Lesser-Known American Wine Regions That Are Absolutely Worth Visiting

08.03.18 11 months ago 5 Comments

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Wine is always worth traveling for. It’s a pursuit both intellectual and sensory. It’s easy to participate in (you just have to like drinking!) but incredibly difficult to master. Best of all, it’s a passion you can explore all over the world. Italy? France? Australia? The Americas? Wine’s got you covered.

Historically, wine regions like Napa and Sonoma have dominated the conversation about wine in the U.S. That’s understandable. There are killer wines being made across California. However, the United States is massive. And with all that space comes a lot of regional variances, weather patterns, and a diversity of soils — many of which combine to provide ideal conditions for growing a wide range of wines.

Today, we’re eager to shout out ten of our favorite lesser-known American wine regions. If you’re still on the fence about where to go and what to do with your last month of summer 2018, these are perfect late-summer road trip destinations. Each of these regions has its own distinct feel and styles. And all of them go hand-in-hand with great local food scenes.

FINGER LAKES, NEW YORK

New York’s Finger Lakes is a summer wonderland. The lakes provide the perfect place to unwind while staying close to nature. Then there’s the wine. The area is home to over 100 wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Depending on your tastes, you can go big or stay intimate and small. The Keuka Lake Wine Trail only has eight wineries whereas the Seneca Lake Wine Trail has 35. Obviously, drinking through 35 wineries in a single trip would be a massive undertaking. Still… worth a try, right?

The region is renowned for their crisp whites. Thanks to the frigid winters and breezy, sunny summers Riesling and Gewürztraminer flourish. The lakes actually help regulate the weather to a point that there aren’t big temperature swings (besides from winter to summer). The mild climes also offer the perfect space to grow heavy-hitting reds like Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. Tasting wine, long shade-filled lunches, and swimming in gorgeous lakes all make this wine region a must-stop on any east coast summer road trip.

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