5 Unexpected, but Totally Worthwhile, American Wine Trips
Normally, when we think wine tasting, we imagine the rolling vineyards of Burgundy, Piedmont or Santorini. But PSA: American wine trips are all the rage right now. So when you’re pining for a flight of vino, there’s zero need to buy plane tickets to Europe. Or even Napa, for that matter. Here, five up-and-coming destinations where fantastic wine can be had stateside.
Texas Hill Country
OK, we normally associate this region with barbecue. But surprise, it’s actually the fifth largest wine-producing area in the U.S. (right on the heels of New York). The area is known for its big, bold reds, which thrive in the sweltering heat and just so happen to pair perfectly with smoked ribs.
Where to sip: Duchman Family Winery (Driftwood, TX)
While Napa steals the limelight, Malibu’s totally on the up and up. That’s because it recently became an American Viticultural Area (aka a designated wine grape-growing region) and is producing some pretty damn good Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabernets. Plus, you can round out your day with outdoor yoga, hiking and “name that celebrity.”
Where to sip: Malibu Family Wines (Malibu, CA)
Snake River Valley
We’re calling it: This region is the next must-visit wine destination in the U.S. Spanning Idaho and Oregon, the bucolic plain is home to some super cool, young winemakers. The varied soil and microclimates allow growers to experiment with everything from Cab Sauvignon to classic Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. Some wineries have even gone urban, clustering a few minutes from downtown Boise. Brb, we’re checking flights.
Where to sip: Ste Chapelle (Caldwell, ID)
New Mexico’s Central Region
Fun fact: New Mexico is actually the country’s oldest wine region. Prohibition was a major downer for local producers, but they’re back, baby. Many wineries showcase local artists, musicians and, of course, their throaty Cabernets, Pinot noirs and Zinfandels.
Where to sip: Casa Rondena Winery (Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM)
The Finger Lakes
Come for the bone-dry, racy Rieslings that rival German bottles from the Rhine; stay for the homey inns, fab restaurants and breathtaking water views and mind-blowing sunsets. You’ll want to take a whole weekend to explore the wineries in this region (there are over 100 gems).
Where to sip: Lamoreaux Landing (Lodi, NY)