Taking a wine-themed trip to the States is never a bad thing.  But most travellers solely focus on Napa Valley, with its easy access just an hour from San Francisco, an international gateway.  But there’s so many more great places to enjoy wine – and when you get more on the offbeat track you’ll find better deals and less fees, traffic, and hassle. Here’s some ideas to  get you going.

Livermore Valley, California – Another San Francisco Option

If you must visit Napa/San Francisco, that’s ok, but how about broadening your horizons with another wine region on your trip?  My favourite wine region in California is the Livermore Valley, which is about an hour east of San Francisco (Napa is north).  The valley is a bit warmer than Napa, and they have some buttery, delicious Cabernets. Great day trip from the city and the perfect place to picnic – plan ahead and bring everything you need, except the wine of course.

Pacific Northwest: Award-Winning Oregon and Washington

Oregon and Washington are dominating the west coast when it comes to award-winning wines.  From Seattle, you can take the short drive to Woodinville for great wines and a relaxing atmosphere; Washington also has a great wine town, Walla Walla, though that’s a much longer drive.  (Worth it, though.)  If you find yourself in Portland, head an hour southwest to the towns of Dundee or Newberg and you’ll be amazed at how many wineries there are and the quality abounds.  Don’t miss the famed wine pairing dinner at Newberg’s Painted Lady restaurant.

Finger Lakes, New York

Last but certainly not least is another not-as-well-known American wine region, the Finger Lakes, which is in northwest New York state.  The drive from New York City out here is absolutely beautiful and a great introduction to the state of New York – there’s a lot more than skyscrapers and subways in this state.  Pick your passion for relaxation: go fishing, visit the spa, or relax in a historic B&B.  From the town of Canandaigua (a personal favourite of mine), to the Seneca Lake wine trail, this is another wine region that will surpass all expectations. Don’t miss a dinner in downtown Canandaigua’s world-class New York Wine & Culinary Centre.

Photo Credits: Header photo from Dave Parker, Livermore photo from johnjoh, all others from Andy Hayes.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 11:00
Category : Activities
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