American Wine tends to be overshadowed by Europe’s When the conversation is U.S. centric, it’s hard to understand the value of the offerings. Napa Valley Consistently attracts the most attention. But There are notable wineries in each of the 50 states. some growing At an unbelievable rate

SoWhere are the hidden jewels in the country? We We asked the people who knew best, sommeliers, and winemakers. They’ve Highlight a Virginian Upstate New York vineyards are undergoing a renaissance using vines that date back centuries. New York You can find a wide variety of plants that you would not normally see in Central EuropeEven regions that seem established continue to display impressive diversity due to soil diversity.

HereThe wine regions of the United States that deserve extra attention


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The Most underrated American According to wine experts, wine regions:

  • Monticello, Virginia
  • Walla Walla Valley, Washington
  • Western North Carolina
  • Finger Lakes, New York
  • Northern Virginia
  • Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • Sonoma County, California
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • Temecula Valley, California

“​​Monticello The foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains It is an outstanding example. Vines The area has been around since the 1700s but in recent years there has been a renaissance. Petit Manseng This region is now on the map. [as] This grape is not widely grown outside of Southwest. FranceIt is not only a favorite of the, but has also found a home in Virginia’s clay-heavy, cool, mountainous terroir. Early Mountain Vineyards It is one of my favorites [wines]The acidity and aroma of stone fruits balance the thick-skinned grape’s rich texture.

[Additionally], Washington State Shares the same latitude and longitude as some of top sites in France, Germany. Italy It has many of the same natural characteristics as world-class wine regions, including a volcano foundation, large temperature variations between night and day, and mountains to shield it from rain. And It’s still a little under the radar. Walla Walla Valley This region is known for its red wines made with premium grapes. Bordeaux Varietys Syrah. Spring Valley Vineyard’s Nina Lee Syrah It is an expression of meatiness and tannins, as well as black fruit flavors. Winemakers “We are currently experimenting with more than 80 varieties in the State, so you will be able to find a wine for every table.” —Abe Zarate, head sommelier, ContentoNYC

“Western North Carolina is one of America’s hidden gems when it comes to wine. The unique climate and diverse landscapes here in Hendersonville and the surrounding areas produce some truly amazing wines that surprise and delight visitors. The climate in particular allows for consistent production of many varietals of wine to flourish.” —Tyler MillerThe sommelier is also the general manager. The Silo Cookhouse, Henderson, N.C.

“The Finger Lakes AVA is the most underrated region, in my opinion. While it’s known for its Rieslings and ice wine — and rightfully so — its red wines do not get nearly as much attention. The region primarily grows Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, but there are some other lesser-known grapes that show great quality and value, like Blaufränkisch. The varietal is rarely seen outside of Central Europe, its native homeland, and is great for the consumer that enjoys a more medium-bodied wine and has a curious palate. The Blaufränkisch coming from the Finger Lakes has lots of ripe, juicy, black fruit notes, followed by baking spices and black pepper. It’s also a rather food-friendly grape, so it’s a great value wine to pair with grilled meats.” —Lane Letner, sommelier, ELWAY’S Downtown, Denver

“Northern Virginia has a rich history of affluent families focusing on horses and cultivating vineyards. While the region initially faced challenges in establishing a strong reputation, it has now emerged as a producer of notable wines. Today, many local wineries offer outstanding selections such as White Hall Reserve Chardonnay, which I highly recommend. This cuvée, aged in French oak and crafted from hand-picked grapes selected for their superior quality, features robust fruit concentration, well-balanced acidity, and a delicate vanilla finish, reflecting the region’s commitment to quality winemaking.” —Vincent FeraudThe sommelier is the director of restaurants. The Ritz-Carlton, McLean, Va.

“The Santa Cruz Mountains are somewhat of a hidden gem, I think they are creating wines on the same quality level as Napa and Sonoma. [The area has] ancient limestone soils at altitudes up to 2,500 feet, surrounded by redwood trees. Ridge and Mount Eden produce excellent classic wines; Ceritas and Arnot-Roberts create terroir-driven wines from vineyards closer to the ocean. It’s a region I am endlessly curious about. Another impressive region is the Monticello AVA in Virginia. I’m particularly impressed by Early Mountain’s Petit Menseng. Rich, supple, and versatile, it pairs wonderfully with seafood.” —Blake Mysliwczyk, sommelier, The ModernNYC

“I think Sonoma County is still one of the most underrated American wine regions. It certainly has built an incredible following, but I think Sonoma County takes [on] a bit more discovery [among] the more established regions. There is no other region I know of that can make so many different types and styles of wine at such a high level than Sonoma. There are so many different soil types in Sonoma, … along with many different microclimates, thanks to the vast influence of the Pacific Ocean. There are areas in Sonoma cooler than Champagne and warmer than Bordeaux, so what can be grown here at a very high level is vast. I think we are just now starting to understand what areas are best for each varietal in this complex region, and the best wines in the region’s history are being made now.” —Jesse Katz, founder & winemaker, Aperture Cellars, Healdsburg, Calif.

“Oregon’s Willamette Valley is truly the hidden gem of the American wine landscape — especially compared to its nearby counterparts on the West coast. Its unique combination of diverse soils, cool coastal climate, and meticulous viticulture practices create the perfect conditions for exceptional winemaking. The region’s commitment to artisanal winemaking and the collaborative spirit among local vintners further contribute to its unmatched potential and ability to consistently produce small-batched and high-quality, expressive wines that deserve greater recognition on the global stage.” —Mari Wells Coyle, Vice President of Winemaking Foley Family Wines, Santa Rosa, Calif.

“I feel Temecula is an underrated wine region for a few reasons. First, you can enjoy almost any style of wine in Temecula Valley, from powerful and intense red wines to crisp sparkling wines to indulgent dessert wines. [There’s also] the spirit of innovation and excitement for the future that abounds in our valley: While other regions in California have had 100 years or more of commercial wine production, Temecula Valley has only just had its 50th anniversary in 2018. This means that there is a desire to try new and unique grape varieties such as Aglianico, Graciano, and Roussanne that might not be widely planted elsewhere in California. It also means an openness to new winemaking styles, such as aging wine in concrete eggs or taking grapes typically known for making one style of wine and using them to make a different one, such as Aleatico Rosé.” —Matt RiceDirector of winery operations Europa Village, Temecula, Calif.

*Image Retrieved from Kristina Blokhin via stock.adobe.com

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