While Napa Valley is generally considered to be the capital of America’s winemaking, there are plenty of other places in America that make great wine. Here are four interesting wines that come from underappreciated growing regions in the USA.
1. Louise Swenson from Shelburne Vineyard, Vermont
The Louise Swenson is a cold-weather grape created by noted grape breeder Elmer Swenson. We recently profiled Shelburne Vineyard, and noted that their Louise Swenson wine tasted of tropical fruit and chalky minerals. Vermont may not seem like an ideal growing region for grapes, but this New England state is growing into an ever more popular destination for oenophiles.
2. Seyval Blanc from Arbor Day Farm Wines, Nebraska
When a group of my friends recently told me about their trip to a winery in Nebraska, I joked that all the wine must be made from corn. While Nebraska may be best known for corn and cows, the wine here is nothing to sneer at. There are the usual array of fruity wines (Apple Pie, Cherry, and Peach) that small American wineries tend to produce, alongside some award-winners like their LaCrosse. The Seyval Blanc, a hybrid grape that dates back to the 1920s, is one of the best ones on offer here.
3. Rhubarb Wine from Scenic Valley Winery, Minnesota
Lanesboro, Minnesota may not be the first name that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “wine country,” but this idyllic little town is home to some unusual wines (and the best damn potatoes I ever ate in my entire life, but that’s a story for another time.) If your wine tastes run to the offbeat and unconventional, their rhubarb wine is a must try…particularly if you take it on a picnic to the banks of the Root River.
4. Symphony from Volcano Winery, Hawaii
This award-winning winery has won awards for both of their wines made from Symphony grapes. It’s probably also one of the few places on the planet where you can get wine made from Jabuticaba berries. While some wine purists might turn up their noses at wine made from guava or macadamia nut honey, these varietals make perfect sense in a tropical environment. They also have more traditional vintages, including Pinot Noir.