Erik Neilson on March 18, 2017 0 Comments It’s becoming easier with each passing year for people to learn more about wine through hands-on experience. More and more wineries are opening up their doors to the public, offering tours, tastings and a bit of historical background to help inform their customers about what they’re drinking. As the proliferation of wineries continues to increase, “wine trails” that connect wineries along a path throughout a state or region are forming inadvertently. A new type of wine tourism is popping up, and it’s happening fast throughout America. The number of wine trails is growing quickly, and there’s something out there for everyone. Here are 7 U.S. wine trails you can’t afford to skip if you find yourself nearby. 1. North Central Texas Wine Trail (TX) Texas may not be the first state that comes to mind when people think wine, but that’s changing at a very quick rate. North Central Texas in particular is home to a wine trail that should not go overlooked. North of San Antonio and West of Austin has become a hotbed of winemaking activities and is now home to over 50 wineries — all within a relatively short drive from one another. Many wineries along the North Central Texas Wine Trail are extremely modern and characterized by new construction, such as 4.0 Cellars in Fredericksburg. Just down the road sits Torre di Pietra, one of the warmest, most cozy wineries you’ll find not only in Texas, but anywhere else in the country. 2. Columbia Gorge Wine Trail (OR) It’s no secret that Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking scenic views in the country — look no further than Columbia Gorge Wine Trail to find the best views the state has to offer. Just 60 miles outside of Portland, the Columbia Gorge Wine Trail is home to eight wineries, all of which are more than worth a visit for those who are looking to learn more about Oregonian wine. Stop into Cathedral Ridge Winery, which offers a number of different tastings ranging from standard flights ($10) to full-treatment “Connoisseur” tastings ($120) to get the entire picture of what this winery is all about. Don’t forget to head down the road to Stoltz Winery to check out what may be the word’s only Mortuary-turned-winery! 3. Brandywine Valley Wine Trail (PA) Pennsylvania has a great deal to offer to those who are willing to hop into a car and go for a drive, including lots of great wine. PA is home to plenty of wineries, but if you’re going to stick to a single trail, make it the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. You’ll find four major stops on the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail: Black Walnut Winery, Borderland Vineyard, Kreutz Creek Vineyards and Paradocx Vineyard. One of the benefits of hitting this wine trail versus some of the more densely-packed trails throughout the country is that you’ll have the opportunity to spend a sufficient amount of time at each winery, as opposed to having to skip some that you wanted to hit simply due to time constraints. Plus, the area is loaded with great restaurants and boutique hotels, so don’t think twice about making a trip out of it. 4. Capital City Wine Trail (OH) Ohio is about as unlikely a place as someone could ever expect to find great wine, but there’s actually a surprising amount of wineries located throughout the state. If you find yourself in Ohio and are unsure where to start, the Capital City Wine Trail will give you plenty to work with. Over 10 wineries can be found on the trail, all framed by rolling hillsides and quaint country stop-offs. Every level of wine lover can find something to love on the Capital City Wine Trail, including fun fruit wines that are unique to the area. Camelot Cellars Winery is a must-stop on the Trail, and the new space accommodates up to 125 people, making it an excellent stop for families. 5. Yadkin Valley Wine Trail (NC) North Carolina has made a name for itself over the years as being a true force in wine, and it appears as if things are just starting to heat up for the state. Now home to a number of different wine trails, new visitors will do best to start with the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail, which offers some of the most stunning views the state has to offer. Those who are showing up simply for the wine only will not be disappointed, as there are plenty of excellent wineries to pop into. Family-owned Stony Knoll Vineyards is putting out some of the best wine in the state, and nearby Shelton Vineyards in Dobson offers a number of different tours and tasting opportunities. Plus, you’ll be located nearby a number of other wine trails should you decide to keep going once you’ve seen everything the Yadkin Valley has in store! 6. Coastal Wine Trail (New England) One of the most interesting wine trails in the country, the Coastal Wine Trail doesn’t just take you through a single state — it stretches all the way through New England. Claiming 14 vineyards across the heart of Southeastern New England, the Coastal Wine Trail provides wine lovers with the opportunity to experience first-hand a number of different wines that are produced exquisitely despite tricky growing conditions. If you’re looking to cover some serious ground, this is the wine trail for you. 7. Minnesota Heartland Wine Trail (MN) There are some excellent wines coming out of Minnesota, and you’ll find the majority of them by simply following the Minnesota Heartland Wine Trail. Here, you’ll have eight different wineries to visit, all of which are located in close enough proximity to one another to warrant a quick visit. If you have to pick just one or two, however, Buffalo Rock Winery and Hinterland Vineyards are your best bets. At Buffalo Rock, be sure to get a taste of Frontenac, which is made using 100% organically grown grapes and stands out as one of Minnesota’s best wines.