Top Must-Visit Wine Regions in the U.S.

When you think about American wine, you probably think of Napa Valley in California, the Oregon red wine you always see on restaurant wine lists, and maybe not much else. But, what the world of American wine lacks in foreign curb appeal, it makes up in diversity and quality. With wineries dotting the countryside from the Atlantic to the Pacific (did you know every single state in the U.S. produces wine?), American wine is some of the best in the world—you just have to know where to visit.

The best wine regions in the U.S. are hot spots for travelers because they’re filled with multiple vineyards and wineries to visit, plus they have the views, restaurants, and hotels to match. We identified a few of the top wine regions in the U.S. and put together some tips for where to stay, which wineries and vineyards to visit, and what attractions you can’t miss while you’re not sipping on wine.

vineyard in the finger lakes wine region_wine regions in the U.S.

Finger Lakes, New York

The Finger Lakes Wine Country is the perfect escape. With miles of beautiful lakes, sprawling vineyards, quaint towns, and great food to explore, there’s something here for every kind of traveler.

Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes:

How to Get There:

While there are wineries and attractions dotting the region, Ithaca is a great place to start your visit. Located at the tip of Lake Cayuga, it is home to Ithaca College, and is a quick drive from the Cayuga Wine Trail, the Corning Museum of Glass, Watkins Glen, and other area attractions. You can fly directly into the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, and you’ll want to rent a car to explore all the region has to offer.

Which Wineries to Visit:

There are dozens of wineries and three different wine trails you can choose from in the Finger Lakes Wine Country. The Cayuga Wine Trail, established in 1983, is the longest-running wine trail in America and features 14 select wineries. Outside of this trail, we recommend starting out at the Dr. Konstantin Frank winery, which has been family-run since 1962 and helped establish the Finger Lakes’ reputation for rieslings. The Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in Dundee and Ravines Wine Cellars in Geneva are also favorites in the region.

Other Tips:

The Finger Lakes region prides itself on exploring the simple pleasures, and that’s exactly what makes it so great. Go back to the basics by watching the sunset over the lake, sipping wine on a patio, or hiking through the waterfalls and gorges of Watkins Glen. If you’re exploring the Cayuga Wine Trail, be sure to check out their website. It has packages and community events, and plots out restaurants, ice cream shops, outdoor activities, and more along the trail.

napa valley wine region_wine regions in the u.s.

Napa Valley, California

Napa is probably the best-known wine region in the U.S., featuring over 30 miles of vineyards, wineries, and beautiful views stretching through Northern California. Because of its popularity, it’s one of the pricier options for a wine-filled vacation, but it’s famous for a reason. The region boasts some of the best wineries in the world, luxury accommodations, and miles and miles to explore.

Where to Stay in Napa:

How to Get There:

You’ll almost definitely have to rent a car once you’re there, but getting to Napa is a breeze. It’s situated close to San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and Sonoma County Airport.

Which Wineries to Visit:

There are options in Napa for every kind of wine connoisseur, from intimate, small wineries to larger, more recognizable operations. A few options to get you started: Frog’s Leap Winery, O’Brien Estate, Schramsberg Vineyards, Castello di Amorosa Winery, and Far Niente.

Other tips:

Renting bikes instead of a limo or a car is a great way to save money. Public transportation is available in Napa itself, but it doesn’t extend to the valley. Visiting during the off-season will mean thinner crowds and cheaper prices. August to October and March to May are the peak seasons, with August to October being the top harvest time and when there are the most travelers in the area.

charlottesville wine region_wine regions in the u.s.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville is home to the Monticello Wine Trail, a collection of over 30 wineries and vineyards that’s often called the birthplace of American wine. The trail is inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s vision of grape growing and winemaking. The region is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing a relaxing escape to travelers, and it’s close enough to Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia for a weekend trip.

Where to stay in Charlottesville:

How to Get There:

Travelers can fly directly into the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, or opt for a flight into Washington Dulles International Airport or Richmond International Airport. Either way, renting a car is your best bet for getting to and getting around Charlottesville.

Which Wineries to Visit:

The Monticello Wine trail website is a valuable resource for anyone planning a trip to Charlottesville, giving information about top wineries and plugging them into an itinerary. Some of our favorites include: Blenheim Vineyards (owned by Dave Matthews), Barboursville Vineyards, King Family Vineyards (catch a polo game here in the summertime too!), and Jefferson Vineyards.

Other Tips:

The Michie Tavern is a quaint lunch stop, with servers in 18th-century-period costumes and a Southern-style lunch. While you’re not sipping on wine, we recommend a visit to the historic Downtown Mall, home to more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants to enjoy. And, of course, no visit to Charlottesville would be complete without a tour of Thomas Jefferson’s picturesque Monticello. Last but not least, come say hi to us at Roomkey HQ! Our main office is located in beautiful downtown C’ville.

When you’re ready to book your next wine tasting venture, we can help you find the perfect hotel in the area. Visit today to compare low loyalty member rates from your favorite hotel brands around the world.