Tag Archives: Wine Enthusiast

This Year’s Top Three Wine Travel Destinations In U.S.

When it comes to wine destinations, there are all kinds of places folks might think of. Certainly most of California could be considered in the forefront of thought when traveling. And in fact wine travel in the Golden State is wide open with a plethora of great wine locations to visit.

However, there are many great places to enjoy wine in the United States. As far as Wine Enthusiast magazine is concerned, the top three places to go are the Finger Lakes in New York, Orlando, Florida, and Mendocino, California.

Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes

Just as Paso Robles was last year, the Finger Lakes region (New York) became the current top wine region in the world. Upstate New York has produced some of the great Riesling’s on the planet, and now the rest of the world is finding out what experts have known for years. However, the aromatic grape isn’t the only reason folks come to this part of the Empire State.

The Finger Lakes has long been a popular tourist destinations. While now being acknowledged as a promising wine-producing destination, the region also has a blossoming food culture. Combine this with some impressive natural beauty with the many Finger Lakes and four distinct seasons – it’s no wonder why the area was well thought-of as a top wine travel destination.


Orlando without doubt comes to mind when thinking travel. Heck, say just two words: Disney World, and it’s obvious why people would want to come to Florida. Also, let’s face it, Florida is on many folks minds when thinking of travel, including warm sunshine and a multitude of things to do.

However, wine destination? Isn’t this place for kids? In short, a grand assortment of top-notch eateries just outside of theme parks has helped put the popular tourist destination on the wine travel map. And don’t forget the fact the place is a golfers dream. No, there aren’t very many wines from the Sunshine State though there are many boutique vinos available and the overabundance of prime restaurants have more than their fare share of great wines to pull from.


With some of the most stunning coastline anywhere in the world, Mendocino jumps up on this list as already excellent wine region with splendid and magnificent views. Relaxing environs everywhere you turn offer a distinct calm and restful place that few destinations in the world can present. In other words the Mendocino region is laidback.

Infamous redwoods give way to a spectacular coast with dramatic sights that will leave you breathless. Cool weather wines like Pinot Noir along with Champagne (oops, sparkling wine) are in abundance – as is marijuana. Did I say it was laidback? Less than three hours north of the Bay Area, the region should be on anyone’s agenda if you’re into wine and travel.

In Vino Veritas,

Daryle W. Hier










Magazine Names New York Wine Region Of The Year

The New York based magazine Wine Enthusiast, has named the state of New York as its wine region of the year. New York beat out four other nominated regions: Champagne, France; Chianti, Italy; Red Mountain, Washington and Sonoma, California.

The reasons sited for this tribute were the quality of wines, the tremendous growth of the industry along with a believed improved business climate. The states uniqueness and diversity of wines were also made note of and credited as to why the Empire State was given this award.

Adam Strum, publisher and editor of Wine Enthusiast said of the somewhat surprising honor:

“The New York wine industry has made a remarkable comeback in the past 30 years in terms of the quality of wines, number of wineries, and economic impact. All of those positive indicators have accelerated tremendously during the past four years, making New York state one of the most vibrant and promising wine-producing destinations in the world.”

Less than 30 years ago, there were but 37 wineries who called New York home. However, now there are nearly 400 throughout the state, with the Finger Lakes district alone representing about one-third of the total wineries. Though limited to a certain amount of years and business-type, New York is allowing tax credits and giving new companies that move to the state, tax incentives and reduced regulation, which have helped the wine industry grow.

This past year, Paso Robles reigned as the world’s top wine region, recognized by the quality of wines, but also innovation and excitement created by a unique and booming industry on the Central Coast of California, drawing young talent from far and wide.

New York's Riesling ranks high among wine experts.

New York’s Riesling ranks high among wine experts.

New York ranks third nationally among wine producing states and not unlike Paso Robles, has made a comeback after an old history of wine production stalled.

A panel of judges from around the world voted with Finger Lakes Riesling wines critiquing particularly well.

The award will be presented as part of the Wine Star Awards gala at the New York Public Library in Manhattan next January.


Daryle Hier





Wine Region of the Year

As someone who has visited the Paso Robles region for over four decades and lived here for seven years, I know how great this part of the world is.  And of course, the region is dominated by the wine industry so most of everything associated with the area has to do with wine and grapes (such as our barrel business).

“It’s that happy willingness to forge forward, to press relentlessly into the future and craft its own identity for the 21st century that makes Paso Robles Wine Enthusiast’s 2013 Wine Region of the Year.”

Still, it’s nice when others from around the world also acknowledge how fabulous Paso is.  That’s what Wine Enthusiast magazine did when it awarded the ‘2013 Wine Region of the Year‘ to Paso Robles.

The growth of the region as a wine producing appellation has skyrocketed this century thanks to a more open-minded flexibility to making wine grapes.  With terroirs that our significantly different than more traditional areas of California like Sonoma and Napa, innovative winemakers have proliferated in this Central Coast of California expanse.

Sitting in the northern half of San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles has given flight to an abundance of unique yet high quality wines.  With hot summer days but cool evenings, the diurnal is unlike most other terroirs and combined with ideal soil … well, the grapes love it.

Paso Robles: One of the great wine destinations in the U.S.

Paso is already considered by TripAdviser as one of the top wine destinations in the United States to visit.  With over 26,000 acres of vineyards including its well-known Zinfandels, we’re happy to hear there’s another feather in the cap of Paso Robles as the number one wine region in the world.

Additional source: The Travel Paso Robles Alliance

Salootie Patootie,

Daryle W. Hier