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Wine Producing States In America

Aug 18, 2007
According to an issue of Travel+Leisure magazine, Virginia is one of the five up-and-coming wine destinations worldwide. Parts of Italy, Chile, Spain and New Zealand rounded out the Top Five. Virginia is home to over 100 wineries and there are wine trails that make tasting trips easy to plan.

These regions have a mix of restaurants, lodging and other attractions, he said, such as the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville. "The idea is there's a critical mass of stuff," he said. "I think of it as great places to stay, a terrific local cuisine and wines worthy of seeking out to visit." These regions don't match Tuscany or Napa Valley, but they are emerging as wine tourism destinations, he said. "These are places that are the next echelon," Schoenfeld said. "Now the idea is where to go next with places that will surprise you."

This is a welcome boost for the state's wine industry after crops were slammed by a storm late last month. Many grape crops were ravaged by pounding hail and strong winds during a storm, and farmers will have to determine if any of the vines will survive.

Texas ranks fifth among wine-producing states. It's becoming a hot industry down there and consumers want to drink more and more homegrown vino. The popularity has piqued the interest of many people who are considering getting into the business, but growing grapes is not all wine and roses.

From The Southwest Farm Press:
"A lot of people associate owning a vineyard with some kind of Napa Valley lifestyle, but it's not for the faint of heart, especially while you're getting through the start-up period." he said. "Anyone getting into this business needs to realize it's the ultimate hands-on farming operation. There's a lot of work to do in the field, plus you have to be aware of weather, plant disease and many other factors beyond your control." The eclectic mix of growing environments in the North Texas region pose greater challenges than other areas of the state, added Fran Pontasch, Extension viticulture advisor for that area. "Every limiting factor (to wine-grape production) can be found in the region," she said. "Low pH, high pH, heat. It pretty much depends on where you are. That's why site selection is so important." Pontasch counsels newcomers to viticulture to have their soil and water tested before planting, she said.

Each region presents its own challenges, but for those with a passion, it can be a great way to spend your life!

While Idaho, has been known for a long time as one of the states in the U.S. that isn't that easy to get a drink in. In fact, they only recently lost one of their last "dry" counties, so they are bursting at the seams it seems. Now that they can drink, they can also start planting their own vineyards and making their own wine along the Snake River Valley. This river goes through a pretty large portion of the state, so this is a pretty big deal.

From Idaho Wine Industry Gets Major Boost:

It's a first for the state of Idaho that could bring in big dollars. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has designated Idaho's Snake River Valley as an American Viticultural Area, or AVA. That distinction brands the southern portion of the state as America's next great wine region.

As of April 9th, Idaho's Snake River Valley will take its place among 236 AVA's in the U.S.A. a third of which are in California. "It's an exciting time," said Ron Bitner, owner of Bitner Vineyards and the acting director of the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission, "We are finally going to take off and be part of the Idaho culinary experience."

The AVA extends along the Snake River, east to west, from the Twin Falls area into Oregon. Several factors make this region prime for growing grapes.
About the Author
The author writes about Bare Foot Wine and blogs at hhttp://www.celebrate-wine.com/.
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