My family and I are going on a West Coast road trip this summer. We're starting in Washington, going to Oregon, and ending in California. It's going to be a lot of fun! Of course, while we're there we will visit Napa Valley and possibly other wine regions in California. Did you know that California has 46% of all wineries in the U.S.? I have been a little overwhelmed researching wineries in California and now I understand why! There are just so many!
As of January 2017, California had 4,202 wineries! The next in line is Washington state with 747 wineries. That's a huge difference!
Back in 2007, there was a total of 4,712 wineries in the U.S. Now, ten years later in January 2017, there is a total of 9,091. That's almost double. Let's see what the top ten states are as of January 2017, even though you already know the top two.
Total wineries: 4,202
We all know Napa Valley and Sonoma County wines but there are wineries all over the state. According to California Winery Advisor, the most visited and most popular winery in Napa is V. Sattui Winery.
Total wineries: 747
Washington is known to produce a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, so it's not a surprise to find that it produces more red wine than white wine.
Washington has two main wine regions based on the most wineries: Woodinville and Walla Walla. Woodinville has the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, which is about 30 minutes from downtown Seattle. I can buy Chateau Ste. Michelle wines in stores but I'm hoping we will find our way to the winery when we visit because I'd love to try some wines that aren't sold in stores.
Walla Walla is the other main wine region. There is a winery called Northstar Winery where you can go to a seminar to learn about winemaking and blending and then blend your own bottle to take home. That sounds like a fun idea!
Total wineries: 713
Oregon is known for Pinot Noir. Some of the best Pinot Noir can be found in the largest wine region in Oregon - Willamette Valley. If you love this type of wine, like my husband does, Atticus Wine is a winery in Willamette Valley that only produces Pinot Noir.
4. New York
Total wineries: 385
Finger Lakes is the largest wine region in New York in terms of the number of wineries and tasting rooms. In case you get tired of just wine, Finger Lakes also has a growing number of distilleries, cideries, and craft breweries.
Total wineries: 287
Texas Hill Country is the largest wine region in Texas. There you can find Becker Vineyards that makes award-winning wine. Fun fact: their wine has been served to multiple presidents at the White House. They also grow lavender and offer lavender products for sale, such as lotions and soap. I'd love to see a field of lavender!
Total wineries: 269
Virginia has a lot of history associated with its wine. Thomas Jefferson tried growing grapes to make wine but wasn't successful due to rotting and pest issues. Eventually though, it became possible. If you want to experience some of the history, you can visit the Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville, VA.
Total wineries: 229
Lake Erie Wine Country in Pennsylvania has some of the oldest wineries in the state. The beautiful Victorian towns with some of the best wines of Pennsylvania will make a visit worth it.
Total wineries: 194
You don't really think of wine when you hear about Ohio, but Ohio used to be the largest producer of wine in America. Back in the 1800's, its most important grape was Catawba. Interestingly, America's first sparkling wine was made accidentally with a batch of pink Catawba that was fermented a second time by mistake. Unfortunately, the prohibition destroyed the industry and Ohio's wine industry hasn't been the same since, though it's still hanging on in the top 10.
Total wineries: 156
Northern Michigan has ideal conditions to make really good white wines, especially Riesling. Leelanau County is one of those regions, as well as the Old Mission Peninsula and Traverse City.
Black Star Farms is one popular winery and venue in Leelanau County. It was named Michigan's Best Winery in 2015 by MLive.
10. North Carolina
Total wineries: 142
North Carolina seems like a unique place for wine because it is the only place in the world that grows every major type of grape. There are also wineries with unique experiences, such as Treehouse Vineyards, where you can stay overnight in a treehouse overlooking the vineyards.
I think after the West Coast, I will have to visit the East Coast wine regions!