The production of wine in America has grown rapidly in the past three decades. Why? Because American tastes are changing. More and more of us are ditching watered-down ‘macro’ beers like Bud Lite for a variety of craft beers, spirits like bourbon and, of course, wine. While we import a lot of wine in this country, we are also one of the world’s largest producers. So where is all that wine growing? Of the 9,000 US wineries (9,009 at last count to be exact), 43 percent are in California, and many of those wineries are quite large — California is responsible for roughly 60 percent of the wine produced in the US. At the other end of the spectrum? Delaware is in last place, with only 3 wineries. According to the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau a 4th winery in Deleware was recently established…so Wyoming and Mississippi with 5 wineries each had better watch out!
Below the map we’ve recommended a winery we particularly love in each of the top ten wine producing states in the USA. These wineries display the incredible wine America can produce, so be a patriot and buy them all!
Our Suggestions For The Top 10 States
While everyone knows the wines of Napa and Sonoma, many may not be aware of the excellent and affordable wines coming out of California’s Central Coast. One of our favorite wineries here is Bonny Doon Vineyards located in Santa Cruz and run by Randall Grahm, one of the most talented winemakers in the US.
Walla Walla is one of the most well known wine regions of Washington State and it is here that Cayuse Vineyards farms their 60 acres of vines. This biodynamic vineyard is celebrated for its Syrah and Grenache, though they also make a great Tempranillo.
Oregon has become famous for producing one wine extremely well and that wine is Pinot Noir. One exceptional producer of Oregon Pinot is Atticus Wine. The winery is located in the Willamette Valley, the region of Oregon consider to be the ideal location for growing Pinot Noir, and Pinot Noir is all they grow.
The Finger Lakes was the first region of New York to make great wine, but now wine is being made just as well out on Long Island’s North Fork. One of our favorite Long Island vineyards is Shinn Estates, run by David Page and Barbara Shinn. All the wine they make is terrific, but we’re especially in love with their Wild Boar Doe.
Texas is known for making wines from grapes traditionally grown in France’s Rhone Valley, Italy’s Piedmont region and Spain, with the most celebrated wineries in the state located in Texas Hill Country. One of the pioneers of this region is Fall Creek Vineyards, a winery well known for their Tempranillo.
We’ve written a lot already about Linden Vineyards, the standard bearer of Virginia wine, so we’re going to recommend another fantastic winery in the state, King Family Vineyards. King Family is located just outside of Charlottesville on a sprawling piece of property that includes polo fields. They produce wines inspired by Bordeaux that would make Jefferson proud.
We were first introduced to Left Foot Charley winery by our friends at ABC Wine Company. Left Foot Charley is an urban winery located in the heart of Traverse City in a building that used to be the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane…how cool is that?! They specialize in wines made from grapes native to Austria, as those grapes tend to grow very well in northern Michigan, and make a killer Blaufränkisch as well as a great Riesling.
Just outside of Lancaster, PA in the heart of Amish Country is Waltz Vineyards. Located on a converted tobacco farm that has been in the family for six generations, the winery truly embodies the idea that all great wines start in the vineyard. We’re big fans of their Cherry Tree Merlot.
Located about an hour east of Cleveland, Markko Vineyards has been making wine in Ohio since 1968. They’re considered one of the state’s pioneering wineries and are well known for their Chardonnay.
Norton is a grape native to the United States that, while not used often in American wine making, is actually used quite often in Missouri, where it is also the state grape. One Missouri winery famous for making Norton wine is Mount Pleasant Estates.