The Best Wine Regions to Visit This Fall
As the end of 2022 approaches, we believe that there’s no better way to send out the year than with a wine-soaked journey to where the magic happens. Not sure where to begin? Our in-house Somm Team has rounded up six of their top go-to viticultural regions to visit during late fall / early winter—because using up the remainder of your vacation days in a breathtaking wine region is simply the best way to catch some serious R&R.
East Coasters, you’re in luck. Did you know that a slew of breathtaking wine regions are located right in our very own backyards? While vineyards are planted across most eastern US states, the Finger Lakes is undoubtedly one of the most pristine regions to visit. Here, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc thrive in the area’s cooler climates. Pro tip: Book you trip during the first half of November for peak leaf-peeping opportunities, and don’t forget to allot ample time for orchard, cidery, and brewery visits between wine tasting.
Here at Wired for Wine, we believe that there’s nothing a bottle of sparkling wine (especially Champagne) can’t fix. For Paris-bound travelers, booking a trip to Champagne has never been easier. Simply hop the fast train from Gare de l’Est and arrive in Reims in around 45 minutes. Best of all, most of the big names have tasting rooms right in the city center, making the need to rent a car obsolete. However, for those looking to venture out to smaller producers, grabbing a rental car will be necessary. While in Reims, don’t forget to stop by The Glue Pot and Au Bon Manger to experience the city’s best places to drink bubbly – as well as rub shoulders with local winemakers.
When in doubt, Napa is always a good time. For our West Coast-based friends, we recommend renting a car and driving around both Napa and Sonoma to experience their vast differences. Take in the cooler-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs from Sonoma, then head over to California’s unofficial wine capital for some big-boned Cabs and seriously delicious red blends. Hitting tasting rooms in downtown Napa is as easy as walking in the door, though for smaller (or more sought after) Napa estates, we advise booking tastings online in advance to secure your spot.
Fall in Tuscany? Sign us up. There’s a reason why novices and industry professionals alike flock year after year to this stunning Italian region – it’s simply a classic. Known for its rolling green hillsides, savory cuisine, and breathtaking views, a trip to Tuscany always promises an unforgettable time. Start your trip in Florence or Siena, make a pit stop in San Gimignano, and then dive into the Chianti Classico or Montalcino areas for some serious Sangiovese tastings. As with Napa, we recommend booking your appointments in advance when possible – and worry not, many of the more popular estates will generally have an English speaker to help along the way.
For West Coast bound travelers looking to get a bit more off the beaten path, Washington State is where it’s at. While most wine lovers flock to the more popular regions of the Golden State, tasting through the Columbia Valley’s diverse wineries offers a highly underrated alternative – especially for fans of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and savory Syrah. For a few of our in-house Somm Team’s favorite wineries, check out Mullan Road, Long Shadows, or Borne of Fire.
Have at least a week of vacation time left on your hands? We can’t recommend a trip to Argentina enough. While the weather is approaching peak cold season here, the summer’s just getting started in the southern hemisphere, making late November / early December an optimal time to venture down that way. Start your trip in Buenos Aires for an unforgettable city venture, then head out to the wild west of Mendoza for the trip of a lifetime. Although Malbec is the region’s claim to fame, Argentina also excels in a variety of other grapes and wine styles, including Cabernet-based red blends, single-varietal Chardonnay, and much more.