7 Places To Find Exquisite North American Wines

If you limit yourself to what's at your local grocery store, you can be forgiven for not realizing the variety of wines being produced in North America. Here are just a few places where you can sample what's being grown and bottled close to home, whether you're looking for a single bottle or a week-long tasting vacation. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

7 Spots to Find Great Wines from North America

Name Location
ACORN Winery Healdsburg, CA
Wine Country Ontario Vineland, ON
Monticello Wine Trail Charlottesville, VA
Wilson Creek Winery Temecula, CA
Wines of Nova Scotia Halifax, NS
Midnight Cellars Paso Robles, CA
Santa Barbara Vintners Buellton, CA

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In Depth

Fantastic wine can of course be found in Italy and France, but North America produces its own share of vivacious vino. Whether you're a longtime subscriber to Wine Spectator or an average Joe who enjoys a Friday night tipple, there's no shortage of vineyards in the U.S. and Canada. In no particular order, here are several sources to discover excellent reds and whites.

At #1, we have Acorn Winery, located in Healdsburg, California. Owners Betsy & Bill Nachbaur established the company in 1994, and first released a Sangiovese. It now makes seven different wines, including a Zinfandel, a Cabernet Franc, a Dolcetto, and two proprietary blends, one of which is a dry Rosato.

Acorn's production is small, as it blends all wines from the grapes it grows, producing about 3,000 cases each year. The vineyard prides itself on being sustainable: it avoids the use of pesticides, and most of the work is done by hand. In addition, the company uses compost and maintains a cover crop of grass, wildflowers, and weeds between the grapevines to provide a habitat for beneficial insects.

Acorn's production is small, as it blends all wines from the grapes it grows, producing about 3,000 cases each year.

Next up, at #2, is Wine Country Ontario, a vast collection of Canadian wine makers, which includes Harwood Estate, Hidden Bench, and Kew Vineyards. The organization's website includes a directory of vino-themed events, like tastings, tours, and special restaurant experiences.

They offer a trip planner for those visiting the Ontario area where you can select vineyards, events, restaurants, and more to create a detailed itinerary. The website also offers tips for those traveling to the region, and suggests that visitors arrive with an open mind, buy wines they love as they might not be sold in retail outlets, and pace themselves while tasting.

The #3 entry is the Monticello Wine Trail, an association of over 30 wineries located within 25 miles of Charlottesville, Virginia. Its name references Thomas Jefferson's plantation, and the wineries on the trail have been inspired by Jefferson's vision of grape growing and winemaking. It offers an itinerary-making tool so you can map out your visit to the region.

Its name references Thomas Jefferson's plantation, and the wineries on the trail have been inspired by Jefferson's vision of grape growing and winemaking.

The association also advertises a number of events hosted by its wineries, such as concerts, trivia nights, and more general soirees. Participating vineyards include Pollak, Chisholm, Early Mountain, and Loving Cup. Member wineries are consistently ranked highly in state, national and international wine competitions, such as the annual Virginia Governor's Cup Gala.

For #4 we have Wilson Creek Winery, located in Temecula, California. The vineyard, which opened in 1996, is family-owned and operated. It features a tasting room, a full-service restaurant with a large patio, a Creekside picnic area, indoor and outdoor conference and event spaces, and an area that can function as a wedding venue.

Wilson Creek produces several award-winning wines, such as their Cammi Ridge Syrah, Chloe Viognier, and Family Meritage. Its winemaker, Kestutis "Gus" Vizgirda, is a first generation American whose parents emigrated from Lithuania in 1949. The vineyard has an adjacent manor, where visitors can stay overnight to make the most of their experience.

Wilson Creek produces several award-winning wines, such as their Cammi Ridge Syrah, Chloe Viognier, and Family Meritage.

Our #5 entry is Wines of Nova Scotia, an association of wineries in Canada. The vineyards of the Sea Bound Coast are never more than 20 kilometers from the water, and the vines grow in the remains of an ancient seabed. Its unique viticultural climate stems from having the world's highest tides, a mixture of sandstone and slate soil, and being surrounded by large bodies of water.

The association was formed in 2002 to represent the interests of wine producers, to serve as a voice for local industry, and to promote the growth and development of Nova Scotia wines. Participating wineries include Benjamin Bridge, Avondale Sky, Planters Ridge, and Bear River. Visitors to the region can book a tour on the Magic Winery Bus, North America's only hop-on, hop-off vineyard tour experience.

At #6, we present Midnight Cellars in Paso Robles, California, owned and operated by the Hartenberger Family. Wine aficionados can select from a number of varietals, such as Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and blends such as Nocturne, which includes both Syrah and Tannat grapes.

Wine aficionados can select from a number of varietals, such as Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and blends such as Nocturne, which includes both Syrah and Tannat grapes.

Midnight Cellars has a tasting room where one can sample four of their wines for ten dollars. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own snacks and enjoy them on their patio. Occasionally, the winery hosts special events featuring concerts, block parties, dinners with wine pairings, or fundraisers for local animal shelters.

For our final entry, #7, we've got the vineyards of the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, a nonprofit founded in 1983 that works to promote Santa Barbara County as a region that is celebrated around the world for its wine production. The group produces festivals as well as educational seminars and tastings.

The association's website includes a directory of member wineries, including Babcock, Brick Barn, Epiphany, Fiddlehead, and Happy Canyon. It also offers general tips for those planning to visit the vineyards. Every year, the organization publishes a Santa Barbara wine country touring guide, complete with maps, winery and vineyard listings, and suggestions for local lodging and restaurants.