A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in the USA.

United States of America
wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Why Visit United States of America?

The USA may not immediately spring to mind when considering a wine tasting holiday. However, the last decade has seen a staggering increase in the number of wineries across the country and wine is now produced in some format (with varying degrees of quality) in each of the fifty states – even in Alaska and Hawaii! Take a wine tasting holiday to the USA and discover this exciting and innovative wine producing country first-hand.   

There are five American states where the wine industry plays a significant role: California, Oregon and Washington in the west; New York and Virginia to the east. The best-known and most popular region for a wine tasting holiday is California, particularly the regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma. The ‘Sunshine State’ produces around 90% of the country’s wine and is home to over 120 American Viticultural Areas (the USA’s equivalent to a controlled appellation system). 

There’s more to American cuisine than fast food! Every pocket of this vast country boasts its own unique flavours and speciality dishes, influenced by a melting pot of resident nationalities and bountiful local produce. Follow the oyster trail in Virginia or search the Californian coast for the perfect fish taco; snack from food trucks in Portland, Oregon; enjoy farm-to-table fare in Napa and Michelin-starred dining in New York. The best way to experience authentic local cuisine is on a privately guided or small group food tasting tour.  

When you’re not sipping Chardonnay in Napa Valley or Pinot Noir in Oregon there is a vast array of experiences to keep you busy. Soak up southern California’s relaxed beach vibe or the nightlife in cosmopolitan San Francisco; take a hike in Yosemite National Park or a road trip along the iconic Route 66; learn about Virginia’s colonial heritage or the secrets behind brewing beer in Portland. Speak to the Winerist team about creating a bespoke holiday to the USA. 

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Chardonnay is the most planted white grape variety in the USA and dominates California vineyards, although its popularity is declining, and the last ten years has seen an increase in the planting of Pinot Gris across the country. In terms of red grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted in the USA (another star of California’s vineyards). This is closely followed by the increasingly popular Pinot Noir, which is the dominant grape grown in the vineyards of Oregon. Other popular grape varieties grown include Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and the white French Colombard. 
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Best time to visit

The best time of year to visit the USA on a wine tasting holiday will depend on which wine region you are visiting. Generally speaking, if you are visiting the regions on the east of the country such as the vineyards of Virginia and Finger Lakes  near New York, the best months of the year to visit are April to October. If you plan to head to the west of the country and enjoy wine tasting tours in California, Oregon and Washington, the best time to travel is typically between May and September.  Grape harvest is one of the best times of year for a memorable wine tasting holiday as there is a buzz of activity and excitement in the air and the opportunity to get involved in harvest activities such as grape picking if you wish. Harvest time typically falls between mid-August and late October. Consequently, Autumn is one of the most popular times of year to take a wine tasting tour in the USA and advance booking is highly recommended.   
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How long to stay

The USA is such a vast country so unless you have months to spare, we recommend you pick one wine region per wine tasting holiday. If you are short of time it’s easy to combine a long weekend city break in New York City with wine tasting tours in nearby Finger Lakes, base yourself in Seattle and enjoy wine tasting excursions to nearby Woodinville or explore the vineyards of Virginia from Washington DC. A week would give you ample time to visit a handful of different vineyards in one of the wine regions; in two weeks you can fully immerse yourself in a region and leave with a greater understanding of the local wine production. The Winerist team will be happy to create the perfect itinerary to fit your time scale. 
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How to get there

When planning how to get to the USA your choice of entry airport will depend on the wine region you are visiting. If you’re travelling to California to visit the famous vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma, the most convenient airport is Sonoma County Airport. It’s a small airport that services domestic flights from various US destinations. The closest international airports are San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport.    If you’re travelling to Oregon to visit the Willamette Valley vineyards, the closest international airport is Portland International Airport, which is around 45 miles away. If you plan to visit the wine growing regions of Washington State, the most convenient international airport is Seattle. Washington’s best known wine region, Walla Walla is around four hours from Seattle.  Over on the east side of the United States, many Virginia’s vineyards are accessible from Washington DC. If you plan to taste your way along the Monticello Wine Trail, Charlottesville is the closest town. It has a small domestic airport and is around 70 miles from Richmond International Airport. 
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Top Wine Regions in United States of America

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