Great Wineries to Visit on Vacation

While top wine-producing regions of the world like Bordeaux and Tuscany tend to spring to mind when thinking of award-winning wines, the United States isn’t far behind when it comes to producing top-notch tipple. From the sun-baked vineyards of California’s Sonoma Valley to the patchwork rolling hills of the Midwest, America wineries have much to offer in the way of sublime wines that can hold their own on the world wine stage. Here are some of the country’s best wineries to head to for classic Cabernet Sauvignons, magical Merlots, and sublime Syrahs.

Ciccone Vineyard & Winery

Nestled in the hills of Leelanau in northern Michigan, Ciccone Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery that boasts 14 acres of vineyards and produces small-batch, estate-grown dry and off-dry wines ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec to Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Dolcetto. Other wines produced include Pinot Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Muscat, Malbec, Gewurztraminer, Marechal Foch, and DeChaunac and wines are estate bottled onsite. A modern tasting room is open for visitors to sample and purchase the estate’s wines and facility and grounds rental is available for special celebrations.

10343 E Hilltop Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682, United States, Phone: +1 231-271-5553

Augusta Winery

Situated on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley just an hour from St. Louis, Augusta Winery was the first federally approved AVA (or American Viticultural Area). Inspired by his growing appreciation and love of great wine while traveling, winemaker Tony Kooyumjian opened Augusta Winery in the heart of the eponymous town, producing a range of dry, sweet, and fruit wines from Missouri’s official state grape and the oldest in the country, the Norton. The estate also produces a classic five-year Tawny Port, and visitors can sample the port and wines in the tasting room or on the outdoor patio with picnic baskets or pizzas. An expansive gift shop sells an array of items for wine-lovers.

5601 High St, Augusta, MO 63332, United States, Phone: +1 888-667-9463

Bear Creek Winery & Lodging

Bear Creek Winery & Lodging is a locally-owned and operated winery and guest lodge that produces small-batch wines and provides premium wine tasting experience and luxurious guest lodging. Owned and managed by the husband-and-wife team, Bill and Dorothy, Bear Creek Winery & Lodging opened in 2003 and grew from humble beginnings with the help of family and friends into the 20,000-gallon-a-year business it is today. The winery produces small-batch wines from nine core varietals, as well as five seasonal wines, all of which can be sampled in the modern tasting room.

60203 Bear Creek Dr #9440, Homer, AK 99603, United States, Phone: +1 907-235-8484

Biltmore Winery

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville in the heart of Antler Hill Village, Biltmore’s 8,000-acre estate is also home to a historic winery. Visitors can enjoy special tastings of more than 20 handcrafted wines, as well as reserve and sparkling wines by the glass from the wine bar accompanied by delicious cheeses and locally-made truffles. Specialty tours and tastings include Red Wine & Chocolate Pairing, Wine & Cheese Hours, and exclusive Vine to Wine Tours. Biltmore Estate is a beautiful Châteauesque-styled private estate and popular tourist attraction in Asheville. Owned by the Vanderbilt family, the mansion and its spectacular gardens were built between 1889 and 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt and is currently the largest privately-owned house in the United States. Biltmore Estate is open 365 days a year, and hours vary according to the season. Guided tours of the house and the gardens are available by reservation.

One Lodge Street – Asheville, NC 28803, Phone: 800-411-3812

Cass Vineyard & Winery

Nestled between Creston and Paso Robles in the oak-studded hills of California's Central Coast, Cass Vineyard, and Winery is a 145-acre estate vineyard that grows Rhone varieties and produces a range of crisp reds, wines, and rosés. The winery offers several experiences from guided wine tastings in the Tasting Room or on the shaded veranda and Library Tasting Experiences where guests can learn more about the history of Cass Winery to Sensory Wine Seminars and Private Wine Luncheons. The Cass Winery Café is open daily and serves seasonal menus of contemporary cuisine, including gourmet sandwiches and salads, chicken and meat dishes, and fresh seafood.

7350 Linne Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446, USA, Phone: +1 805-239-1730

Cat-n-Bird Winery

Cat-n-Bird Winery is a boutique winery and event space that can be hired for special occasions. The winery does use muscadine grapes but import grapes and juice from vineyards from around the world to produce great selection of boutique varieties and international wines, ranging from Australian Cabernet Sauvignon to Italian Amarone. Current wine selections include Bianco Tedesco (Liebfraumilch), California Chardonnay, Italian Nebbiolo, German Riesling, La Rubia (an Argentina Trio), Italian Amarone, Gewurztraminer, and California Moscato. The winery offers exclusive wine tastings and cheese pairings with knowledgeable staff who are on hand to answer any questions about the wines and advise on pairings, and the event can be hired for weddings and other special functions.

