National Geographic Traveller (UK)
THE BEST US CITIES FOR WINE LOVERS
With their sweeping vineyards, slick tasting rooms and familyrun wineries, these cities should be on every oenophile’s list
There are few things the Big Apple can’t turn its hand to — and wine is no exception.
The Lower East Side is a hotspot for natural wine, with new bars like Skin Contact following neighbourhood mainstays such as The Ten Bells. There are many urban wineries, too, including the stalwart Red Hook Winery, founded in 2008; and Williamsburg’s chic Brooklyn Winery, which is gearing up to open in a new, larger space. New York State’s wine country — vine-striped Hudson Valley and Long Island’s North Fork — are easy day trips. skincontact.nyc tenbellsnyc.com redhookwinery.com bkwinery.com
It might be known for its solid craft beer scene (Asheville has the most breweries per capita in the US), but the North Carolina city is home to some stellar wine, too. There’s a plethora of wineries spread out in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, with the Biltmore Winery among the most popular. Find it at the sumptuous estate of the same name, built for George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century. Alternatively, shift gears in Asheville’s mural-decorated River Arts District, where
Plēb serves wine from taps at upturned barrels. biltmore.com pleburbanwinery.com
The Pacific Northwest city has a fine stash of wineries, as well as the Woodinville wine country on its doorstep. SODO Urbanworks is a cool industrial spot that houses 10 tasting rooms under one roof, including Love Beats Pagne, a ‘bubble bar’ serving fizz from around the world; and Patterson Cellars, which sells top-notch offerings from Washington State. Molly’s Bottle Shop is also a great stop for a range of natural international wines.
Out in wine country,
Betz Family Winery is a favourite for its fantastic Bordeaux-style red blends. woodinvillewinecountry.com sodo-urbanworks.com mollysbottleshop.com betzfamilywinery.com
San Luis Obispo
California is the US wine heavyweight, with its 147 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), endless vine-crossed landscapes and wine-soaked cities. The Napa and Sonoma regions hog the limelight, but the San Luis Obispo Coast, anchored by the city of San Luis Obispo, is one of the Golden
State’s newest and most forward-thinking AVAs. Oenophiles can follow the region’s sustainable wine trail, which champions such venues as Tolosa, with its renewable energy sources and green farming. Downtown, snug bar Saints Barrel serves local and world wines with cheese and charcuterie plates. tolosawinery.com saintsbarrel.com
Texas’s wine country is one of the most picturesque in the US. Make your base in the compact city of Fredericksburg and strike out on Wine Road 290. A fine choice of tour operators here means you’ll have your own guide as you swing by veteran spots such as familyowned Becker Vineyards, whose standout is a fruity Viognier. On the Urban Wine Trail, which wiggles through Fredericksburg’s Downtown area, you’ll find laid-back spots like Narrow Path, which styles itself as a French-inspired cafe. Get your wine to go as you move between venues. wineroad290.com beckervineyards.com narrowpathwinery.com