While California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys are renowned for their wineries, you can find celebrated vineyards across all 50 states. They’re a great choice when you want to get away for a long weekend, but stay close to home.
Here are a few suggestions. Your Travel Leaders travel advisor will have more ideas on where to stay and what to do.
Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes, 11 long, narrow bodies of water located between Syracuse and Rochester enjoy more temperate winters and cooler summers. These conditions are ideal for winemakers and there are close to 140 wineries in the region producing sparkling varieties, Riesling and Pinot Noir. On your drive, you’ll be passing through an area of cascading waterfalls and gorges.
Notable wineries include Americana Vineyards on Cayuga Lake, where the tasting room and gift shop are located in a 200-year-old barn.
The Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia is a pastoral area surrounded by mountains that offer stunning vistas at nearly every turn. The region has been transformed into a powerhouse of winemaking, with Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Viognier. You should visit Purple WOLF Vineyard, home to a petting zoo and lavender farm, as well as Naked Mountain Winery & Vineyards.
In the late 1800s, Missouri’s German settlers brought their Rhineland secrets with them, creating a prolific wine region. Today, there are 125 wineries and four distinct American Viticultural Areas. Modern vintners love to experiment with heritage grapes like Catawba and Norton, creating sophisticated hybrids like Seyval Blanc and Traminette.
You’ll find dozens of choices near Kansas City, including the Stonehaus Farms Vineyard and Winery and Belvoir Winery and Inn. After a day of sipping wines, you can easily enjoy Kansas City barbecue and Missouri River views.
Everything is bigger in Texas and at more than 9 million acres, the Texas Hill Country is the section-largest AVA in the United States. Extending west of Austin to the northern reaches of San Antonio, you’ll find more than 50 wineries taking advantage of the dry climate to produce outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Syrah wines.
To explore, head to Fredericksburg, and be sure to check out Becker Vineyards, home to fields of wildflowers, and Driftwood Estate Winery, which sits on a bluff overlooking a sweeping valley. The area is also great for hiking, biking and antique hunting.
The northwest is overflowing with wine regions, from Walla Walla, Washington, to Snake River Valley, Idaho. But Oregon, with a gorgeous granite coastline, pops the cork on sheer volume. The Willamette Valley is packed with more than 300 wineries across seven designated AVAs. Many follow the state’s bohemian vibe by being dog-friendly, organic and biodynamic.
Using Portland as your base, you can drive to Soter Vineyards, Argyle Winery and St. Innocent and of course, the Umpqua Valley! They’re perfect stopping places if you’re looking for passionate, small-scale producers of some of the finest Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris outside of Bordeaux.
For help navigating any travel plans, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through Travel Leaders/Fly Away Travel.