11661 Old Hwy 280, Chelsea, AL 35043, United States, Phone: +1 205-610-9463

Duckhorn Vineyards

Duckhorn Vineyards was established by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976 and has grown into one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines over the past 40 years. From its humble beginnings of producing just 1600 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in 1978, Duckhorn Vineyards now produces four percent of California’s award-winning wines every year. Located in St. Helena along the Silverado Trail, the vineyard’s estate house with its wrap-around veranda is an ideal setting for sampling some of the region's finest wines and is walking distance of at least ten neighboring wineries.

1000 Lodi Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574, Phone: (866) 367-9945

Francis Coppola's Domaine de Broglie

Located in the Dundee Hills in the northern Willamette Valley, Domaine de Broglie (BROY) is home to some of Oregon’s most acclaimed Pinot Noir vineyards. Inspired by Louis de Broglie, a French physicist who received the 1929 Nobel Prize in physics for making groundbreaking contributions to quantum theory, the estate’s fits the Coppola’s portfolio perfectly which features science-minded wines like the Archimedes Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the Agnesi 1799 Brandy. The estate has an elegant tasting room boasts classic décor, an ambient fireplace, and breathtaking views over the Willamette Valley, where visitors can sample the estate’s award-winning wines.

6475 NE Hilltop Ln, Dayton, OR 97114, United States, Phone: +1 503-376-1600

Heritage Vineyards

Located in Warsaw just minutes outside of Coshocton, Ohio, Heritage Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery that produces small-batch, handcrafted wines from the winery’s grapes. Priding itself on providing a selection of easy-to-drink varietals, Heritage Vineyards white wines range from the dry Vidal Blanc to the sweet Harvest Moon. Red varietals include the semi-dry wine Lighthouse Red and Original Sangria made with its Harvest Moon wine. Fruit-based wines include Apple, sweet Raspberry Crush, tart Cranberry Crush, and the best-selling Vineyard Peach. The winery’s tasting room has expansive front and back patios with gorgeous views where visitors can sample Heritage Vineyards’ top wines in a relaxed, laid-back setting.

27561 Township Rd 45, Warsaw, OH 43844, United States, Phone: +1 740-824-4314

Jackson Hole Winery

Located next to Spring Creek in Jackson with breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole Winery is a family-owned, boutique winery that produces handcrafted small-batch wines using traditional fermenting and bottling methods. Founded in 2009 by Anthony Schroth, the small family winery sources grapes from seven of its vineyards in the Sonoma region, and additional fruit from the Napa, Sonoma, and Walla Walla AVAs to produce award-winning wines with 18 percent less oxygen in cooler climes. Wine tastings are held in a beautifully restored century-old barn or on the expansive dog-friendly patio during the summer against a backdrop of spectacular views.

2800 W Boyles Hill Rd, Jackson, WY 83001, United States, Phone: +1 307-201-1057

King Family Vineyards

Nestled in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, King Family Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery just outside of Charlottesville in Crozet that specializes in the production of premium wines that reflect the tastes and flavors of the Monticello terroir. Winemaker Matthieu Finot uses locally sourced and carefully selected grapes to create wines inspired by the old world, including Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier, and an award-winning Bordeaux-variety blend, the flagship 2014 Meritage. Wine tastings include six samples of the estate’s top wines, and private tastings in the library and vineyard tours can be arranged.

6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet, VA 22932, United States, Phone: +1 434-823-7800

L'Ecole No 41

Located in a historic French schoolhouse in the heart of the tiny town of Walla Walla, Washington, L’Ecole No 41 is a third-generation, family-owned artisan winery that produces a range of ultra-premium, distinctive wines. L’Ecole No 41 was the third-ever winery to open in Walla Walla was granted AVA status after a year and is one of the most prominent Walla Walla Valley wineries with national and international distribution today. The winery is at the forefront of sustainable farming in the Walla Walla Valley producing superior quality Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Sauvignons, which can be sampled in the stylish stained-glass accented tasting room.

