By Josephine Matyas

The interest in wine tours and visits to microbreweries has exploded in recent years as travellers have learned to savour the food on their plate and the drink in their glass. 
You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy a visit to a vineyard, or a brewhound who can debate the subtleties of an authentically crafted pilsner. In almost every region of the United States, communities of vintners and brewers are rolling out the red carpet for visitors of all stripes looking to enjoy a sip of the local flavours.

 

From the East


Hyman Vineyards,
Conway, South Carolina

Bragging Rights: A family-run vineyard known for their naturally sweet muscadine grapes – they grow three varietals of the antioxidant-rich grape. The onsite general store, tasting room and vineyard are open for tours and wine tastings. hymanvineyards.com


New South Brewing,
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Bragging Rights: This award-winning microbrewery began as a draft-only brewery, but has expanded into individual packaging. Pull up a stool at almost any Myrtle Beach drinking hole to find their popular American Premium Lager, India Pale Ale or Nut Brown. newsouthbrewing.com  


New Hampshire

Bragging Rights: What could be easier? The state has organized itineraries for wine and cheese tastings, creating routes that link boutique wineries and small farm cheese producers. Itineraries can be tailored for all time frames, from a day’s outing to a weeklong road trip. visitnh.gov/where-to-eat


New Hampshire

Bragging Rights: Just follow the map! The New Hampshire Brewery Map highlights award-winning breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, all part of the new Brewery Trail. visitnh.gov

Through the Heartland


The Three Rivers Wine Trail,
Minnesota

Bragging Rights: Minnesota’s first wine trail connects five of the state’s oldest wineries all located within the Saint Croix, Mississippi and Cannon river valleys. Wine lovers can spend a day or a weekend on the trail visiting wineries to sample award-winning, locally produced wines. 3riverswinetrail.com
 

Colorado Wine Trails,
Colorado

Bragging Rights: With low humidity, warm days, cool nights and high elevation, Colorado has the perfect climate for producing premium wines. More than 90 wineries are a part of the four different Colorado Wine Trails. Most wineries offer tours, tastings and scenic picnics in the vineyards throughout the year. coloradowine.com/maps 


Colorado

Bragging Rights: Colorado has more breweries per capita than any other state in the U.S., including one of the largest concentrations of microbreweries, with more than 100 located throughout the state. Most breweries offer tours of their facilities as well as samplings of their products. The Great American Beer Festival, the premier U.S. beer festival, serves up more than 2,200 different American beers – held each September in Denver, the event sells out quickly. greatamericanbeerfestival.com


Head West


Chandler,
Arizona

Bragging Rights: Kokopelli Winery & Bistro, Arizona’s largest winery, offers wine tastings, lunch and dinner, as well as thematic festivals each month. The Kokopelli Krush Festival is a Chandler tradition and Arizona’s largest grape crushing event! kokopelliwinery.com

New Mexico

Bragging Rights: A well-established wine industry has made New Mexico the king of wine festivals. No state uses the festival marketing concept like New Mexico, newmexico.org/wineries. Whether at festival time or not, visitors can stop by several wineries clustered in the Albuquerque area: Anasazi Fields Winery, anasazifieldswinery.com; Casa Rondeña Winery, casarondena.com; Corrales Winery, corraleswinery.com; Gruet Winery, gruetwinery.com; St. Clair Winery & Bistro, stclairvineyards.com 

New Mexico

Bragging Rights: Albuquerque Hopfest is the biggest beer appreciation and education celebration in New Mexico featuring tastings and local music. albuquerquehopfest.com


San Francisco,
California

Bragging Rights: San Francisco claims a long history as the brewing centre of the West and the birthplace of the craft beer movement (for a list of local breweries to tour visit onlyinsanfrancisco.com). In February, local breweries and pubs organize SF Beer Week, a 10-day celebration to showcase the Bay Area’s brewing heritage (February 11 to 20, 2011) with beer dinners, cheese and beer pairing events, gourmet food events, special releases, meet the brewer evenings, home-brewing demonstrations, music, films, and even a museum exhibition exploring the history of Bay Area brewing. sfbeerweek.org 

 

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