Great Getaways for Wine Lovers - United Hub
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Great getaways for wine lovers

By The Hub team, August 02, 2016

No matter where you stand on the spectrum of wine lovers, the second best place to sit down is a winery's tasting room. The very best place to take a seat? In an airplane, being whisked away to the vineyards and cellars where grapes are transformed into wines that tempt and tease your palate. Whether you're an aficionado of after-work drinks, an aspiring connoisseur or a bona fide oenophile, revel in a day trip or linger longer with one of these wine-country getaways.

Monterey County, California

Monterey, California: Grapes kissed by Pacific breezes

The jewel of California's central coastline, Monterey County is known for spectacular scenery, celebrities, cozy inns and its wealth of wineries. A short nonstop flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles lands you in the heart of three distinctive grape-growing regions. If you have just a day to sip and play, head to Carmel-by-the-Sea, where more than a dozen local wineries host tasting rooms in a very walkable four-block section of the quaint downtown. If you can stay longer, meander up the River Road Wine Trail, where chardonnay and pinot noir grapes thrive in the Santa Lucia Highlands soil. For an extra thrill, book an all-terrain vehicle tour of the estate vineyards at Hahn Family Wines just outside the little town of Soledad.

Columbia River Gorge wine country, Oregon and Washington

Columbia Gorge: Oregon and Washington varietals

You might get sidetracked by the stunning scenery on the hour-long drive from Portland International Airport to the Columbia River Gorge wine country. But the evergreen forests, rocky cliffs, waterfalls and rugged hills give you a glimpse at the diverse geology, making the next 40 miles a new mecca for varietal wine lovers. The winery offerings are widely diverse too. Take a tasting tour with cellar-master guides at Cathedral Ridge Winery or time your visit to coincide with a summer concert at the award-winning Maryhill Winery, where artists from Counting Crows to Willie Nelson draw thousands to its outdoor amphitheater.

Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay

Michigan: Old Mission Peninsula

When you yearn for fresh air and expansive views along with Old World-style wines and hospitality, take a tour of the eight wineries perched along Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. From Traverse City, drop into each of the wineries' tasting rooms as you head north up the center of the peninsula to the historic Mission Point Lighthouse. It sits directly on the 45th Parallel — a latitude known for a wine-friendly climate shared with the likes of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Oregon's famed Willamette Valley vineyards. Summer is perfect for sipping samples on the Chateau Grand Traverse winery's patio.

Piney Woods Wine Trail near Tyler, Texas

East Texas: Piney Woods Wine Trail

Get far away from big city hustle and bustle along the Piney Woods Wine Trail, which passes through the laid-back countryside surrounding Tyler, Texas. Travel a little further — about halfway between Dallas/Fort Worth and the Louisiana border — to a string of family-owned vineyards that produce comforting and complex artisan wines. Stop by Kiepersol Estates Vineyards and Wineries for a traditional tasting room experience. Then enjoy fine dining in the estate's restaurant, or stay longer at the RV park or bed-and-breakfast accommodations. In nearby Lindale, visit country music star Miranda Lambert's Pink Pistol shop featuring music merchandise and her signature Red 55 Winery wines.

Piedmont Wine Trail in Maryland

Maryland: Grapes of the Piedmont Plateau

Baltimore-Washington International Airport is your gateway to the vibrant North Maryland wine region. Just a half-hour drive from the airport is the renowned Boordy Vineyards nestled in the peaceful farmland of the state's Piedmont Plateau. Drive a few minutes farther to DeJon Vineyard, a family operation with a tasting room described as country-chic. Both are on the Piedmont Wine Trail. So is the Fiore Winery, a vineyard with Italian roots and a place on the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail. Stay in a local country inn or charming bed-and-breakfast for full relaxation, or trek the short distance back to Baltimore if you enjoy the big city vibe.

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your next wine tasting getaway.

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