August thru October means it’s harvest time in grape vineyards across the country. This is a great time to plan a day trip, weekend getaway, or a whole vacation around the harvest. Many states collaborate efforts between their Departments of Tourism, Transportation, and Agriculture, to showcase their states wine industry through the development of Wine Trails, Winery Tours, Wine Tastings, and other wine related events throughout the year.
According to the Wine Trails USA website, “Wineries and the wine industry are an important part of each state’s growing economy. With agritourism on the rise, the economic impact of wine travel continues to grow. As a result, it’s expected more and more states will move toward official wine trail designations for their wine growing areas.”
With summer winding down sweet, juicy grapes are hanging heavy on the vines waiting to be picked, mashed and made into some fabulous wines. Now is the time to visit wineries to get a first hand look at just how they take these fruits of the vine and turn them into such palate pleasing beverages. Late summer, early fall is also harvest time for peaches, pears, and apples, all flavorful, fruity ingredients many wineries turn into fine fruit wines.
Here is just a sampling of the many Wine Trails and Tours located around the United States. If you’re traveling overseas and are interested in wine tours or trails, make sure you do a little research before you go to see if any of your travel destinations are known for their fine wines. Search your own states tourism website for wine tours, trails, festivals and events near you.
Famous and Historic Napa Valley Wineries - Visit five famous and historic wineries that have been instrumental in giving Napa Valley wines their worldwide recognition: Domaine Chandon, Robert Mondavi Winery, Rubicon Estate (the magnificent & grand estate of Inglenook Fame), Beaulieu Vineyards, Beringer Wines (oldest continuous winery). http://www.winecountrygetaways.com
The Niagara Wine Trail - Here you can explore several award-winning wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail. Just 1.5 hours from Toronto or Rochester, 1/2 hour from Buffalo, and minutes from Niagara Falls, the Niagara Wine Trail winds its way through a beautiful combination of wineries, rich farmland, and rural countryside, all in an afternoons drive. http://www.niagarawinetrail.org/.
Lake Erie Vines and Wines - Along the south shore of Lake Erie, through the valley created by the mighty Grand River, atop the ridges carved by ancient glaciers and in tiny microclimates nearby, northeast Ohio boasts more wineries per square mile than in any other region. This same area is home to well over half of the wine grape acreage in the state. http://www.ohiowines.org/.
Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail – The wineries along the Bluebonnet Wine Trail are a group of family owned and operated wineries offering unique wines and wine tasting experiences. Throughout the year, each winery offers numerous activities and events including wine tastings, grape crushing, mystery dinners, music concerts, wine pairing dinners, vineyard tours, grape stomp, and much more. The Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail offers two Vintners Dinners throughout the course of the year, one in the fall and another in the spring. For info visit: http://www.texasbluebonnetwinetrail.com/. Texas has eight wine trails, for info on all eight visit: http://www.grapevinetrail.com/wine/celebrate-grape-harvest-texas-wine-trail-tour.
Door County Premier Wine Tour - Hop aboard an old timey trolley car and get VIP treatment as you leisurely ride through the scenic landscape of Door County. Visit each of the 4 Door County award winning Boutique Winery's. Meet one on one with local vintners and enjoy tasting flavorful, reds, whites, ports, and fabulous fruit wines. The tour is topped off with a chef prepared gourmet lunch at the prestigious "Board Room" at Liberty Square. The 5 hour tour runs June thru October, and at around $60.00 per person, including tastings and lunch, is a bargain. http://www.doorcountytrolley.com.