While we love Napa and Sonoma, there are many other wine regions to visit without leaving the continent that are just as beautiful. From British Columbia to North Carolina, these less crowded, more adventurous destinations allow you the chance to discover new wines in an intimate setting. Explore the accompanying scenic landscape and chow down on great food for a multi-faceted experience of terroir.—Amber Gibson
Finger Lakes, New York
Fly into Syracuse to explore the 11 pristine lakes and more than 120 wineries here. The cool climate is famous for aromatic riesling and Gewürztraminer althoughFulkerson Winery,Bloomer Creek VineyardandHeart & Hands Wine Companyare also producing great cabernet franc and pinot noir. Tasting appointments are not needed, but you’ll want to book ahead for theWater to Wine tour, a wine-centered cruise around Cayuga Lake.Glenora Wine Cellarsis the oldest winery on Seneca Lake, opened in 1977, and the 30-room inn attached is a quaint place to stay. Non-drinkers can try glassblowing at theCorning Museum of Glass, home to the world’s largest collection of glass art, before chowing down on fried chicken, ginger-crusted salmon, and vegetarian curry atKindred Fare.
Guadalupe Valley, Mexico
Follow bumpy dirt roads to find gourmet restaurants, more than 50 new and old wineries, and charming bed and breakfasts in Mexico’s premier wine region. Begin your journey at theVine & Wine Museumin the heart of the valley to learn about Baja California’s wine culture and viticulture history before visitingL.A. Cetto, one of Mexico’s oldest and most respected wineries and the largest producer in the country. Stop at new sustainable wineryClos de Tres Cantosfollowed byAdobe Guadalupefor a horseback ride through the vineyards. Have an elegant dinner atLajaor grab a casual bite atTroika, a food truck found just outsideVena Cavawinery before retiring to an eco-friendly modern bungalow atEncuentro Guadalupe.
Eastern Townships, Quebec
This new wine region just an hour’s drive from Montreal has two primary wine routes:Route des vins de Brome-Missisquoiwith more than 20 vineyards, and the smallerRoute des vins de l’Estriecomprising seven vineyards.Domaine des Côtes d’Ardoisewas the first winery to open here in 1980 and a wonderful place to taste red wine made from hybrid Maréchal Foch, De Chaunac and Chelois grapes while taking a stroll along the flowered paths and sculpture gardens. VisitVignoble de l’Orpailleur, the largest winery in Québec, for award-winning ice wine along withVignoble Le Cep d’Argentfor sparkling wine andVignoble Les Pervenchesfor organic chardonnay. Along with great wine, the region also makes ice cider and fire cider from its bounty of apples. Retire toManoir Hovey, the only Relais & Châteaux property around, and dine atLe Hatley, where they make their own birch syrup and forage for wild mushrooms and herbs on property.
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Yadkin Valley, North Carolina
North Carolina has historically been best known for producing tobacco, but many former tobacco farmers have turned to growing grapes. There are now more than 160 wineries in the state, mostly concentrated in the Yadkin Valley, 90 minutes northwest of Charlotte.Shelton Vineyardsis the original and largest winery, while many smaller wineries shine with esoteric grape varietals.Jones von Drehlehas an excellent Petit Manseng whileJOLOmakes an award-winning Chambourcin rosé and red wine lovers will enjoyMcRitchie’s Ring of Fire blend. Stay at JOLO’sone-room guest houseor the Victorian-styleThe Belle Housebed and breakfast.
Santa Barbara, California
The humility and pure passion of winemakers here is a far cry from the uptight tasting rooms and manicured feel of Napa Valley. Life here is still bucolic, romantic, and uncomplicated. Sample flights of award-winning estate-grown wines fromDierbergandStar Lane Vineyardat their joint tasting room in the Santa Rita Hills. Then try the Rhône-style wines atQupé; their elegantly spicy syrah is a favorite. Stay at the enchanting Spanish Colonial–styleFour Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, opened in 1927, and you’ll get to dine on fresh, local seafood at members-onlyTydes Restaurant, where you can also enjoy a drink at the country’s only live-coral aquarium bar.
For more of the best under-the-radar wine regions in North America, including the treasures in Colorado’s Grand Valley, visitFodor’s.