Wine Lovers’ Travel Guide
Never mind Napa Valley. These destinations are the new hot spots to explore if you’re in search of wine in spectacular settings. You’ll discover incredible local vintages, fun festivals and beautiful scenery. In other words, perfection.
New Mexico might not be the first state that comes to mind when someone mentions U.S. wine country, yet Albuquerque is home to a handful of wineries producing some truly exceptional wines. Visitors can explore the diverse, higher-elevation terroir, and find a new favorite to bring home.
- The 18th annual Albuquerque Wine Festival will return May 26-28, 2019 at Balloon Fiesta Park. The festival features New Mexico’s best wineries, exceptional food, talented artisans and lots of live music.
- The North Valley is home to a wide array of varietals that make for some of the region’s tastiest wines. Since 1984, Gruet Winery has produced some of America’s finest sparkling wines, made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
- Established in 1995 by acclaimed vintner John Calvin, Casa Rondeña is one of Albuquerque’s most esteemed wineries. The winery’s 1629 Club, named for the year Franciscan monks first brought vines to New Mexico, is an exclusive association where you’ll sip fine wines in a sophisticated but relaxed setting.
- Near historic Old Town, Clair Winery and Bistro offers French country cuisine along with highly lauded and beloved wines. Try one of the recommended pairings – like the chicken marsala accompanied by the St. Clair Chardonnay – or make your own selection.
Thanks to ideal growing conditions on California’s gorgeous central coast, the wine industry is a jewel in SLO CAL’s crown. As a result of the region’s unparalleled terroir and the gifted people who gambled on its potential, it has blossomed into California’s third largest wine region, with three American Viticulture Areas: Edna Valley, Paso Robles, and Arroyo Grande.
- SLO CAL is home to a number of wine festivals throughout the year including Cambria Art & Wine Festival, Central Coast Reserve, Paso Robles Wine Festival and more.
- With more than 250 wineries spread among two major wine grape-growing regions, SLO CAL offers a variety of tasting experiences.
- More than 40 wine grape varieties grow in SLO CAL, producing internationally acclaimed wines that can be sampled at more than 100 tasting rooms, each with its own character and vibe.
- Designated wine trails and clustered tasting rooms make it easy to explore SLO CAL’s wineries, whether for an afternoon or a long weekend of tasting.
South Walton, Florida is known for its sugar-white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But the destination has also earned a reputation for its welcoming community of wine lovers. Every year, enthusiasts gather to wine, dine, educate, and celebrate at the below events.
- Sandestin Wine Festival (April 11-14) – Known as the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals” and with more than 30 years of tradition behind it, the annual Sandestin Wine Festival is South Walton’s original wine festival. The four-day event is held at The Village of Baytowne Wharf in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort each April.
- South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival (April 26-28) – “More Than A Festival – It’s A Lifestyle.” This four-day event, features more than 800 wines, a chef-inspired culinary village, and hands-on educational seminars with industry experts and renowned chefs.
- Harvest Food & Wine Festival (October 25-27) – The new festival on the block! Harvest Wine and Food Festival kicks off with a series of celebrity winemaker dinners. It also features al fresco tastings with rare vintages and paired hors d’oeuvres. The event culminates in a grand tasting showcasing more than 400 wines, culinary treats and live music.
- Seeing Red Wine Festival (November 8-11) – The Seeing Red Wine Festival has called Seaside home for nearly 30 years. While the grand tasting is the centerpiece of the Seeing Red Wine Festival, Sunday brunch shouldn’t be missed.