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The Grape Escape

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While European wines usually get top billing, US vineyards produce some excellent tipple, says Farida Zeynalova


We heard through the grapevine that the US is the fourth biggest wine producer in the world, just behind France, Italy and Spain. California is responsible for almost 90% of America’s wine production, with areas such as Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley blessed with glorious Golden State sunshine. On the east coast, the deep lakes and sloping valleys of New York’s Finger Lakes give the region the ideal microclimate for grapes. With wine production active in all 50 states, there’s an abundance of wine-trailing opportunities across the US.

Napa Valley, California
Napa is home to over 400 wineries, growing over 36 grape varieties. The Napa Valley Wine Train offers a gourmet meal aboard a vintage rail car followed by an exclusive tour and tasting session at a winery. napavalley.com

Finger Lakes, New York
The region has three renowned wine trails; Cayuga, Keuka and Seneca, specializing in aromatic white wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer. The Finger Lakes Wine Festival runs every July, with live music, cookery lessons and bounteous world-class wine. fingerlakeswinerytours.com

Willamette Valley, Oregon
Famed for its pinot noir, the Willamette Valley is blanketed with 694 vineyards. Over Memorial Weekend, more than 150 wineries come together to host live music, vineyard picnics, and pinot gris-sipping. willamettewines.com

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