Europe is famous for its wine country, especially in France and Italy. But North America has some seriously underrated wine regions that travelers should add to their to-do lists. In Canada, the United States, and Mexico, there are tons of varieties of climates, grapes, and types of wine produced. Find out which North American destinations are best for wine-focused trips, wine tours, and wine tastings.
ten Napa Valley, California, USA
Napa Valley is one of the most famous wine regions in the United States, with wine lovers coming from all over the world to visit these vineyards and sip a glass of wine overlooking the lush landscape. It is located north of San Francisco in the western state of California. The region has more than 400 wineries where travelers can enjoy tastings and tours.
Napa Valley has favorable conditions for growing a wide range of grapes and has several types of wine that are commonly produced. The region mainly produces red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon.
9 Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is known for its abundance of vineyards on the western side of Canada. As one of Canada’s top-producing wine regions, there are plenty of high-quality vintages to try here. The growing season runs from April to October, making fall the perfect time to visit for harvest.
The Okanagan Valley and the city of Kelowna are home to 185 wineries, giving travelers plenty of options for where to go when visiting.
8 Walla Walla Valley, WA, USA
The Pacific Northwest might not come to mind when considering where to go for the best wineries in North America, but it’s become an award-winning place wine lovers can’t miss. . Walla Walla Valley is in Washington, near the border with Oregon. The area has 30 wineries to choose from.
Walla Walla Valley has some of the oldest vineyards in Washington and grows mostly red grapes for wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
7 Niagara Peninsula, ON, Canada
One of Canada’s most famous wine regions is located in the southeastern province of Ontario. Many travelers are familiar with Niagara Falls, on the border of Canada and the United States. In the same region, there are over 50 wineries that make up the Ontario Wine Trail near Niagara on the Lake.
The best time to visit is summer or fall, when the weather is nice and festivals are plentiful. Attend the Niagara Wine Festival in the fall after the harvest or the Niagara New Vintage Festival in the summer, where visitors can taste the wines of the year for the first time. However, the Niagara Icewine Festival takes place in January and is also an interesting event.
6 Parras Valley, Coahuila, Mexico
Mexico hasn’t always been known for its wine, but it has recently made a name for itself as travelers become more aware of its top vineyards and wineries. One of the best destinations for wine lovers in Mexico would have to be the Parras Valley in the state of Coahuila.
The Parras Valley is home to the oldest winery in the Americas, Casa Madero. The winery was established in 1597 and is a highlight of visiting this region.
5 Paso Robles, California, USA
Paso Robles is a wine region in California, USA that some call the Wild West of wine. It is located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which makes it further south than Napa Valley.
The region has over 200 wineries, many of which are family owned. Paso Robles’ main production is ripe red wines, including Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
4 Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
Going back to the northern neighbors, Canada has another incredible wine region in southeastern Ontario called Prince Edward County. The region has more than 35 winegrowers with varied niches.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are particularly famous in this region. This is because of the moderating effect of the lake on the local climate and the flavor the soil brings to the grapes.
3 Verde Valley, Arizona, United States
In northern Arizona, the Verde Valley Wine Trail is one that travelers who love a glass of red or white wine should add to their travel itinerary. The region has 25 wineries and the vineyards here grow more than 40 varieties of grapes.
The Verde Valley is located a few hours north of Phoenix, making it the perfect day trip for visiting Arizona. Harvest takes place in late August and September in this part of the country, making it the best season to travel to Sedona.
2 Valle De Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico
Perhaps Mexico’s most famous wine region, Valle De Guadalupe in Baja California is located near the US state of California, making it a popular destination for Americans. Valle De Guadalupe is responsible for producing 90% of Mexican wine at its more than 100 wineries.
Due to the warm climate, the wineries here are open year-round, but the summer months are still the best time to visit when the growing season hits. Red wines from this region are most commonly Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, while white wines include Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, and Chardonnay.
1 Palisade, CO, USA
Palisade is home to 25 of Colorado’s wineries, making it a popular wine region for tours and tastings in the United States. Visiting Palisade is the perfect way to cap off an adventurous Colorado biking or hiking trip. Tastings and tours are widely available here and offer travelers the chance to experience another side of the Centennial State.
Cabinet Franc, Syrah and Pinot Noir are commonly produced in Palisade, along with a few varieties of white grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc and Lavender Vin Blanc.
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