While vacations offer us the opportunity to explore new places and see unfamiliar sights, sometimes you need a vacation just so you can have the time necessary to enjoy the things you love in life. Avid skiers will visit places like Aspen and Killington to spend time riding the slopes. Roller coaster fanatics flock to theme parks to ride the newest coasters or re-ride their favorites. Readers of comic books will go to conventions, fans of musical performers will follow them on tour, and wine lovers will find themselves drawn to wineries and vineyards.
I personally fall into the lattermost category.
Wine makes for a wonderful hobby and a robust interest, but frequently lovers of the drink are limited in their ability to immerse themselves in their favorite wines due to the distance between them and their favorite vineyards. Unless you’re going to fly to Italy to see the Prosecco Road or travel to the Champagne region of France, it can be difficult to truly experience the process as much as you may like. However, while you may not be able to visit your favorite French or Italian winery as a day trip, there are numerous amazing vineyards right here in America.
For my fellow wine-lovers, here are some of the best wine regions that you can visit in the United States.
- Texas Hill Country
- Need yet another reason to not mess with Texas? Around 1662, what is now known as Texas played a huge role in the history of wine when Franciscan priests established the first vineyard in North America, and that number has only grown since. The state of Texas is now home to about 400 wineries which contribute more than $2.27 billion worth of economic value to the state. The Texas Hill Country in particular is home to the second largest viticultural area in the country, spanning more than nine million acres. Want to dress it up a notch? Stop by Becker Vineyards, whose bottles have been served to multiple presidents in the White House.
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- This area is as entrenched in history as it is in beauty, making the exquisite wineries seem like an added bonus! Much of the local area, including the 1,600+ acre campus of the University of Virginia, was once owned and designed by Thomas Jefferson himself who actually planted the first grapes in Charlottesville during his presidency. There are now more than 300 wineries across the state.
- Finger Lakes, New York
- The Thrillist named the Finger Lakes as the most underrated place in New York state, and with the plethora of wineries, vineyards, and potables, it’s not hard to see why this region isn’t getting the recognition it deserves. A long-kept secret by devout sommeliers, there are now more than 100 wineries to visit in the area, and since it remains relatively non-commercialized, it makes for a peaceful venture, too.