41 Lowden School Road, Lowden, WA 99360, Phone: 509.525.0940

Lost Oak Winery

Lost Oak Winery is a family-owned and operated winery in Burleson, Texas that produces remarkable Texan wines and hosts rural vineyard hosting tastings, exceptional food pairings, estate and cellar tours, and live concerts throughout the year. Boasting a picturesque setting on the banks of Village Creek, the 52-acre winery has three cultivated vineyards with ancient stately oaks and several walking paths that wind their way around the estate. Visitors can explore the winery by hiking and mountain biking, and enjoy picnics, wine tasting, and listening to live music in a relaxed, laid-back, pastoral setting with beautiful views.

8101 County Rd 802, Burleson, TX 76028, United States, Phone: +1 817-426-6625

Maysara Winery & Momtazi Vineyards

Nestled in the foothills of the McMinnville AVA, Maysara Winery & Momtazi Vineyards is a certified Biodynamic vineyard that uses an ultra-organic way of farming that uses estate-made compost and herbal teas such as Chamomile, Dandelion, Horsetail, Yarrow, Valerian, and Stinging Nettle to nourish healthy vines. The 532-acre property features a 260-acre Demeter-certified Biodynamic vineyard produces chemical-free, holistic wines which can be tasted in the rustic tasting room with stone walls, plush Persian rugs and tapestries, and warm lighting.

15765 SW Muddy Valley Rd, McMinnville, OR 97128, United States, Phone: +1 503-843-1234

Zephaniah Farm Vineyard

Based on a 300-year old dairy farm deep in the heart of Virginia's Loudoun County, Zephaniah Farm Vineyard is a family-owned and operated winery with a rich and storied history that grows 14 different varieties of grapes and produces a selection of small-batch white wine blends, reds, and intentional Rosés. The historic-home-turned-winery is one of the top wineries in the country, and its award-winning wines can be sampled in the historic home or a new timber frame barn, both of which boast a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Seated wine tastings must reserved in advance and the tasting room is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all year.

19381 Dunlop Mill Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175, United States, Phone: +1 703-431-2016

Charles Krug Winery

Established in 1861, Charles Krug is Napa Valley’s oldest wine estate and has been managed by the Mondavi family since 1943. The historic winery first opened for public tastings in 1882 at the very first tasting room in California and continues the tradition today at what is has grown into a world-class hospitality center that is world-renowned for its architectural design, storied heritage, and exceptional wines. The winery has an elegant eatery named after beloved family matriarch Rosa Mondavi that serves authentic wood-fired pizzas, artisan cheese, and charcuterie boards to pair with the wines, and guided cellar tours, estate tours, and wine tastings can be reserved. The exquisite estate also hosts a variety of events throughout the year and can be hired for special occasions and celebrations.

2800 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, United States, Phone: +1 707-967-2229

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery is a European-style Georgia winery at the base of Wolf Mountain based in a beautifully designed craftsman-style cottage encased in fieldstone. The 8,000-square-foot winery features an antique bar area and comfortable lounge area with early French winemaking artifacts, beautiful fireplaces, and an indoor function space that includes a dance space. The award-winning winery produces highly acclaimed wines and is considered a leader in fine wine production on the East Coast. The winery has a tasting room where visitors can sample the estate’s vintages in the modern tasting and learn more about the wine-making process from educational winemaker tours on Saturdays and Sundays.

180 Wolf Mountain Trail, Dahlonega, GA 30533, United States, Phone: +1 706-867-9862

Cielo Farms

Cielo Farms is a magnificent 30-acre Tuscan-style estate surrounded by endless vineyards and groves of olive trees, and panoramic views of the Malibu Hills and Santa Monica Mountains. Designed by renowned architect Bob Easton, the beautiful estate serves as an incredible backdrop for special events and functions and offers a variety of boutique wine tastings featuring over 20 wines and unique chocolate and wine pairings in The Barn. Cielo Farms can also be hired for filming and has an exclusive members-only wine club.

31424 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States, Phone: +1 424-234-7242

Columbia Winery

Founded in 1962 by a group of friends with a passion for winemaking, Columbia Winery has been producing award-winning wines that embody the spirit of Washington’s unique and exceptional vineyard sites for the past 50 years. Columbia Winery produced the first Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Syrah wines in Washington under the expertise of Master of Wine David Lake. The winery continues to produce critically acclaimed, award-winning wines from renowned AVAs. The estate’s wines can be sampled in their modern tasting room where friendly and knowledgeable wine educators are on hand to talk about the selection of wines available.

