This week at VinePair, we’re celebrating all things American wine. While there are delicious wines being made all over the world, Americans need not look beyond their own borders for a great bottle of vino. With over 7,400 operational wineries and 267 AVAs spanning across a multitude of climates and altitudes, American wine certainly offers something for everyone.
To kick off our week of festivities, the VinePair staff took a moment to consider the American wines they enjoy the most. From big, full-bodied California Cabs to East Coast Pinot Noirs that give Oregon’s a “run for their money,” here are some of VinePair’s favorite American wines.
“One of my favorite American wines would be Rapp Ranch’s Pinot Noir. I went to the estate on my first trip to California and visiting the winery itself was a great experience and made me fall in love with Napa Valley; their Pinot Noir in particular really stood out as it was especially delicate and velvety and still sticks in my mind years later.” —Bobbie Thorn, account manager, brand partnerships and activations
“I love American wine so much that it’s stress-inducing to whittle it down to one, but I will say I have a current favorite category, a category that for the longest time has not really had a name: American Sparklers, a term I have been trying to make a thing since 2010. Whether it’s made like Champagne (traditional method), or Prosecco (Charmat method), if it’s bubbly and made here, it’s an American Sparkler. They have been here since before California became a state, so we deserve a new name. Ya heard it here, folks!” —Keith Beavers, tastings director
“My favorite American wine is the 2021 Patelin de Tablas Blanc from Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Bourbouleux, this wine is acidic and crisp carrying refreshing notes of citrus and tropical fruit that explode on the palate. It’s truly just so good.” —Olivia White, editorial assistant
“I love both Macari and RGNY out in Long Island, N.Y. Macari has been committed to natural farming since the vineyard’s inception; I particularly love the Sparkling Horses Cabernet Franc (2021). As for RGNY, they have roots as Mexican winemakers that have adopted a modern style and new terroir. I drink their Tinto on the regular, and they have banging sparklings as well! Great people and great wine.” —Emily Arseneau, director, brand sales and partnerships
“My pick for American wine right now is the 2018 Knights Bridge ‘KB’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. I opened this bottle up with friends a few weeks ago and was immediately impressed by its aromas and complexity — wildly approachable yet with the sort of depth that seasoned wine drinkers look for. I wasn’t totally familiar with the Knights Valley region of Sonoma, so I consider this Cab Sauv a wonderful introduction to all that the appellation has to offer.” —Dario Foroutan, social editor
“I have to say the American wines I am loving a lot right now are the ones made by Nathan Kendall in the Finger Lakes. While he obviously makes a great Riesling — you sorta have to if this is where you have chosen to make wine — it’s his Pinot Noir that has really blown me away. For me, it’s the best Pinot being made on the East Coast, and gives the top Pinots coming out of Oregon and Cali a run for their money as well.” —Adam Teeter, CEO and co-founder
“There are far too many great Pinot Noirs and Cabernets from the West Coast to count. However, going to college in the Finger Lakes region of New York, there are a few wineries that stick out to me that are always a staple. To name a few of my favorites: Hermann J. Wiemer, Dr. Konstantin Frank, and Standing Stone. Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Franc are among [the] wines produced, but new and innovative winemakers are testing out different varietals and techniques. Needless to say, these wines keep getting better with every visit back. The community that the region has built as well is admirable. The wineries, restaurants, farms and other local businesses collaborate to put forth a welcoming environment. Definitely one worth visiting!” —Allison Kuklinski, manager, brand partnerships and activations
“Louis M. Martini 2018 Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon! It’s a full-bodied Cab that is very drinkable. I tasted it at the winery and absolutely fell in love with it — it represents everything Napa is in my head.” —Rob Gearity, senior director, integrated marketing
“I’m a big fan of Wölffer Estate (call me a basic Long Island girl), especially their Cabernet Franc. It’s one of the smoothest and boldest ones I’ve had, and is the best sipper when you’ve exhausted yourself on rosé during a Hamptons summer day. Its branding is so iconic and a staple of The Hamptons!” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“I love how much the American wine industry is embracing boxed wine! Not only is the category more diverse than ever; it’s also much more sustainable than wine in heavy glass bottles. Some of my recent faves that also happen to be very aesthetically driven are from the brands Juliet and Boxt.” —Katie Brown, editor
“I drink a lot of American wine, particularly (well-made) Chardonnay from California, so it’s hard to whittle it down to just one on that front. That said, I think a sleeper hit that more drinkers should embrace and celebrate is the New Mexico-based sparkling wine producer Gruet. Traditionally made bubbles that use the same varieties as Champagne, retail for around $20, and are available almost everywhere — what’s not to love?” — Tim McKirdy, managing editor