California’s Mendocino County is widespread and extremely diverse, encompassing 2.4 million acres of land. The area sprawls across narrow valleys, giant redwood forests, and reaches out to the pristine northern California coastline. The scenic route and my favorite way to get there starts at Highway 128 in Cloverdale, at the northern tip of Sonoma County, and continues north until you reach Anderson Valley, an AVA (American Viticultural Area) most known for pinot noir, chardonnay, and Alsatian grape varietals.
The Willamette Valley, a premier wine growing region with over 20,000 acres of planted grape vineyards, starts less than an hour south of Portland, Oregon. The valley’s topography is over 100 miles long, spanning 60 miles at its widest point, sitting between the state’s breathtaking Cascade Mountains to the east, with outstanding views of Mount Hood and the Central Coast Range to the west.
New Hampshire is famous for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary held every four years. Beyond this, New Hampshire is annually recognized as one of the most livable states in the country. The Granite State is also famous for its abundance of natural resources and beauty: cherished ocean, large lakes, cascading rivers, and tall mountains. The farm-to-table movement and the growth of domestic wine production are adding to the state’s appeal.
Following the second annual Taste Tours Tuscany last spring at Casali di Bibbiano, a magnificent Italian country estate and winery, I headed to Umbria, a lesser-known but equally wonderful wine region. My trip was focused on learning more about Sagrantino, a red wine grape that has been making a lasting impression.