Vineyards in USA: Much more than fine wines

The US vineyards are known for their stunning landscapes, incredible wine tourism activities, delicious food and of course world-famous wines.

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After the so-called ‘1976 Judgement of Paris’ pitted both red and white wines from the US against those from France, which is generally considered the spiritual home of fine wine, as part of a blind tasting in the capital the world of vineyards in the US completely changed. To the astonishment of the world, a panel of respected French judges awarded the winners of both categories to wines from Napa Valley as opposed to those from Burgundy or Bordeaux – thereby creating a surge of interest in wines from US and changing the course of history for the vineyards of USA.

Among the American vineyard, Napa Valley is the most famous. There are 16 designated sub-regions, many of which are considered to have the best vineyards in the US (including two that creep into the neighbouring Sonoma and Solano Counties), which can be explored as part of Napa Valley vineyard tours. Among the most important of these are Oakville, Stag’s Leap, Howell Mountain, Calistoga and Rutherford.

Although the USA vineyard are considered to be relatively remote, they are regarded as a haven for foodies – with more than 14 restaurants carrying at least one Michelin star, and two restaurants having three stars each. Several celebrity chefs such as Michael Chiarello, Tyler Florence and Masaharu Morimoto also own restaurants in the Valley. Although vineyards in America can be visited all year round, Spring and Autumn are generally considered the best times to visit. Autumn, in particular, is an opportune time since this is when harvest takes place – bringing the exciting buzz of buyers to town, while Spring months are characterised by the glorious green colours that blanket the Valley.Serious wine enthusiasts should consider taking at least a week to fully explore the vineyards in America as well as the area’s other attractions such as hiking Mount St. Helena and the Palisades in the northern part of the Valley, or visiting the famed Old Faithful Geyser and Petrified Forest.

 

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