The Napa Valley is one of the world’s most famous wine-making regions, but some of the best US wines also come from outside California.
The US is vast, with a diverse range of climates and soil types. This means that there are lots of options for American growers. Many are creating something different to the traditional bold and fruity Californian red.
Here at Ideal Wine Company we’re keen to expand our horizons. Exploring new wine-making regions and grape varieties is the key to keeping wine collecting interesting. So, here we’re bringing you our guide to the best US wines outside California that we think should be in your cellar.
Our pick of the regions offering the very best US wines outside California
Cold and wet, Oregon shouldn’t be a great wine growing region. But against the odds it has a global reputation for creating some wonderful wines. In particular the region is famed for its excellent Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
The Williamette Valley is home to some of the best wines in Oregon. We like wines from the excellent Cristom Vineyards. They’ve produced world-class Pinots for a while now, and our choice is their gorgeous 2015 ‘Jessie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir.
- New York
New York City already has a lot going for it. But the state itself is also home to some great wineries. Finger Lakes in Upstate New York is the centre for winemaking in the region and is the base for many excellent producers. Our choice is a bottle of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s 2014 Blanc de Noirs Méthode Champenoise, which is a delicious sparkling wine..
Hot and dry Arizona is the unlikely home of the Verde Valley. As its name suggests, it is lush and green and packed full of incredible wineries. The scenery here is stunning and the wine lives up to its spectacular setting. Try the 2017 vintage from Alcantara Vineyards. It is a delightful white wine made with Viognier grapes.
Colorado is home to some of the US’s most interesting wineries. The state’s mountains, rich soils and sunshine create the perfect growing conditions. There is a good range of wine varieties grown here, including some excellent Riesling. We’ve chosen a vintage from one of Colorado’s oldest wine producers – Carlson Vineyards. They’re based in Grand Valley and their Cougar Run Calico 2012 is perfect for sipping while gazing out over the Rocky Mountains.
Michigan is another wine-producing state that might surprise a few people. It’s full of natural beauty and has some excellent wine makers. Our choice is a maker with a great reputation for sparkling wines. Mawby Vineyards produce some fine examples and their Cremant Classic Brut is high quality. Dry and crisp with just the right amount of acidic bite.