Planning on traveling this summer?
Planning on drinking wine this summer? If you answered yes to both then, #1 we should be friends and #2 you’re in luck because I spoke with Adam Teeter, the co-founder of Vine Pair on the best wine regions you should visit this summer. Adam has dedicated the last 9 years of his life to wine and like myself, is trying to remove the snobbishness that is ever so often associated with the wine industry. He is also the winner of the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup American Wine-Tasting Championship, so I guess you could say he knows a thing or two about wine.
Summer is the best time to go check out vineyards. The summer months tend to be less crowded then you would find in the early fall around harvest time. Summer is also the most expensive time to travel, but with a lot of wine and a little dedication, you can find great travel deals. Adam has suggested 2 affordable regions and 2 regions you should splurge on (if you can).
North Fork, NY (Long Island)
Starting off the list is easily my favorite wine region, the North Fork in Long Island, NY. My first ever wine tour was spent here and now I visit every summer. Let’s not get this area confused with the Hamptons, which are located to the south. The Hamptons do have some respectable wineries, but the good ones are all in the north. The North Fork has the Long Island sound to its north and the Peconic Bay to it’s south. They are also best known for their Cabernet Franc. It’s easily accessible by train, car or if you’re rich, helicopter.
Adam recommends visiting this vineyard: Shinn Estate Vineyards
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is just a quick trip from Los Angels and is a well respected wine region. Downtown Santa Barbara also offers you the unique opportunity to adventure down the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail. Twenty-six different wineries participate and are all within walking distance from each other. This means no worry about designated drivers or trying to ride a bike tipsy. Adam suggests taking the whole day to spend time at each of the wineries to get a feel for them. There is a full range of atmospheres to chose from. It just goes to show you that wine tasting does not have always have to be on a vineyard. Santa Barbara is best known for their Pinot Noir. Flights from JFK will cost you around $300 round trip.
Adam recommends visiting this vineyard: The Urban Wine Trail
Santorini is famously known for it’s amazing blue waters and beaches but they should be known for their wine as well. Assyrtiko (ahs-SEER-tee-koh) is a Greek wine specific to Santorini. It’s a delicious white wine that is acidic and bright. Adam says that it is “everything you’d expect Santorini to taste like”. The grape vines are grown in bunches on the ground due to high winds that blow across the island. If they were grown traditionally on a trellis, all of the fruit would blow off the vines. The salty breeze and the volcanic ash rich soil the grapes grown in are believed to be what gives the grapes their acidity. Round trip tickets to Santorini from JFK will run you about $1,200, but it’s definitely worth it. Consider it an investment into your wine education.. and your tan.
Adam recommends visiting this vineyard: Gaia Wines – Santorini
Piedmont, Italy is one of the most romantic wine regions in the world. Everywhere you look they are endless rolling hills and beautiful vineyards. This is your go to place for an authentic wine tasting experience. When you are in Piedmont, you are going to meet the farmers that take care of the grapes and you’ll eat and drink in what basically feels like their home. It’s an experience that cannot be matched. Piedmont is in the north west corner of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. This region is known for their Barolo, which is made from the Nebbiolo grape. $1,100 is the price tag on a round trip flight from JFK to Piedmont. Pricey yes, but can you really put a price on the most romantic place ever?
Adam recommends visiting this vineyard: Damilano Winery
Check out VinePair for more great wine info!