As we are officially about to kick off summer, we’re cleaning out our pallet and sensitizing our noses for one of our favorite summer activities: wine tasting. Come with us, as we take you around America, making frequent stops to enjoy the nectar of the gods in some of the most pristine corners of the country.
Northwest: Washington Wine Country
With over 240 wineries in the southern-central part of Washington State, there’s sure to be a perfect bottle for you here. The rolling hills and farmlands of this area lend it a laid-back vibe and it’s perfect for the wine taster who also loves adventure: there are tons of hiking trails and mountain biking paths, as well as water activities. If small-town friendliness and farm fresh cuisine sound like the perfect pairing with your favorite Syrah, then Washington Wine Country beckons!
Mountain West: Grand Valley, Colorado
Just a 4-hour drive or a quick hour-long flight from hubs like Las Vegas, Denver, and Salt Lake City, you’ll find the quiet towns of Palisade, Grand Junction, and Fruita. Once regarded as a quiet agricultural stretch of land, Grand Valley is quickly becoming a destination for wine-and-adventure thirsty travelers. In addition to its dozens of wineries, the Grand Valley area is also famous for hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking. The towns welcome a unique mix of adventurers and wine tasters, so if you need your adrenaline rush served up with a glass of wine on the side, you know where you should go next!
West Coast: Sonoma County
An easy hour drive north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is a more chilled-out option to its posher Napa Valley neighbor. But don’t let the easy-going vibe fool you: its wines still rake in awards and accolades internationally. Spanning over more than a million acres, there are over 425 unique wineries that call the area home. Be prepared for a more intimate experience, where winemakers will pour you a glass of their creations, engage in unhurried conversation, and even give you recommendations of things to do around town.
East Coast: Charlottesville, Virginia
Founding Father Thomas Jefferson inspired the historical Monticello Wine Trail, the rest as they say, is history. While Virginia’s famous son never lived to see the fruition of his vision of Virginian wineries standing shoulder to shoulder with the famous European wineries of the day, more than 200 years later, there are over 20 wineries in the area that have earned national and international awards. If you like to pair your wine with an interesting dose of history, then this is the place to visit!
Northeast: Hudson River Valley
Just a short hour’s drive from New York City, the beautiful and scenic Hudson River Valley plays host to over two dozen historic wineries. In the 1600s, this area was where the first vineyards were cultivated and the first winery constructed. The oldest operating winery, Brotherhood Winery (dating back to 1839) is still operational. For a taste of fine wines, an interesting lesson in history, and a promise of sweeping river views, the Hudson River Valley is the perfect spot to sip on a glass of wine.
What are you waiting for? Get off your couch for a weekend, gather a group of pals, and trek to one of these wine regions – Cheers!