TRIPADVISOR TOASTS NORTH AMERICA'S TOP 10 WINE DESTINATIONS
48% of Travelers Surveyed Plan to Visit a U.S. Vineyard This Year
NEWTON, Mass. – September 22, 2009 (GrapeVineTrail.com) – TripAdvisor®, the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced its top 10 North American wine destinations, according to TripAdvisor editors. Travelers are particularly interested in wineries this fall, with searches for the term "vineyards" up 10 percent on TripAdvisor over the past six weeks, compared to the same period last year.
In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. respondents, 48 percent plan to visit a U.S. vineyard this year, with 40 percent planning to do so this fall. Travelers are most interested in visiting California favorites Napa Valley (29 percent) and Sonoma (18 percent), with the Finger Lakes, New York and Willamette Valley, Oregon tied for third place with eight percent. When it comes to good taste, 59 percent prefer red wine, 43 percent want white and 12 percent request rosé.
1. No Contest for Napa: Napa Valley, California
The undisputed American capital of wine has earned its reputation thanks to seemingly endless picturesque vineyards and world-class wines. The valley's gorgeous scenery serves as the backdrop to both amazing large-scale wineries as well as smaller, intimate (but no less excellent) wineries.
Top Value hotel in Napa, California: Chablis Inn – Average nightly rate: $114
2. Sublime Sonoma: Sonoma, California
Protected by mountains from excessive rainfall, Sonoma has an ideal climate for growing grapes on its numerous vineyards. Napa's neighbor is smaller in terms of wine production, but has the highly sought-after wines and sweeping vistas to make it an enchanting wine destination.
3. Oregonian Oenophilia: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Oregon produces far less wine than its Californian counterparts, but distinguishes itself for its outstanding pinot noirs and other varietals. Willamette Valley, one of Oregon's major wine-growing regions, has more than 200 charming wineries, and is considered the hub of the state's wine industry.
Top Value hotel in Eugene, Oregon: Broadway Inn – Average nightly rate: $82
4. Divine Diversity: Yakima Valley, Washington
The oldest wine region in Washington, diverse Yakima Valley can grow many varietals, including chardonnay and shiraz. Nearly half of the wine produced in Washington begins with Yakima Valley grapes, but the Valley is also home to incredible orchards bearing a wide range of fruits.
5. La Vie en Roseburg: Roseburg, Oregon
South of Willamette Valley, Roseburg has a slightly warmer climate and is situated in the Umpqua Valley, where impressive natural scenery is all around from waterfalls to wildlife. Pinot noir is the primary varietal here, but delicious pinot gris, riesling, chardonnay, and others can also be found.
Top Value hotel in Roseburg, Oregon: Quality Inn Central – Average nightly rate: $80
6. Okay Okanagan: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
A full-bodied merlot or pinot noir is not hard to find in Okanagan Valley, but sweet dessert ice wines are another treat produced in this wine region that features more than 100 different wineries. The area is also known for its fruit orchards and its clear, fresh lakes, drawing visitors for its climate and its beauty as well as its food and wine.
7. Hands Down: Finger Lakes, New York
New York's largest wine-producing region, the microclimate of the Finger Lakes region provides ideal conditions for growing a range of varietals. Award-winning wines and sparkling wines, along with an exceptionally peaceful, beautiful setting, make the area well worth a visit.
Top Value hotel in Auburn, New York: Inn at the Finger Lakes – Average nightly rate $94
8. Shore-ly the Best: Traverse City, Michigan
The majority of its grapes are grown near the shores of Lake Michigan, making for the unique growing climate of the Traverse City area, an important wine-growing region in the Midwest. Baco noir, cabernet franc, and others are produced in Michigan Wine Country, along with rarer fruit wines and ice wines.
9. Stick a Cork in Me: North Fork, Long Island, N.Y.
With its 4,000 acres of vineyards, Long Island Wine Country is gaining more and more attention for its wines and its intimate atmosphere. North Fork, on the eastern side of Long Island, is not only home to some celebrated local wines, but also to excellent fresh seafood and produce.
Top Value hotel in Riverhead, New York: Holiday Inn Express East End – Average nightly rate: $188
10. Virginia Varietals: Oak Grove, Virginia
Virginia has a rich wine history dating back to Jefferson's Monticello wines in the 1770s, and nestled in Virginia's stunningly beautiful Northern Neck region, Oak Grove is home to one of Virginia's largest, and oldest, wineries.
"European destinations often get the spotlight when it comes to fine wine," said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, "but North America holds its own with varietals, between the wonderful west coast wine regions and other hidden gems across the continent."
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*Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2009