Explore the U.S. Wine Trails

Follow a Local Wine Trail to Discover the Secrets of Fine Wine

Suppose you want to kick back after a long day at work. You light a candle and put on some quiet music but realize the evening isn't complete, so you run out to your local liquor store, looking for the perfect bottle of wine to cap the evening. What will you buy? When you see all the choices, you will probably look for a brand you tried before or a name you recognize-perhaps White Zinfandel by Sutter Home, the California winery.

What you might not realize is the wines that are stocked in local liquor stores tend not to be local, but are from the largest wineries that can afford a wide distribution. Often, small, local wineries have a smaller distribution, and even though their wine is better, you will have a harder time finding it unless you buy from the winery itself.

There are probably many local wineries within a short drive of your house. A quick online search reveals that, around Detroit (for example), wineries exist in Ann Arbor (less than one hour away), Albion (less than two hours away), and even in south-western Ontario (less than one hour away). All fifty states have wineries, and each winery often produces their own distinct-tasting wine. A merlot, for example, will taste different depending on geographic location and the particular winery. Some wineries specialize in creating basic wines (i.e., merlot) while others focus on creating fruit or specialty wines (i.e., blackberry merlot or ice wines).

One way of discovering these wineries is to take a day, perhaps on a weekend or during a vacation, and visit several of these wineries. Because of the conditions needed to grow and harvest good grapes, many wineries are often clustered together along a very scenic "wine trail." Following a trail can be very informative and educational, as you learn about wine-making and taste many of the different wines the wineries make.

Once you have followed your local wine trails, you will know how to pick out a good local wine you will enjoy. You'll probably even buy several bottles from the wine trail you visited! Not only will you be drinking good wine that you didn't know about before, but you will be supporting your local economy.

Another benefit to visiting a wine trail is that you can turn the visit into the perfect family trip. Many wineries have U-Pick fruit orchards, so you and your family can pick fresh fruit during your winery visit.

One way to begin learning more about wine and local wineries is to make a commitment to following one wine trail each month. You can begin in your home state, visit a few wineries, and then begin branching out to other nearby states. By the end of a year, you will have visited many of your own local wineries, as well as wineries in many other states!

Jim and Laura Hofman are avid travelers who enjoy exploring and learning about various wineries and wine regions in the United States. Known as unofficial "travel advisors" for their family, friends, and business associates, the Hofmans enjoy the simple pleasure of sharing a bottle of wine and enjoying life. Subscribe to their free, monthly online newsletter at http://www.WineTrailsUSA.com

In The News:

Obituary: Anthony (Tony) Terlato  wineindustryadvisor.com
Sensible partners Borough for sample rebottling service  Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review
Targeted reopening key to successfully rebuilding custom  Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review
Dry Skies Ahead  Wine Spectator
2020 Virtual Victor E. Bash Exceeds Fundraising Goal  Northern Illinois University Athletics
Loire Valley sparklers herald UK uplift  Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review

Gewurztraminer Wine

Gewurztraminer is an excellent and unique grape variety that is... Read More

Alchoholism, A Major Diesease?

Alcoholism can be given a lot of definitions and all... Read More

Build Your Own Wine Rack (In An Afternoon)

A good drink is what even Gods enjoy and to... Read More

How to Order Wine in a Restaurant

Ordering wine in a restaurant is not much different than... Read More

Enjoy Your Favorite Wine - But With Some Rules

The mere mention of etiquette brings to mind various images,... Read More

A Private Owners Guide to Bottling Fine Whisky

The majority of private owners of whisky casks are looking... Read More

Counting Carbs With Wine

The recent health claims that wines have antioxidants... Read More

The Harmony between Wine and Food

Wine is a social drink which should be enjoyed in... Read More

What is Corked Wine?

Keeping a wine bottle sealed is probably the most important... Read More

Pairing Food and Wine is a Matter of Taste

First off let me say that I am in no... Read More

The Harmony Between Food and Wine

Wine is a social drink which should be enjoyed in... Read More

Wine and Your Health

During the 1990s, a physician voiced on a national TV... Read More

The Old Fashioned: Two Recipes of an Underrated Classic

Like many mixed drinks, the Old Fashioned has a number... Read More

Carignane Wine

The Carignane grape variety is one of the most widely... Read More

Champagne

Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in... Read More

Ideal Wine Temperature

The ideal temperature to store wines is between 55ºF and... Read More

Chardonnay Wine

Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine grape. Chardonnay... Read More

White Zinfandel Wine

White Zinfandel wine is a blush wine made in California... Read More

Wine Tasting -- The Traditional Way

Wine tasting is properly known as 'Wine Degustation'. It is... Read More

Australian Wines

Australia's wine industry has boomed in the past ten years.... Read More

How To Open Champagne

I manage a highly regarded web community for corporate flight... Read More

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting Component I: LookThe first step you have to... Read More

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape responsible for the wines of... Read More

Australia Is More Than Jacobs Creek

The Jacobs Creek Brand of wines have taken the world... Read More

Chablis Wine

Chablis is thought to have originated in northern Spain and... Read More