Top 10 Weekend Trips for the Wine Lover

Going wine tasting for the first time can be an exciting rush that washes over you as soon as you begin thinking about it. This feeling never really goes away, if you’re a lover of wine and the atmosphere of the country’s most beautiful vineyards. To help you out on your search, though, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 that bring more than just great wine to the table, but also great supporting activities and travel amenities. Pack your bags because here we go.

1: Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, California
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Malcolm Carlaw

A wine list of any kind is incomplete without Napa Valley being mentioned. This is where all the action is, all the big name brands are, and a place that you just won’t find anywhere else. Sure, there are vineyards that can compete with Napa, but the best combination of food, wine, and parties come from Napa Valley, the Vegas of winery.

Address: Napa Valley, CA

2: Sonoma County, California

Sonoma County, California
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Johnn

Next on the list is arguably the second best location for the best tasting wine in the country. It doesn’t hurt that you have great restaurants serving perfect pairings with the local vineyards as the backdrop. Expect to pay a pretty premium, as you would in Napa, because Sonoma has been on top of the ratings for so many years, it’s hard to keep up with demands.

Address: Sonoma County, CA

3: Finger Lakes, New York

Finger Lakes, New York
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Sue Reynolds

From sunny California to the crisp colder climate of New York, many younger wine tasters would not expect such high quality wine to come out of the northeast. As a matter of fact, a large portion of restaurants in the city are sourcing their wines from all the local wineries. Finger Lakes produces over one hundred wines alone. There’s never a bad time to visit, as the waiting lists are nothing compared to the more famous locations in the country.

Address: Finger Lakes, NY

4: Willamette Valley, Oregon

Willamette Valley, Oregon
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Sheila Sund

Weekend trips work best when you can plan them without having to make room for an extra day due to travel times and unexpected delays. With Willamette Valley, you’re just a short drive from Portland and the trip there is pleasantly intimate. This convenient location is a popular destination for local wine lovers due to its very high-class service and amenities. Be sure to book early during holidays.

Address: Willamette Valley, OR

5: Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla is not only fun to say, but it’s also very fun to be there too, as a wine connoisseur. This is the most colorful and vibrant part of Washington; the east side shines through with tones of wildlife frolicking around with fertile land underneath to produce the best tasting win in the state. This is a great opportunity for bird lovers and grape lovers alike.

Address: 5 W Alder St 241, Walla Walla, WA 99362

6: Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

If you’re looking for a place to visit with lots of great history to go with your wine, you should come to Charlottesville. Of course, the city itself is steeped in American history, but did you know that our founding father, Thomas Jefferson, planted the first vineyards when he was president, despite preferring the coveted French wines? Fast-forward to today and we have over 300 of them in product in the state, with amazing variety and vintage selections.

Address: 400 Water St E, Charlottesville, VA 22902

7: Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania

Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania

Sandwiched between Delaware, here is another great opportunity to get more than just great tasting wine over the weekend. You could definitely take the whole family and spend one day pampering yourself with decadent food and wine while learning history and giving everyone a reinvigorated sense of pride for their own country, thanks to the abundance of museums in the area.

Address: 553 S Guernsey Rd, West Grove, PA 19390

8: Palisade, Colorado

Palisade, Colorado
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Loco Steve

Palisade is home to very accessible and affordable wineries available to all budgets and lengths of vacation. While it doesn’t have the same star-studded names dropped on the itinerary as some of the bigger names at the top of our list, it does have quite an interest pairing with local curricular activity enthusiasts, if you ask around and do a little research before you arrive.

Address: Palisade, CO 81526

9: Texas Hill Country, Texas

Texas Hill Country, Texas
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/TimothyJ

Another hidden gem, so to speak, for Americans looking for great wine tours and eateries. It’s such a great pairing that it almost seems too obvious. Texas is home to some great wine, which means you’re in store for a brand new way of looking at what does and does not qualify as a proper wine pairing. Throw away your books because you’re going to look at fried foods and grilled meats in a completely different light in Texas Hill Country.

Address: 2916 Upper Albert Rd, Stonewall, TX 78671

10: Temecula Valley, California

Temecula Valley, California

It was a difficult choice, but we had to include a third California vineyard in our list because of the shear breadth of flavors available here. Temecula is home to amazing varieties of red, white, sparkling, and almond champagne, where you can really tell you’re drinking something that is distinctly California.

Address: Temecula Valley, Temecula, CA 92592

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