14030 NE 145th St, Woodinville, WA 98072, USA, Phone: +1 425-482-7490 Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery Situated on the southwestern hills of Keuka Lake, the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery is steeped in four generations of history and wine-growing heritage. Established in 1957, Vinifera Wine Cellars was founded by Dr. Konstantin Frank merely a decade after arriving in America and ignited the ‘Vinifera Revolution,’ a movement that would change the course of wine growing around the country. Dr. Frank introduced the Riesling (and Gewürztraminer) grapes to the Finger Lakes region, and his son developed world-class sparkling wines and launched Salmon Run line. Visitors can enjoy several different tasting experiences that offer the opportunity to taste world-class wines against a backdrop of breathtaking views, and private wine tastings and food-and-wine pairing experiences are available. 9749 Middle Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840, United States, Phone: +1 800-320-0735

Duchman Family Winery

The Duchman Family Winery is one of the top wine destinations in the Texas Hill Country, bringing unique Italian grape varieties such as Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto and world-class winemaking to the wine scene. Founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman, the Duchman Family Winery uses Texas-grown fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA and innovative winemaking to produce award-winning, food-friendly fine wines. Current releases can be sampled in the beautiful Italianate villa and tasting room on the estate, which features an indoor winery hallway with viewing windows into the barrel room and production area or outdoors at one of the picnic tables shaded by mammoth oaks. When hunger strikes, soak up the wine with a massive helping of barbeque from the nearby Salt Lick Restaurant.

13308 Farm to Market 150, Driftwood, TX 78619, United States, Phone: +1 512-858-1470

Sawtooth Winery

Located in Idaho’s Snake River Valley, the 70-acre Sawtooth Winery is one of Idaho’s most acclaimed winemakers. Founded in 1987 by Charles Pintler, the winery uses grapes grown on the steep, south sloping hills of the adjacent 400-acre Skyline Vineyard to produce a range of varietals, including Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Tempranillo. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Snake River Valley, Sawtooth produces award-winning reds and Chardonnay, as well as Rhône varietals and an award-winning Riesling. Visitors to the winery can sample the highly-acclaimed wines in Sawtooth’s cozy and rustic wood-beamed tasting room, which is open for lunch daily.

C, 19348 Lowell Rd, Caldwell, ID 83607, United States, Phone: +1 208-467-1200

Scribe Winery

Founded in 2007 by brothers and California farmers, Andrew and Adam Mariani, Scribe Winery in Sonoma, California produces a range of vibrant, terroir-driven wines in a hip, laid-back setting. Paving the way for the next generation of winemakers, the fourth-generation California farmers create sustainable wines that can be sampled in a relaxed, unpretentious setting on Mexican blankets on the grass or at picnic tables dotted about garden. Tastings at Scribe are by appointment and reservation only and include Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Sylvaners, and Rieslings, accompanied by homegrown fruits and nuts.

2100 Denmark St, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States, Phone: +1 707-939-1858

Sokol Blosser Winery

Located in the Dundee Hills northeast of Dayton in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Sokol Blosser Winery was established in 1971 when Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser first planted vines to create hillside vineyards. The family-owned and operated winery produces sustainably-crafted, organic wines made from locally-sourced grapes that express the distinctive flavors of the Dundee Hills terroir, including Pinot noir, Pinot Gris, proprietary red and white blends, and small quantities of single block Rosé and White Riesling dessert wine. Visitors can sample the estate’s wines in the new solar-powered, green-certified tasting room, in the commercial kitchen, tableside on the cedar terrace, or in one of the six light-filled tasting rooms.

5000 NE Sokol Blosser Ln, Dayton, OR 97114, United States, Phone: +1 503-864-2282

Wölffer Estate

Nestled among the luxurious summer retreats of Long Island’s East End, Wölffer Estate is a 750,000-acre vineyard that is split into AVAs, namely the 52-acre North Fork and the 55-acre Hamptons that produces iconic rosés. Founded in 1988 by Hamburg-born Christian Wölffer as Sagpond Vineyards and later renamed as Wölffer Estate in 1997, the estate uses an unusual blend of red and white grapes from its two Long Island vineyards to produce two of the world’s top five most popular rosé wines, including the Wölffer’s Summer in a Bottle Rosé and the equally popular Estate Rosé. Wölffer also produces a notable varietal wine using Trebbiano, along with red, white, and sparkling wines, as well as gin, hard cider, and red cider made with sweet, New York State-grown apples. The Wölffer Estate is also home to the Wölffer Estate Stables with world-class equestrian facilities that lend their images to some wine labels.

139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, NY 11962, Phone: 631-537-5106