3 U.S. Cities Make Wine Enthusiast’s 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2015

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Mendocino, CA – Image credit: Shutterstock

Things like this tend to remind us just how vast and vibrant the world of wine can be, particularly for people to whom wine-drinking and travel are an adventure in themselves: Wine Enthusiast Magazine has crowned the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2015 in its annual February Travel Issue, and three U.S. cities earned spots on the coveted list – Finger Lakes, NY; Orlando, FL; and Mendocino, CA!

The in-depth top 10 list doesn’t stop at destinations. It also includes indispensable tips on:

Watkins Glen State Park, Finger Lakes, NY Image credit: Shutterstock
Watkins Glen State Park, Finger Lakes, NY
Image credit: Shutterstock

The best places to dine: Sample exciting fixed-menu dinners prepared in new-wave Spanish style at Yayo Daporta in Cambados, Galicia. Enjoy seasonal foods cooked with flair at Elephant Hill near New Zealand’s Te Awanga coast (named the “Best Winery Restaurant 2014” by Cuisine Good Food Awards). Fancy an opulent 10-course wine dinner served by Victorian attired servers and featuring expert wine selections pulled from a 4,200-bottle wine cellar? Stop into Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World in Florida. Or enjoy contemporary turns at traditional area dishes at Michelin-starred La Ciau del Tornavento in Piedmont, Italy. Suggestions abound for each entry on the top 10 list.

Where to stay: Looking for something family-friendly? The Villa is a duplex guesthouse owned by Seneca Lake winery Bellangelo, with amenities that include fully-equipped kitchens, laundry, and grills. If a more romantic hideaway is what you seek, there’s the Bottega Farm Inn in Okanagan, Canada. A stylish boutique hotel, artists’ retreat, and alpaca farm situated a stone’s throw from wineries, and farms producing quality honey, lavender and cheeses. The list offers plenty of suggestions for accommodations from budget to pampering.

Fun activities: Visit the caves in Pazin, Croatia that are rumored to have inspired several of famous author Jules Verne’s writings. Have a rub and a soak in Mendocino, California at the 160-year-old Vichy Springs Resort, one of North America’s few naturally carbonated warm mineral baths. Storm actual castles in the way of grand châteaus and medieval fortresses in France’s Loire Valley, including Château d’Ussé near Chinon: it’s believed to have been the original setting for the story of Sleeping Beauty. Or take advantage of the activity suggestions for any of the list’s other entries.

The best time of year to visit: Time your visit to coincide with harvest seasons, seasonal festivals and celebrations, landscapes at their most beautiful, and other attractions.

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Hester Creek, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada
Image credit: Hester Creek

And of course, the top 10 devotes keen attention to telling you where to taste all your favorite wines from Aglianico to Zinfandel, along with a primer on each geographical locale’s prominent varieties. So here is the much-anticipated list:

Top 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2015

  • Piedmont, Italy
  • Finger Lakes, NY, USA
  • Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  • Rhône Valley, France
  • Orlando, FL, USA
  • Galicia, Spain
  • Okanagan, Canada
  • Loire Valley, France
  • Mendocino, CA, USA
  • Istria, Croatia


It’s never too early to start planning your next trip. With this carefully-compiled list to be your guide, it’s also never been easier to decide where to go. WineEnthusiastFeb2015

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