While history buffs head to Washington D.C. or Paris, amusement park enthusiasts frequent Orlando or Rust in Germany, where should wine enthusiasts go?
Everyone knows about the legendary Napa Valley. It is the Disneyland of wine. But it is so well known for its landscape and beautiful vineyards that often people ask, “Where else could I go besides Napa?”
Here is a look at six destinations to put on your travel bucket list if you are an oenophile, which is just a fancy name for a wine connoisseur.
1. Two-For-One in Virginia
Virginia has two different spots for wine lovers-Charlottesville and Northern Virginia, closer to the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello as has eponymous wine trail, inspired by the third president’s love for winemaking. You can reach about 30 vineyards on this trail, which winds through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Closer to Washington, D.C., you can combine an urban vacation with a relaxing trip into the countryside of Northern Virginia to sip wine. The moderate winter season and warm summers make the ground productive for grapes that turn into Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and more.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
Some people love wine, but don’t love travelling from one vineyard to another in search of the perfect blend of grapes. For wine lovers who want to benefit from the knowledge of sommeliers, pair wine with award winning food and play a few games of poker, Las Vegas is their ideal destination.
Las Vegas has some of the top rated restaurants in the world, you may just want to head to the desert to get your wine fix.
3. Ashland, Oregon
Near the California state line, Ashland, Oregon sits in the Rogue Valley. But the wine is anything but Rogue. If you’re a literature buff, you can plan your visit for the same time as the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. There is even a “Wine Hopper” van that can take over the designated driving duties so you can enjoy all the region has to offer.
Oregon has long been known for the Pinot Noirs of Willamette Valley, but Ashland is gaining popularity. So whether your summer road trip involves the Oregon Trail or the Pacific Coast Highway, Oregon wine should be on the itinerary.
4. Long Island, New York
Back on the East Coast, some might be surprised to see Long Island on the list. But while you are hobnobbing with celebrities and Manhattan’s wealthy in the Hamptons, why not whet your whistle with some Long Island wine?
There are over 40 vineyards to choose from. The same ecosystem that gives you the beautiful ocean and verdant landscapes of these beach towns grows some pretty delicious grapes. Long Island is particularly good at producing Syrah and Merlot, as well as sparking Pinot Blanc.
5. Finger Lakes Region of New York
The cold winters of New York produce a delicious Riesling. Nowhere is this more evident that the Finger Lakes, a group of eleven nearby lakes in central New York near Lake Ontario. If given a bird’s eye view, these spindly, north-south lakes look like fingers, hence the name.
These lakes provide the nearly 100 nearby vineyards with their hydration, making them lush and beautiful. The Finger Lake wine trails between the various vineyards often boast local farmer and craft stands, allowing you to bring your own fresh, locally grown snacks to your tastings.
6. Palisade, Colorado
One doesn’t have to head to a coastal state to drink delicious wine, and Palisade Colorado is proof. It’s home to the vast majority of Colorado’s vineyards, and turns out award winning Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and Bourdeaux-style varieties.
About 40 miles from Utah, Palisade, Palisade is known for its harvest of peaches, Between July and September, you’ll be surrounded by a veritable bounty of peaches. Palisade is also home to breweries when you need a break from wine, if that is even possible.
Wine lovers have lots of options when it comes to travel: East or West, Urban or Rural, overlooking the water or nestled against a mountain. But any of these six spots for your travel bucket list would be an idyllic destination for a wine lover. Cheers!