Taking a Wine Vacation in the United States:

7 Surprise Destinations Sure to Please Your Palette

A country filled with some of the world’s biggest urban centers and stunning natural wonders, America often surprises visitors with its outstanding wine-growing regions. If you’re interested in taking a wine vacation in the United States, make sure your itinerary includes at least some of the following seven destinations.

Finger Lakes Region, NY

Finger Lakes vineyards at sunrise by: Visit Finger Lakes (CC)
Finger Lakes vineyards at sunrise by: Visit Finger Lakes (CC)

Largely defined by wine and water, the region containing the seven elegantly elongated Finger Lakes also includes some of America’s finest wineries. Many consider it the East Coast response to California’s Napa Valley, and if you explore this rolling countryside and some of over a hundred wineries within it, you just might begin to understand why. Start by exploring a few of the region’s top attractions, which include Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard and Ports of New York.

Willamette Valley, OR

Maturing Pinot Noir by: Jim Fischer (CC)
Maturing Pinot Noir by: Jim Fischer (CC)

A fertile valley just outside Portland, Willamette Valley remains best known for its Christmas trees, hazelnuts, beer, and wine. Add the region to your United States itinerary if you enjoy driving across rolling landscapes dotted with family-operated microbreweries and award-winning wineries. Coelho Winery, an ideal place to start your tour, uses Portugal’s traditional winemaking techniques to produce some of America’s finest Pinot Noir wines. This winery also runs two large tasting rooms, where you can entertain friends or organize a family party.

Western Slope, CO

Grand Junction Wine Country by: David Herrera (CC)
Grand Junction Wine Country by: David Herrera (CC)

Colorado’s Western Slope region, generally considered everything in the state west of the Continental Divide, draws visitors with its stone canyons and abandoned mining towns. The area is also home to some of the highest vineyards in the country, a fact few visitors ever discover. You’ll find some of the state’s best vineyards and orchards around Palisade, in the northwestern section of the Rocky Mountains. Use Grand Junction as your base for day trips across the region, where you can discover hidden gems like Graystone Winery, producing dessert wines using traditional methods.

Texas Hill Country, TX

Filled with cities from the Spanish colonial days, Texas Hill Country serves as the center of a rapidly growing wine industry. You’ll find three designated grape-growing areas within this region, an increasingly popular destination with wine enthusiasts from around the world. San Antonio serves as the southern gateway into the Hill Country, offering visitors easy access to a string of wineries producing fine whites and reds. Be sure to enrich your United States holiday with a stop at Fall Creek Vineyards, one of the oldest and most respected winery operations in the region.

Walla Walla, WA

Walla Walla by: Jameson Fink (CC)
Walla Walla by: Jameson Fink (CC)

A popular weekend getaway for residents of California’s big cities, Walla Walla sits at the heart of a booming wine industry. The area boasts over a hundred wineries, as well as one of the nation’s finest cellars. You can visit several tasting rooms conveniently located downtown, near the regional airport, and all across the picturesque countryside surrounding Walla Walla. Begin your exploration at Waterbrook Winery, one of the region’s largest producers of premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines.

Charlottesville, VA

Blue Ridge vineyards by: Kate Webster (CC)
Blue Ridge vineyards by: Kate Webster (CC)

Located at the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, the university city of Charlottesville serves as a major cultural center and offers more dining and shopping options that most visitors expect from a town of its size. The city also sits in the middle of “Horse and Wine Country,” an area packed with farms and vineyards steeped in history. To taste some of the region’s best wines and learn about local winemaking techniques, visit Barboursville Vineyards and Historic Ruins. The estate’s tasting rooms offer visitors a chance try various vintages and learn how to select the right wine for any occasion.

Long Island, NY

Long Island Wine Country by: Katherine Johnson (CC)
Long Island Wine Country by: Katherine Johnson (CC)

If you think Long Island is little more than a suburban area of New York City with little tourist appeal, consider exploring the island’s wine country. A little over an hour’s drive from Manhattan you can discover a range of wineries responsible for producing fine Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wines. Add Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard to your United States trip planner to taste first-class wines in a rustic tasting room located inside a hundred-year-old former barn.

America’s Wine Regions

Big cities and national parks may be America’s top destinations, but the country also boasts a range of other attractions guaranteed to please the most demanding of travelers. Take a wine vacation in the United States to discover some of the nation’s top vineyards, located in picturesque regions studded across this sprawling land.

Tamara

Tamara

Educated in Chicago and based in Serbia, Tamara travels with passion and believes that one written word can be worth at least a thousand pictures. When she's not conquering the world one blog post at a time, she likes to eat pizza and take long naps--preferably at the same time.
Tamara