When you think of wine tourism in the U.S., California’s world-famous Napa Valley and Sonoma County undoubtedly come to mind. Just north of San Francisco, these grape-growing regions are home to hundreds of wineries with tasting rooms and scenic patios where visitors can relax and sample reds, whites, rosés and more.
But Napa and Sonoma aren’t geographically or financially accessible for everyone. Or perhaps you’ve already visited these areas and are thirsting for a new wine experience. Fortunately, there are many other “wine countries” in the U.S.
From Oregon to Michigan to Texas, here are 14 American wine regions that aren’t Napa and Sonoma. As always, be sure to consider the state of the pandemic at your destination and in your home community before booking a trip.
Walla Walla, Washington
Robert Holmes via Getty Images
Loudon County, Virginia
Cavan Images via Getty Images
Virginia Wine Country is a popular destination for day trips from D.C., but with at least 40 wineries and tasting rooms, Loudon County has enough to fill a much longer visit as well. Chardonnay, petit verdot, merlot, and cabernet franc are among the most popular varieties in the region, and you can sip your wine while taking in stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Finger Lakes, New York
Copyright Matt Kazmierski via Getty Images
The Finger Lakes region of New York is a great destination for hiking, boating, farm-to-table dining and of course, wine-tasting. Visitors can hit up dozens of wineries along the Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake and Keuka Lake wine trails for delicious riesling, chardonnay, cabernet franc, merlot and more. Consider stopping by the Corning Museum of Glass and picking up some new stemware in the gift shop as well.
Paso Robles, California
Elizabeth Beard via Getty Images
Located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso Robles boasts rolling hills, olive groves and more than 200 wineries. These mostly family-owned businesses offer a wide variety of wines, though the area is known for cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and Rhône-style wines.
Texas Hill Country
Dean Fikar via Getty Images
West of Austin and north of San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country area is full of charming towns with German roots and plenty of local wine. Fredericksburg is considered the epicenter of this southern wine region, which produces tempranillo, mourvedre, marsanne and a large number of other varieties.
Traverse City, Michigan
RiverNorthPhotography via Getty Images
Traverse City in northwest Michigan is conveniently situated just between two of the state’s notable wine regions — Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula. While the local wineries in the area produce many different types of wine, riesling and cherry wine are particularly popular.
Tohoku Photography / EyeEm via Getty Images
Arizona is famous for its national parks and desert landscapes. But the Grand Canyon State is also home to a number of vineyards and wineries — particularly in the southern part, aka “Napa-zona.” If you find yourself in Tucson, consider taking a drive to Sonoita, Elgin,Sierra Vista or Willcox to sample some sauvignon blanc or malbec.
The North Georgia Mountains
Copyright © Steve Grundy (stgrundy) via Getty Images
Georgia’s wine country is up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about two hours north of Atlanta. The town of Helen is known for its vineyards and Bavarian-style architecture, and the city of Dahlonega features several wineries and tasting rooms.
Temecula Valley, California
Ron and Patty Thomas via Getty Images
Nestled between San Diego and Los Angeles, Temecula Valley is the designated wine country of Southern California. More than 40 vineyards and wineries dot the landscape of rolling hills with mountains in the distance. Order a bottle of sangiovese, syrah or montepulciano and enjoy the views.
The North Fork, New York
Barry Winiker via Getty Images
The North Fork of Long Island in New York is a charming and more affordable alternative to the Hamptons. And as an added bonus, you’ll find wineries galore. From oak-aged reds to celebratory sparkling wines, there’s something for everyone.
Grand Valley, Colorado
John Coletti via Getty Images
The Grand Valley in western Colorado is home to about 30 wineries, primarily in the Grand Junction and Palisade areas. The cliffs and mesas that surround this region make for a breathtaking backdrop as you sip viognier, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and other local wines.
SusanFromVermont / 500px via Getty Images
While the cold climate can pose a challenge, Vermont is home to many local vintners. Its wineries are spread throughout the Green Mountain State, but the Grape and Wine Council has put together a helpful “passport” to help you hit up the most notable ones.