Discover Three Under the Radar US Wine Travel Destinations

When most people think of U.S. wine production, destinations like Napa Valley, Washington, and Oregon come to mind. And it’s no wonder, since they are all prolific wine producing areas. But here are three under the radar wine travel destinations you may not know about…

Wine Trails In The U.S.

Over the last few years, the number of wine trails in the United States has grown by leaps and bounds. Technically defined, a wine trail is a cluster of wineries in a reasonably specific geographical area that band together for marketing and tourism purposes.

Many states officially designate the trails, thereby making them eligible for promotional money from state tourism offices. It has proven to be good business, particularly since eco tourism is rising in popularity. Wine trail designation also allows individual wineries more bang for their marketing buck. It’s good for wine travelers too, as they can discover a unique wine growing area in a day or two.

Currently, there are well over 100 wine trails in America. The number is expected to grow by 50% in the next five years, as more states recognize the value of promoting wine travel as an economic driver.

Here are three unique wine travel destinations that have flown under the radar up to now…

Pennsylvania:¬†Pennsylvania has been a leader in designating wine trails and marketing their wine industry to tourists. A quick glance of the state’s main travel brochure gives ample evidence to wine travel being an economic benefit.

There are eleven wine trails here, stretching from Philadelphia to the western edge of the state. Interestingly, each is a distinctly different micro climate. Almost all the wineries use local grapes, so you will notice a different character in the wines from area to area.

Nebraska: The Cornhusker State is in the final stages of designating their wine trails, following the lead of neighboring Iowa. Nebraska has a surprisingly vibrant wine culture, particularly in the eastern portion of the state.

Several river valleys in eastern Nebraska create the perfect grape growing environment, and area vintners take full advantage. You will find a wide array of wine styles from Nebraska wineries, including complex reds, light and drinkable whites, and unique fruit wines made from fresh local apples, pears, and more.

New Mexico

Those living in or close to New Mexico are well aware of the active wine industry in the state. The national reputation has yet to manifest itself, but it may well happen in the near future.

There are over 40 wineries in the state, and four distinct wine trails. No matter where you travel in New Mexico, you won’t be more than a half day drive from one of the four trails. The trails are divided geographically, encompassing the northern, central, and southern part of the state.


Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and New Mexico are three of many states with lesser known but very vibrant wine industries. Each state actively markets their trails, which helps to publicize not only the individual wineries, but the overall industry.

Expect to see additional wine trails designated in more states in the near future. With the ever increasing popularity of eco tourism, state tourism boards are embracing the positive impact wine travelers have on their state’s economy.