When it comes to wine tasting, Napa Valley is a household name. With its desirable northern California location, stellar reputation, and elegant wineries, it’s no wonder Napa Valley gets a lot of attention. But it’s not the only place in the U.S. for wine tasting. In fact, far from it. There are many other places that deserve a little shine from the spotlight. Check out our list of the top 5 wine tasting destinations in the U.S.
1. Walla Walla, Washington
Fun to say and even more fun to visit. Wine tasting in Walla Walla is a comprehensive experience. The historic downtown boasts 30 wineries in the city center. Even better, roughly a dozen of the tasting rooms are packed into a few blocks. This allows you to taste to your heart’s content and not worry about driving! If you want to get out of town then book a wine tour and explore the wineries in the west side for oldest wineries in the region and the east side for the most the most award-winning in the region! Top wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
2. McMinnville and Willamette Valley, Oregon
The town of McMinnville is serious about their craft beverages. In the downtown area alone, there are 20 tasting rooms (think coffee, tea, beer and wine) all within walking distance of one another. “Wine Walks” around the charming downtown are common. Expand the radius twenty miles to encompass the Willamette Valley and you’ve got your pick of 700 vineyards and 500 wineries! The valley is known for being one of the world’s top Pinot Noir producers and has won multiple awards.
3. Temecula, California
At first it may seem like a shame to leave San Diego’s legendary beaches behind and head inland to neighboring Riverside county. Once you arrive in Temecula, however, we promise you won’t be disappointed. Temecula Valley Wine Country has been producing award-winning wines for 50 years. Tastings and tours of the 30 wineries are super enjoyable thanks to the friendly staff, quality restaurants, and elegant lodging options. Be sure to try the Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel varieties. Guided tours with transportation are available for the whole region of Southern California!
4. Finger Lakes, New York
Finger Lakes Wine Country has over 120 wineries to choose from, all of which are nestled in a stunning natural setting in New York. Most wineries have a small $2-$5 fee per visit, but this is refundable if you purchase something. Hop around as you please or purchase a ticket to access an event hosted by one of the three known Wine Trails. The Wine Trail ticket allows visits to multiple wineries over the course of a weekend as well as food pairings. Depending on the event theme, the pairings could range from chocolates to cheese to barbeque. Known for its white varieties, be sure to samples the region’s famous Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
5. Augusta, Missouri
Bet you had no idea that this town overlooking the Missouri River Valley was crowned the “First United States Wine District” in 1980. Augusta was the number one wine-producing town before the Civil War and carried on this reputation right up to Prohibition. Fast-forward to present day and this town is still a prominent name in the wine industry. Here you’ll find premier wineries creating award-winning wines and historic family-owned establishments. Try any of the wine varieties made from Norton grapes and you’ll swear you’re not in Missouri anymore.