The Best Views In America’s Wine Country

by Daniel Frigeri

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America’s wine country has been making its way to the top of the charts over the last couple of decades. There is a myriad of beautiful wine-growing regions to visit throughout the U.S. just waiting to be explored! With this being said, a few insider tips on what to look for when traveling could make or break an experience. From West Coast growing regions like Santa Barbara, Napa Valley, and Willamette Valley to the East Coast growing regions like the NY Finger Lakes and Virginia’s slowly rising wine scene, there are impeccable views that match the amazing wine grown there.

You can never go wrong with a nice sunny wine getaway to the luscious hills of West-coast California. There are more than 1,200 wineries that fall under 107 different growing regions that are AVA’s or American Viticulture Areas. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the vast grape landscape that is California, so, following that slippery, slopey trail of top-tier wine juice will surely get you to those breathtaking views.

Santa Barbara

Our first stop is Santa Barbra, California, made famous in the movie “Sideways”, which if you like wine movies you’ve most likely heard or seen it. The title refers to the intriguing geographical position of Santa Barbra wine country, being it’s the longest traverse valley (East to West) on the Pacific Coast. Santa Barbra wine country is actually sideways! This, mixed with the mountain ranges on either side of this long traverse, creates the perfect climate for cool weather grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Vineyard Spotlight: Melville Winery

Santa Ynez Valley AVA (1983)

Melville offers some of the area’s best Pinot Noir while providing a view on their outdoor patio section that overlooks their vineyard and the picturesque mountain range on the horizon. You can enjoy affordable tasting flights with some delicious small bites that are specifically curated for their wine.

Related: Temecula Valley Wine Country

Napa Valley

One of the most well-known wine-growing regions in California is Napa Valley for two very good reasons. First and foremost, the wine grown here is highly influential and helped the world take New World wines seriously. The area is home to some highly sought-after plates like The French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery to name a few. To say the least, there is never a dull moment here.

Vineyard Spotlight: Heitz Cellars

                   Stoney Hill

St. Halena Region (1995)

Pro tip: Start your napa wine journey at Model Bakery for your morning cortado with their famous breakfast sandwiches on their homemade English muffin. From here, just 25 minutes down 29, you’ll find Heitz Cellars, home to some of the best red wine in California. Next,on the Silverado Trail is Stoney Hill Vineyard, which offers an informative tour through its historic vineyards.

Seneca Lake, New York

FLX, or the finger lakes, proudly boasts mouthwatering Rieslings, sophisticated old-world style Pinot Noir, scrumptious Merlot, and many others! It is also the deepest cut glacier-made finger lake, making it ideal for growing cooler climate grapes. The Seneca Lake AVA is home to 27 established wineries that, if planned properly, can be happily drunk through in a week or less.

Vineyard Spotlight: Chateau Lafayette Reneau

                   Red Newt Cellars

Situated in a fully restored, century-old barn, Chateau Lafayette Reneau has happily been serving wine for nearly 35 years while overlooking the east side of Seneca Lake. They also offer an exclusive private picnic area with all the fixins’; umbrella, blanket, chilled rose, snacks, and one of the best lake-side views on Seneca. Just 4 minutes up lakeside 414 you’ll find Red Newt Cellars, comfortably nestled on a beautiful hillside. Here you can enjoy the outdoor patio overlooking the sunny vineyard with the sparkle of the lake in the distance. Enjoy the Red Newt’s Riesling on their patio while the sun is still warming up the grapes below.



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