Unrivalled for tourist attractions, scenic driving routes or extravagant hotels, the USA is a destination that has something for everyone – including food and wine enthusiasts. It’s easy to default to the sophisticated countries of Europe when you think of wine and gastronomy, but North America has a lot to offer in terms of enotourism. Consider the uniqueness of the country, a vast nation covering 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km²). With a larger immigrant population than any other country in the world, and ethnic diversity across 50 states, it’s easy to understand why food and wine culture is so exciting here.
Not only do the different US territories have their own values, beliefs and way of life, but they each have their own culinary styles and some are even home to great wine-producing regions. If you’re interested in indulging your palate in the most varied, dynamic and interesting gastronomy that the western world can bring, plan your luxury holiday to the USA with Wine Paths.
The USA is the world’s fourth-largest country, so exploring the entire destination from coast to coast is near impossible. Even on extended travel, it will be challenging to cover everything on your bucket list. With major cities like New York and Las Vegas promising shopping and nightlife, giant resorts and glamorous coastline in California, and mouth-watering fast food stops in America’s Deep South, it’s hard to know where to start.
If high-end food and wine, good weather, and rich cultural attractions, are the things that inspire you, we recommend the state of California. And a region like the Napa Valley is a great place to begin your journey. This well-known country lifestyle wine region offers luxury castles and wineries, world-class golf resorts, and scenic cycling tours. It’s a mecca for wine lovers, and is located close to the trendy city of San Francisco. Famous for its vast choice of restaurants and some of the tastiest local specialities such as Dungeness crab and bay shrimp, this city can tantalize the most sophisticated palates.
We also create luxury tours of to the Sonoma Valley, another stunning wine region in California with spectacular scenery. Home to the finest vineyards in the country, and the American Viticultural Area (AVA) known as the Russian River, it’s the perfect place to mix wine tasting with watersports. Enjoy river kayaking, horseback riding, or hiking in the many parks and trails. Or if gastronomy is your passion, book a gourmet experience with a Michelin starred chef.
Adjacent to the Sonoma Coast area, you can also explore the sandy beaches, hidden coves, and rugged swimming spots of Jenner and Bodega Bay.
Being such a vast country, the climate zones in North America vary greatly. In general, in the USA has a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. In California though, much of the state experiences a Mediterranean climate. So you can expect pleasant weather all year round, with summers (June to September) being hot and dry and winters (December to March) being mild and sometimes rainy.
In Northern California, the highest mountain ranges may have snow in the wintertime, while some of the desert regions will experience extreme heat in the peak summer months. Spring (March to June) and autumn or fall (September to December) are lovely times to visit. But bear in mind that San Francisco has some characteristic fog in the spring and early summer months.
The main wine grapes in the USA are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Zinfandel. With the top producing states being California, Washington, New York, Oregon and Texas.
The wine regions in California, which is the nation’s main producing state, can be split into the North Coast (includes the large North Coast AVA north of San Francisco Bay), the Central Coast (includes Santa Clara Valley AVA, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, San Lucas AVA and Paso Robles AVA), the South Coast (includes a portion of Southern California), and Central Valley (includes Sierra Foothills AVA).
The North Coast is where some of the most notable regions are found, such as Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The many charming townships in the Napa Valley boast the best Napa Cab, and in the Calistoga area in Napa’s north you’ll taste some of the finest Pinot noir and Zinfandel, America’s heritage grape.
Some of the other destinations not to miss for wine enthusiasts are Finger Lakes in New York, Walla in Washington, Charlottesville in Virginia, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Snake River in Idaho.
From New York and San Francisco to vibrant cities like Austin in Texas, there are so many options for your holiday to the USA.
If you want all-year-round sunny weather, head to one of our favourite wine destinations, California. There are many wonderful places to stay here, from the famous Napa Valley and scenic Sonoma Valley and Coastline, to other wine regions on the rise in the far North or in Southern CA.
From luxury golf and spa resorts with Michelin starred restaurants to vineyard accommodation, we can help you find the perfect retreat for you and your group. We have connections with private golf clubs and iconic Relais & Châteaux boutique hotels. To find out more about booking into exclusive accommodation, get in touch with our team.
There are so many incredible cuisines to try across North America. Each state and certain pockets of communities have their own unique way of cooking, traditions and access to regional produce. Combined with the exciting flavours of immigration and fusion cuisine, wine and food tours in the USA are truly unforgettable.
States like California are renowned for their wine production, making food and wine pairing a delight. Californian cuisine is a food movement that focuses on dishes that are driven by local and sustainable ingredients, and we can help you discover the best restaurants in the famous Napa Valley or the spectacular Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast.
For modern 3 Michelin star dining, book a table at The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena in Napa.
Wine Paths combines world-class wines and mouth-watering gastronomy with luxury lodgings for an unforgettable travel experience in the USA. Find out more from our local travel expert Shelle.