Under the Radar US Wine Destinations
Wine tourism is great, and can be all kinds of fun, as Vine Vera has certainly mentioned before, but one problem you can run into is that there’s a handful of venues that get all the attention. Think iconic, popular regions like Bordeaux, France or Mendoza, Argentina. We’re not knocking these popular regions, don’t get us wrong, they’re pretty fantastic, but with so much focus on them, it can be easy to forget that there are plenty of wine regions that are just as great, that consistently fly under the radar and don’t get any press.
In the United States, in particular, Napa valley and—to a lesser extent—Sonoma valley consistently get all of the attention. While both valleys are excellent places to visit, and Vine Vera highly recommends you do, we don’t really think it’s fair that they’re so highly lauded to the exclusion of so many other great regions. That’s why today, Vine Vera’s going to take you through a list of some of our favorite under the radar U.S. wine regions.
Verde Valley, Arizona
It might be surprising to find award-winning wineries in the harsh, suffocating embrace of a desert, but that’s exactly what you’ll find if you head to Verde Valley. Vines are much harder to grow here, and fruit yields are small, but the wine they make is well worth the scarcity imposed by the desert wastes; the fruits may be more scarce here, but they’re that much more precious for it, and make incredibly intensely flavorful wines.
The Grand Valley, Colorado
If you love mountains and pristine, beautiful microclimates high above the rest of the world, this one’s for you. With an average elevation of 4,700 feet, the wineries in this region are some of the closest to the sky in North America. Here you can tour secluded vineyards while savoring fresh mountain air and admiring impressive vistas of the Book Cliffs Mountain range. The days here are bright and dry, and the nights cool, making this isolated mountain perch perfect for wine grape-growing.
The Grand Valley is called “The Peach and Wine Capitol of Colorado,” and it’s just as much fun to go biking through its serene vistas as it is to taste the delectable wine here.
Newport County, Rhode Island
You might just know Rhode Island as the smallest state in the U.S., but it has much more to its name than that particular “achievement.” Newport city and the larger Newport County around it actually has a thriving wine industry. All the vineyards in the area are within 45 minutes or less (by car) from the city, and most have tours and tasting opportunities. The area is quite pretty, and looks especially lovely in the fall. Greenvale Vineyards, in particular, which boasts a stellar view of the Sakonnet River, and will treat you to a wonderland of autumn colors around this time of year.
Downtown Newport also just so happens to be a fun tourist destination to explore, with a variety of historic 18th century buildings and guided tours that take you through the most significant among them.