Tales from the Trails: The West’s Best Wine Trails
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It’s not enough just to get into your car and drive through wine country these days. Now, it is all about curating the experience and grouping together several wineries for the ultimate tasting experience. With an influx in wine growing regions and the growth in the number of wineries themselves, many have banded together to create collections of wineries that come together and form a “trail” that highlights the best the West has to offer when it comes to vino.
The Pacific Coast Wine Trail
The Pacific Coast Wine Trail is one of the more recent additions to the region. Ten award-winning wineries have come together to promote Central Coast wines located along a 28-mile stretch of Pacific Coastline in San Luis Obispo County. The wineries of the PCWT are located off the beaten path in five quaint, seaside towns, making it the perfect "secret spot" for wine tasting. At PacificCoastWineTrail.com, you will find a map and information on each winery on the trail as well as an events calendar.
Not into the tasting room scene? Get in on the real thing with maps to these San Luis Obispo county wine trails.
Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail is one of the easiest to navigate. The trail visits tasting rooms in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Several of the locations are within easy walking distance of one another and the others can be biked to, if visitors so desire. The Urban Wine Trail was created by a group of like-minded wineries and offers both novices and aficionados the chance to learn about and taste wines of many different varieties and styles that have been crafted in some of Santa Barbara County’s best vineyards. The trail is self-guided, but guided tours are available via several private tour companies.
While the Urban Wine Trail visits the tasting rooms of many of the area’s top wineries, you can follow trails to the wineries themselves by car. To find some of the most popular trails, you can visit SantaBarbara.com to find maps and winery lists for the self-guided tours.
Beyond Classic California Wine
Napa is in the process of building a bikeable wine trail called that Napa Valley Vine Trail, a portion of which is scheduled to open in 2016. Until then, avoid the crowds in Napa with this hidden wineries trail put together by Wine Country Getaways. It includes its own curated list of some of the regions less touristy vineyards such as Amizetta Winery, Chappellet Winery, Round Pond Winery, Tres Sabores and more. You can also found recommendations for restaurants, lodging and a map of the trail.
Oregon Wine Trails
California may be most well-known for its wine-growing regions, but Oregon has its fair share of wineries, too. And what makes this wine trail memorable is its ability to combine several different tasting options into one seamless experience. Discover Oregon’s 7 Wonders with an itinerary that includes a cidery, wineries, breweries and some of the state’s top attractions.
Sipping Around B.C.
Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley has five wine trails that you can follow, each with their own unique twist. Tourism Kelowna has a handy brochure that you can follow with themed trails such as Lake Country’s Scenic Sip and the Westside Wine Trail. Uncorked Wine Tours also offers fun day tours spent testing some of the region’s most innovative vintages.
More by Janeen Christoff
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