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US Wine Trails The Perfect Weekend Getaway

Wine tours have long been popular excursions for wine lovers and those who enjoy beautiful, lush scenery. But no longer will you need to travel to France or Napa Valley for a wine tour getaway, as specialty wine trails in just about every state are catering to wine travel fans. The United States has over 6000 wineries, with at least one in every state. Many states boast specialty wine regions, with clusters of wineries grouped together in close proximity for an ideal weekend getaway. Many states you wouldn't think of as wine producing states do in fact boast wineries that welcome you to taste and experience.

Since wine growing is dependent on ideal grape growing conditions, you'll often find several wineries within easy driving distance from one another. From New England to the west coast and just about everywhere in between, you can experience some of America's finest award winning wines by touring a wine trail. Most wine trails are designated by their state's tourism commission. Typically, you'll see distinct signage and maps to help guide the way from winery to winery.

Interestignly, there are wine trails in the northeast states all the way to the southwest, and many states have multiple wine trails. Enjoying the passion of these independent wine makers is truly an experience to share with family and friends. When most people think of wine, they think of traditional wine producing states like California. And while California wine is the best known of all U.S.

varieties, other states are equally proud of their wineries. Over two dozen states have officially designated wine trails, and most of these states contain several groups of wineries, perfect for tasting and touring. Visiting a wine trail is the very best way to experience regional wine specialties. Many locales produce wines according to the grapes and fruits most suited to their area, with palate pleasing results. Since wine shipping laws are still evolving (thankfully for the better), some wineries can't ship their wine to certain states. Even still, getting acquainted with wines from small independent wineries is akin to trying local food specialties .

it's fun, interesting, and educational. You'll find that a wine trail wine tour is easy to navigate, as most wineries on the trail are in close proximity. Usually, it's a 10 or 15 minute drive between wineries, at most. Also, you'll encounter some charming small towns with local restaurants, attractions, friendly inns, and bed and breakfasts. With most wineries open year around, any season is the perfect time for your wine travel experience.

The best quality to bring along on a wine trail excursion is an open mind. As there are thousands of grape varieties being grown, there are equally as many wines. Leave any preconceptions about wine at home, and relish the chance to try new things. The experience of trying new wines from a new region is not only educational, but liberating and fun! While many wine trails can be traveled in one day, consider adding an overnight stay to enhance your experience. Wine is a beverage to be savored and enjoyed leisurely. Give yourself ample time at each winery to relax and unwind.

You'll likely find an enjoyable wine to enjoy later in the evening as you settle in for the night. Experience the local restaurants, chat up the local residents, and explore other attractions and points of interest. Exploring a U.

S. wine trail is a highly enjoyable weekend getaway, one you'll want to duplicate again and again. With so many small boutique wineries, you'll appreciate the chance to allow your palate and tastes to blossom. Best of all, no matter where home is, chances are there's a wine trail within a half day's drive. No matter the season, small friendly wineries are waiting for your visit, ready to share their handcrafted wines with pride.

Jim Hofman is an author specializing in beverages, and is the owner of several websites devoted to wine enjoyment. Jim and his wife produce a free bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to introducing their readers to the U.S. wine trails and the joy of wine travel.

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