BEST DESTINATIONS FOR WINE TOURISM IN UNITED STATES
While many Colorado visitors enjoy the state's Alpine skiing and other mountain activities, only a lucky few have discovered the area's Wine tourism. And yet Colorado is home to over 70 wineries and the highest altitude vineyards in the U.S. Trips to this wine region are usually one or two day jaunts, and combine easily with any Colorado itinerary. It can be a welcome respite from skiing or mountain biking, a slower paced end to any frenetic trip. Most of the wineries are family friendly, so don't be afraid to bring the kids. Like the rest of Colorado, wine country is fairly laid back and unstuffy.
The Finger Lakes is a region of New York state south of Lake Ontario. One of the major viticultural areas of the United States, this is the east coast answer to the Napa Valley region of California.
Also not to be missed are the region's many ice wines. Made from grapes harvested while frozen, the local ice wines benefit from upstate New York's harsh winter weather.
If you're just starting out exploring the Finger Lakes wine area, an excellent first stop is the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua. The Center has an array of wine tastings and instructional programs, and also features other gastronomic delights from throughout Western New York.
The Cayuga Wine Trail has a flavorful and educational tour every spring featuring herbs and food at each wine tasting stop. The Seneca Wine Trail is the most active of the wine trails, boasting the biggest lake, most reputable wineries, and most activities.
Individual wineries vary in the number of amenities available. Most have tastings, of course, but many go beyond that; you'll find tours of the fields and bottling areas, gift shops, and sometimes cafes or restaurants.
Napa Valley, in the Bay Area in California, is the main wine growing region of the United States of America and one of the major wine regions of the world.
Most wineries offer tastings and/or tours of their products. The form this takes varies greatly. The largest, most well known wineries such as Mondavi and Beringer are open daily with large hosting facilities, guided tours of the operation and reserve rooms for tasting select, more expensive wines. The many smaller wineries may offer tastings only by appointment, but your tour or tasting may be conducted by the owner. Most vineyards charge a small fee for the tastings, especially at the more popular vineyards, perhaps $5-$10. Winery tours are generally very interesting and informative. Reserve room tastings provide an opportunity to sample expensive wines without having to spend a larger amount for a bottle. Sometimes the tasting fee can be applied to the cost of a bottle purchased.
The Okanagan (often referred to as the Okanagan Valley) is a region of British Columbia, in Canada. It borders the Shuswap region to the north, West Kootenays region to the east, Similkameen region to the west, and the American border to the south. The focus of this region is the 135km long Okanagan Lake which runs north-south from Vernon to Penticton. The region is bordered on both the east and west by mountains. The valley is known for its hot, dry summers and is a favourite vacation spot for sun seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. It is also famous for its fruit orchards and wineries.
Located in California's North Coast in the San Francisco Bay Area, is about 45 minutes north of San Francisco.
Sonoma's 250-plus wineries are the main attraction. Main wine varieties produced include zinfandel, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc (also called "fume blanc"), cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah.
3 world class Brewpubs, Third Street AleWorks & Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, Bear Republic in Healsdburg and Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol.
-Willamette Valley, Oregon
The Willamette Valley is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. Centered around the Willamette River, and home to the state's three largest cities and much of the state's agriculture industry and the Oregon Wine Country. This area of the Pacific Northwest was one of the first Western areas to be settled, thanks to the Oregon trail that ended in Oregon City near Portland.