If you’re looking for a reason to enjoy a glass of wine or two, you may be happy to know that February 18 is National Drink Wine Day. Of course, a true oenophile doesn’t need a special day to enjoy a glass of their favorite vino. And a true oenophile also knows that there is more to wine country in the U.S. than California’s popular Napa and Sonoma Valley. Let’s take a look at other regions to enjoy fine wines and beautiful vineyards.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley: If you enjoy a good pinot noir, head to Oregon’s Willamette Valley which is known for producing world-class pinot noir wines. The oldest winery here is Tualatin Estate Vineyard, dating to 1973 and newer ones like Sidereus Vineyards, which opened their tasting house in 2022 and was promptly named one of the “Top Ten New Wineries” by USA Today. For a map of the wineries in the area, visit willamettewines.com, which also has all kinds of options for tours. Red Barn Rides offers e-bike and bicycle rentals for those who choose to tour the area on two wheels while the Tesla Custom Winery Tour offers small tours in a private Tesla. Portland Fairview is a great place to camp to see the Willamette’s offerings or if you want beach vibes and a bit of a drive, book a stay at Thousand Trails Seaside.
Texas Hill Country: Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the U.S. and the Texas Hill Country with more than 50 wineries accounts for a large portion of the state’s wine production. For everything you need to know about exploring the Texas Hill Country’s wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms, visit texaswinetrail.com, which includes the dates of four special Passport Events set for 2023. Consider taking the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 (wineroad290.com), which is actually a conglomeration of wineries in the area. The website details how you can take wine tours, see working vineyards, some of which are pet friendly, and where to eat, drink, and shop along the way. Pedernales Cellars is known for its sweeping vistas and its Viogner grapes; Sister Creek Vineyards is actually a converted cotton gin presenting a homey atmosphere and great prices for tastings; Spicewood Vineyards is more of a boutique winery while Becker Vineyards is one of the larger in the area with tours, tastings and some beautiful lavender fields to see when in bloom in May and June. Thousand Trails Medina Lake is great for camping if you’re checking out the Texas Hill Wine Country.
Virginia Wine Country: Lots of wine regions to be found in Virginia – which make sense since Virginia native Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father, our third U.S. President, and oenophile par excellence had not one, but two vineyards at Monticello. The Chesapeake Wine Trail (a good camp spot is Thousand Trails Chesapeake Bay)was voted one of the top wine trails in Virginia and features eight vineyards/cellars. Good Luck Cellars offers a wrap-around porch where you can sip your wine and enjoy the view while Jacey Vineyards, a boutique winery, not only offers wine but tasty charcuterie boards, craft beer, and ciders.
If you’re planning to camp at Thousand Trails Lynchburg, the Bedford Wine Trail might be a fun thing to try. There are six wineries on this trail and if you get your passport stamped at each one, you can return to the Bedford Welcome Center for a free wine glass. For details and special events planned at the wineries, visit bedfordwinetrail.com.
- Warm up with these winter dutch oven soup recipes!
- Honor black history month by celebrating these trailblazing women of color.
- Make the great outdoors your valentine this year, and take a trip you love in February.
- America is full of history and in February we celebrate Presidents’ Day. Check out these American heritage sites this month to honor our founding fathers.
- Explore the Thousand Trails Camping Pass and the Thousand Trails Cabin Pass!
- Find more campgrounds at ThousandTrails.com.