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U.S. Wine Regions Beyond Northern California

It’s no secret that we’re proud of our wine in San Francisco, and for good reason, as it’s been a major reason why this part of California has been put on the map. However, there’s more to wine in the U.S. than just Northern California. Below, we highlight three other notable wine regions around the U.S.

Santa Barbara County, California. Yes, California wine isn’t just about Napa and Sonoma. While Santa Barbara doesn’t have the same worldwide recognition as Northern California, it still exists as an important wine-producing region, one that was aided with the help of the award-winning film Sideways, which predominantly takes place in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are what you’re likely to find the most of, although other unique varietals, such as Rhone, are growing in popularity. One thing you‘ll notice here is the proximity to the beaches, which isn’t always the case in Northern California.

Finger Lakes, New York. This is a far cry from your typical New York trip that probably takes you to Manhattan most of the time. The Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York is the largest wine-producing region in New York, with over 100 wineries located around the lakes. While the Finger Lakes are comprised of 11 lakes, most of the area’s wineries are around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga. The area has been compared to parts of the wine regions of Central Europe, especially Germany, since Riesling is one of the most important varietals here.

Columbia Valley, Washington. You’re probably most familiar with this part of Washington because of the Columbia River, which is one of the most well known natural attractions in the Pacific Northwest. The region helps make up the largest wine region in Washington, with a small portion of it that overlaps into Oregon. There are eight smaller, distinct growing areas in Oregon and Washington that help make up the Columbia Valley, including the Yakima Valley in Washington and Walla Walla Valley along the Washington/Oregon border, both of which you may have heard of. One of the many draws of the region are the natural attractions beyond the vineyards that include the Columbia River, Columbia River Gorge, and the Cascades.