Whether you consider yourself a wine nerd or freak out when a wine list is thrust in your face, the best way to get to know, enjoy, and discover wines you love is to taste them. Lucky for you, our great country produces some of the most delicious wines in the world! If you’re ready for a wine flight, read on. We’ve got tips on the best wine regions to try yourself, PLUS breaking news about our amazing upcoming wine subscription box!
Our new craft drinks and wine subscription box is here!
We’ll deliver wine flights right to your front door this September with the first kit.
Want to expand your craft drinks horizons from the comfort of home? Then you need SipScout, the craft drinks and wine subscription box you’ve been waiting for. The first monthly subscription club for true craft drinks explorers, SipScout brings you a variety of craft drinks to taste each month. Sign up NOW to get in on our inaugural box, an exceptional wine flight, and accompanying virtual wine tasting experience.
Sign up by Friday, September 2, 2022 for the SipScout wine subscription box and September 22nd virtual tasting party.
If you could only take a “wine flight” to one region of the U.S., where should you go?
We’re guessing the answer is pretty obvious to most of you. And that answer is … California. Napa Valley in California to be specific. California is the fourth largest wine-producing region in the world (behind Italy, France, and Spain) and produces 90% of the wine in the U.S.
Why Napa Valley? Known for its exceptional wines for eons, the 30-mile stretch of Napa Valley boasts the ideal climate and soil for producing wine—a Mediterranean climate much like Italy, France, and Spain.
Without getting too nerdy (and believe us, our Chief Tippling Officer Evan WILL go there…), the mountain ranges on either side of Napa have produced highly diverse, fertile, volcanic, and well-drained soil comprised of sand, loam, clay, and rock—and grape vines LOVE it. As they do the hot days, cool nights, wet winters, dry summers, and the narrow difference in temperature from winter to summer.
We could keep nerding on, but it’s safe to say the quality of Napa Valley wines is tough to beat, and the region produces an amazing variety of wines to boot. Want to try craft wine flights in Napa Valley and neighboring (and in our opinion equally amazing!) Sonoma County?
A few of our favorite Napa and Sonoma vintners include the following…but there are so many more!
The Terraces, Storybook Mountain Vineyards, Salvestrin, Porter Creek Vineyards, and Kivelstadt Cellars are some of our all-time favorites. This last one is even the featured focus in our first SipScout wine subscription box. So you don’t wait for your next trip to California…you can try it with us from home!
Ready to stretch your wine horizons? Check out wine flights in these U.S. locales
Head to the “Show-Me” state—Missouri
Missouri was the first wine region recognized in the United States, predating Napa Valley by about 10 years. This specific wine-growing region is in and around Augusta, Missouri, and is known for its award-winning wines, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Vineyards here need to compensate for the region’s humidity, so breezy locales reign for prime vineyard sites.
While, even here at The Crafty Cask, we’re not intimately familiar with specific wineries in Missouri ourselves yet we encourage you to explore and report back as we dive into this trailblazing state’s wines ourselves! We always love sharing our authentic recommendations and equally enjoy getting recommendations from those of you in Tippler Nation as well.
“Say Yes” to Michigan
Not surprisingly, Michigan is perfectly suited for a cold climate grape. The red and blue slate soil near Traverse City in Michigan rivals the soil of some of the best wine-growing regions in Germany, which is why the state produces some of the best Riesling wines in the U.S. YES, ma’am! If you’ve been turned off by Riesling because you think they’re all sweet, think again. There is a wide spectrum of incredible Riesling all over the world worth trying!
Michigan bound? Grab a wine flight at one of our favorite craft wine vineyards, Black Star Farms.
Can you say, “I Love New York”?
That’s Upstate New York for wine-lovers. You’ll find terrific vineyards in the Finger Lakes, which are renowned for their Riesling and Pinot Noir wines. Wineries in the North Fork of Long Island have also earned praise from wine enthusiasts, including Croteaux Vineyards, which exclusively produces Rosé wines.
Our other top picks? Forge Cellars on Seneca Lake and Long Island’s very own Macari Vineyards.
Virginia is for WINE Lovers. Let’s go!
One of our other favorite wine-loving destinations is Virginia. Some Virginia vineyards are producing wine on par with Napa Valley (not nearly the same volume or degree of success as Napa, but they ARE on to something). Another cool thing about Virginia’s wine-producing region, primarily near Charlottesville, is it produces grapes less common in other regions. These include cabernet franc and viognier, a white grape that is very floral and aromatic.
You can share our love for Virginia wines by visiting Barboursville Vineyards near Charlottesville.
Two up-and-coming wine regions worth checking out: AZ and TX
While wineries in Arizona and Texas may not be on your wine flight radar, and they don’t enjoy the benefit of ocean (or Great Lakes) breezes and seaside terroir, winemakers in both regions are making strides in these hot, arid environments. They may only have one generation of winemaking under their belts, but AZ and TX wine is now worth exploring.
The Crafty Cask is a little partial to Arizona’s wineries these days since the newly designated Verde Valley AVA is our new home base and where Evan was born and raised. Bias aside, we know how unreliable Arizona wines used to be and love the care and commitment today’s craft winemakers like Page Springs Cellars and Cove Mesa put into their wines. Winemakers here are trying hard to figure out what works best in this part of the country and, through trial and error, have produced some very nice Picpoul Blancs and Syrahs as two examples.
Like Arizona, Texas has soil issues to contend with, specifically soil that is replete with clay, where water retention generally isn’t that great. Choosing grapes that like to have their feet wet, like merlot grapes, is a good strategy for regions like Texas. Becker Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country east of Austin and McPherson Cellars near Lubbock are two of our faves.
Rather stay close to home?
Our virtual wine tasting and wine subscription box is the ticket!
If you don’t have the time or budget to pursue your wine tasting travel dreams right now, The Crafty Cask can bring the wine to you! Enjoy a wine flight in our inaugural SipScout craft spirit subscription box (and an invite to our virtual tasting party Sept. 22, 2022) or schedule a private virtual wine tasting with us anytime. We look forward to tippling with you!
You can learn more about the SipScout monthly subscription box here and see how our virtual wine tasting experiences work here.