05 Nov The Best American Wine Regions Outside of California
If you’re looking for an adventure that involves exploring the best American wine regions outside of California but don’t know which wine regions to visit, peruse through the options we’ve listed below. From the west coast to the east coast, America is in love with wine and like wild fire, its love has swept the nation. Join THGRAPE as we explore the states that are drawing the attention of wine enthusiasts.
Colorado is home to the Denver Broncos, the Rocky Mountains and Coors beer but those aren’t the only natural treasures this beautiful state has to offer. The Grand Valley AVA and West Elks AVA are the main regions renowned for producing wine in Colorado. Other regions known for producing great wines include the Four Corners, Pikes Peak, Salida and Manitou Springs. Growing in popularity, Colorado is home to over 100 wineries offering a wide range of varietals, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and Chardonnay.
Discover great wines from Two Rivers Winery, Carlson Vineyards, Grand River Vineyards, and more. Whether you prefer wines that are dry or sweet, Colorado wineries have a little bit of everything for everyone’s palate and great food to go along with it. A perfect time to visit is between the months of June and late September, when there are a number of food and wine themed festivals, filled with activities, arts, music and much more!
There are many reasons to love the state of New York; Broadway, sports teams, fashion, film, restaurants, opera; you name it, and New York has it. Well, now it’s time to add wine to the list as they’ve begun to receive lots of attention for their wines, and rightfully so. Regions like, Long Island, Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley have become even more popular for producing really great wines. Many wine aficionados have found their Rieslings, Chardonnays, Cabernet Francs, Pinot Noirs, and Merlots to be absolutely divine. Some of the best wineries in Long Island are Bedell Cellars, Castello di Borghese Vineyard (also known for appearing on ‘The Bachelor’), Channing Daughters Winery, The Lenz Winery, Paumanok and Wolffer Estate, to name a few.
If you love Rieslings, the region of Finger Lakes is regarded as the Mosel River Valley (Germany) of New York, and is famous for producing stellar Rieslings with multiple variations in taste. Travel north to discover the region of Hudson Valley, filled with lush landscapes, farms, and gorgeous mansions. Hudson Valley produces Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is said that the summer and fall seasons are the busiest New York wine country. If you prefer a more personalized experience, wineries recommend visiting during the winter and spring seasons.
Oregon is filled with lush, gorgeous landscapes, spectacular mountain views, amazing restaurants, and is celebrated the world over for a number of their varietals. Because of its proximity to many of the Northwest’s best wineries, Portland, a popular city in it’s own right, lays the path to Oregon’s wine country. Try the red, rosé and white varietals from ENSO Winery, Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, Hip Chicks Do Wine, Scott Paul Tasting Room or Clay Pigeon Winery. If you’re looking to discover more of the countryside and get lost in Oregon’s wine country, the Willamette Valley won’t disappoint. As the 6th largest American Viticultural Area (AVA), the Willamette Valley includes Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton.
More famous for their Pinot Noir, they also produce excellent, Syrah, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet. Some of the more prominent producers are, Archery Summit, Argyle, Beaux Freres, Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene. The best times to visit are between May and June and September to October.
In the Lone Star state, everything is bigger, and with a “Go big or go home” attitude, Texans rank as having the 3rd largest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States. In between San Antonio and Fort Worth lies the Texas Hill Country region where many wineries and vineyards are located. Names of towns like: Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Kerrville, Sisterdale, Stonewall, Johnson City, Spicewood, Burnet, and more showcase an assortment of varietals. Each city offers its own unique qualities with an arts and music scene filled with good food, flavorful wines and a welcoming hospitality befitting the south.
The Becker Vineyards, Fredericksburg Winery, Grape Creek Vineyards, Kerrville Hills Winery, McReynolds Winery, Solaro Estate, and Texas Hill Vineyard are some of the more famous wineries, which produce Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, blends, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Chardonnay, Colombard and other varietals. Visit Texas wineries and vineyards year around!
In recent years Virginia’s gained the attention of wine newcomers and connoisseurs alike, with the regions of Eastern Shore, Middleburg, Monticello, North Fork, Rocky Knob, Shenandoah Valley, and Washington Birthplace leading the way. Virginia is full of history, rich in natural beauty, an emerging food scene and is home to over 140 wineries. Coupled with experience and dedication, Virginian winemakers were able to enhance the quality of their wines by working with the terroir and are producing some delicious European style blends like, Cabernet Francs, Cabernet Sauvignons, Nebbiolo and Merlots that have the essence of Virginia. Not to mention, their Viognier is delighting the palates of many and is quickly becoming their most sought after varietal. So, what are some wineries or vineyards to visit? Try Early Mountain Tasting Room, Barboursville Vineyards Octagon, King Family Vineyards, Glen Manor, and Linden Vineyards for starters.
Contrary to (popular) belief, Washington’s climate and land have not inhibited their ability to produce wine. In fact, Washington has proven itself more than capable of producing terrific wines. With varied terroir and 11 AVA’s producing over 30 different varietals, there are plenty of reasons to keep wine enthusiasts entertained and coming back for more. Pouring out the names of regions like, Puget Sound, Walla Walla, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley, Columbia Gorge, Rattlesnake Hills and more, Washington State presents tourists with the finest selection of restaurants, vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. They are well known for producing impressive Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Some of the more talked about wineries to visit include, St. Michelle Wine Estates, Columbia Winery, Hedges Family Estate, Pacific Rim, Walla Walla Wine Works, Hogue Cellars and K Vintners. The best time to visit and explore wine country in Washington is from early spring until the fall.
Hopefully after reading this article you’re enticed to visit the following states with wine country and learn, discover and appreciate the wines from other regions outside of California – and even make some additions to your current collection. Happy travels!