I just recently took a long weekend trip to Sonoma County, outside of San Francisco. For a Floridian, a weekend jaunt cross country to San Fran was quite the trek…and it definitely left an impact on my sleep schedule for a few days. The end result of my many pictures posted on Instagram, however? A suggestion from another Florida friend that we do a girls’ weekend to Sonoma County sometime. I will admit that I fell completely in love with northern California, but the thought of making the trip cross country for another short weekend jaunt left me groaning and asking myself, isn’t there something comparable on the East coast??
Well…believe it or not, there was! And more than one!
This area is just a short 30 minutes from the heart of our nation’s capital, which earned it the nickname “D.C.’s wine country.” The region specializes in reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvigon and Cabernet Franc. For those who prefer white, you’ll find Chardonnay and Viogner.
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Just an hour west of D.C. you’ll run into Shenandoah’s wine country, which has become a hot spot for thrill seekers. From mountain biking to horseback riding, the area is full of activities to suit everyone. This region specializes in Viogner, Feisling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Petit Verdot, and fruit wines.
Hudson Valley, NY
Just an hour and a half north of New York City, this wine region is one of the oldest winemaking regions in the country. There are currently more than 25 wineries to sample and the region specialize in whites and blends.
Mason-Dixon Wine Trail , York, Penn.
This area is home to 14 family-owned wineries that are known for their friendly boutique tasting rooms. The area specializes in Reisling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and fruit wines.
Missouri Wine Country
So while this one isn’t on the East coast, it’s also far closer than flying to California. It’s also my home state and a mere two hour flight from Tampa. Missouri wine country is surprisingly large and little known to those outside of the Midwest. Ironically, however, winemaking began in this area when German settlers arrived and planted grape vines in Hermann, MO, making it the oldest wine region in the country. It is home to over 100 wineries and is broken into five separate corridors: the Hermann Wine Trail, the Route Du Vin, the Missouri Weinstrasse, the Missouri River Wine Trail, and the Ozark Mountain Wine Trail.This area specializes in Chardonnay and sparkling wines. If you’re in the market for red wine, try the Norton, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
So what do you think? Would you branch out and try one of these less well known wineries? Make sure that if you do decide to branch out that you take along your wine suitcase so you can bring all the great wine back home with you!