Top 5 States for Wine Vineyard Touring, Besides California
When it comes to amazing wine tours, California has long led the way in captivating encounters with vineyards, wineries, and fantastic labels and flavors that are sure to please the palate. With endless miles of lush, rolling hills it’s not hard to see why wine enthusiasts are frequently drawn to the west coast in search of tantalizing wines. While California holds a special place in the hearts of those who enjoy the finer things in life, the wine industry is growing, and with it, options for branching out and experiencing fine wines in new locations abound! Here are the top 5 states for the best wine tours in the USA, besides California, that are definitely worth a visit.
It’s an exciting time in the world of wine, and there’s no reason to limit your taste buds to California-based excursions. In fact, many states are redefining themselves as hot spots in the wine industry and are opening their doors to tourists looking to taste something new. In the spirit of new and savory horizons, here are the top 5 states worth exploring for their wonderful wine trails.
When you step outside of Portland, what’s waiting is a rich landscape of more than 300 wineries that call Oregon’s Willamette Valley home. Oregon has made its way onto the wine scene with a focus on organic labels and pet-friendly vineyards that keep close to the natural way of life while providing some robust flavors at the same time. A tour through the Willamette Valley is ideal for those wine enthusiasts with a heart for Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio or Riesling in particular and proves time and again to be one of the best wine tours in the USA. As an added bonus, many of the wineries in the Willamette Valley are family-owned operations, which provides ample time for touring guests to sit down one on one with those who know the land best and ask questions to their heart’s content. A wine tour through Oregon’s Willamette Valley is sure to be tasty as well as personal, making it an unforgettable journey.
It’s not easy to grow great wine grapes in Virginia, which makes a tour through the Shenandoah Valley that much more meaningful and satisfying for visitors. Those who have made wine-making their life’s work do so with an elevated sense of commitment and passion in this part of the U.S. While the hot and humid climate doesn’t lend itself to ease of growing, the Shenandoah Valley has earned its reputation for the production of incredible Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Blanc through years of dedicated efforts. This area is home to over 30 renowned wineries that are easily accessible and come with the added benefit of access to a beautiful view too. Many who choose to participate in a wine tour through Shenandoah Valley will combine their experience with a trip through scenic Shenandoah National Park, making it a trip that’s delicious and truly built for the record books.
While incredible wine tasting is sure to be found in bustling New York City, some of the best wine tours in the USA can be found around the Finger Lakes of New York state. This scenic and forested area is known for its profound tranquility and rich soil, making it home to over 140 wineries that are worth checking out when you have the chance. Sparkling wines and Pinot Noir can easily be enjoyed while taking in the sights and lush landscapes that are sure to inspire. A wine tour in this area of the country is well-suited for those with a heart for the great outdoors. A stop or two at Finger Lakes wineries can be combined with amazing hiking, fishing, boating, and waterfall hunting as well. Don’t be surprised if a first-time wine tour to this area turns into an annual event with family and friends.
Trips to Texas are often associated with opportunities to enjoy robust meals, time spent on ranches, and opportunities for encounters with longhorns. While these activities generally prove to be exciting, just as thrilling is the options for taking a wine tour through the many vineyards that occupy central Texas. The hot and dry weather that the Hill Country of Texas is known for lends itself to providing just the right atmosphere for grape growers in the region. In fact, taking a trip between San Antonio and Austin provides visitors with an endless array of more than 50 vineyard stops that serve up labels ranging from Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon. The heart of the central Texas wine country is the city of Fredericksburg, which combines the best of German heritage and charming historic architecture.
While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering wine tours, New Mexico provides an impressive landscape that offers up an abundance of unique labels and flavors as well as intriguing history to go with it. Plan a tour that takes you from Albuquerque to Dixon and you’ll find a plethora of family-owned vineyards dotting the route well worth a stop. Larger and more well-known tasting rooms in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque have popped up in recent years and have earned the attention of evaluators such as Wine Spectator. It’s interesting to note that as you tour New Mexico’s wine country, you walk in the footsteps of Spanish settlers who planted grapes in this area as far back as 1629.
About The Author: Caitlyn Knuth is a travel writer whose own adventures have inspired her to write about everything from the most delicious cafés in Paris, France to the breathtaking salmon runs in Juneau, Alaska. Working in association with Bend Vacation Rentals, she enjoys writing and sharing about the many highlights of Oregon and beyond in the hope others will pack up and head out on adventures of their very own.