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Wine Trails: Discovering Great Wine In All 50 States

Feb 16, 2008
Did you know that the U.S. is now home to over 6000 wineries? As of this year, all 50 states have at least one winery, and many states have well over 100. And for as great a wine producing state California is, it's certainly not alone in turning out numerous award winning wines just waiting to be discovered.

All of this is very good news for the wine industry, and wine lovers. Wine travel has become a passionate hobby, growing in popularity with each passing year. It used to be that wine travel revolved around California or France or Australia. And while those journeys are educational and rewarding, wine lovers are discovering equally rewarding wine destinations much closer to home.

Many of these new wineries are established because winemakers have found their geographic areas to be ideal for grape growing. With the varied topography in the United States, many areas are bursting with grape growing possibilities. Even in colder climates with short growing seasons, certain grape varieties thrive. As a result, more and more wineries are turning out new, interesting, flavorful wines.

Most states have certain geographical areas with regional subclimates that are perfect for grapes. As a result, wineries tend to establish their operations in these areas. These clusters of wineries are known as wine trails. From Connecticut to Michigan and from Georgia to Idaho, these wine trails are waiting to be visited and savored by weekend travelers and wine lovers alike.

Currently, 31 states have officially designated wine trails, and many of these states offer multiple wine trails. These clusters of wineries are almost always within short driving distance of one another and offer lodging and other attractions of interest along the way. Most offer beautiful scenery and an environment perfect for lingering. Wine tasting abounds, along with opportunities to learn about food and wine pairings.

Some of the states with wine trails might surprise you. For example, designated wine trails can be found in such diverse states as North Carolina, Indiana, and Arizona. Cold climate or warm climate - it matters not! Great wine is being produced from Connecticut to Tennessee to Idaho and just about everywhere in between.

There's a whole world of wine waiting to be discovered, right in your backyard. One of the most interesting aspects of discovering new wine areas is the subtle taste differences in similar styles. For example, a wine produced with Pennsylvania grapes will have a different taste and feel than the exact same style from Arizona. While tastes usually aren't radically different, each offer subtle differences that will open your palate to greater wine knowledge and exploration.

Discovering a wine trail is a perfect weekend getaway the whole family will enjoy. Most wineries have activities for the entire family, including musical entertainment and U-pick fruit orchards. Children and teens will feel right at home and very welcome. Adults will enjoy the wine tasting and shopping opportunities. The beautiful scenery, local attractions, and relaxing pace will create memories that will last a lifetime!
About the Author
Jim Hofman is an author specializing in wine travel and is the owner of several websites devoted to the enjoyment of wine. Would you like to learn more about great wines being made in all 50 states? Visit Jim's resource site devoted to wine trails and the pleasure of U.S. wine travel.
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