is also gifted with rugged mountain peaks and heart-stopping waterfalls.
Tualatin Valley is just a short drive from Willamette Valley where 30 amazing wineries are scattered around the area. One of the more popular is Union Wine Co., which makes wines under three labels and is known for its tasty red and white wines in a can. Another favorite is the internationally renowned Ponzi Vineyards, where you can choose from several touring and tasting options in a sleek, modern winery set in the gorgeous Chehalem Mountains.
Did you know! Apart from these well-known destinations, there are other regions in the United States that are just as ripe for the sipping and definitely worth adding to your travel bucket list!
Best known as a fruit-growing region – and the USA’s leading producer of tart cherries – Michigan’s Traverse City is a major wine and craft beer destination. The region’s wineries have gained an international reputation for the clean, elegant taste and bouquet of their wines. Many people love to visit the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula to sample the award-winning wines.
The scenic Leelanau Peninsula, just north and west of Traverse City, is home to 24 award-winning wineries located within diverse micro climates uniquely suited for a variety of wine grapes. The Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail is comprised of ten wineries that are as distinct and full of character as the wines they serve. The wine trail can be savored in a single day trip or joyously stretched out over several days.
Grand Junction is Colorado’s wine country with more than 20 wineries and year-round tasting rooms open to the public. The wineries produce a myriad of wines, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay. You’ll also find lavender, honey and fruit wines, hard ciders, and even a late harvest ice wine. Beyond wine country, Grand Junction is an outdoor paradise within the famous Grand Circle of southwestern USA. Don’t overlook the Colorado National Monument, which is also part of the National Parks System.
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