4 Regions to Visit for Early Spring Wine Tasting
Early spring is one of the most peaceful times of year to visit a vineyard. Crowds are low, winery morale is high and we're all anxious for a bit of sunshine in our lives (coupled with copious amounts of wine, of course.) Here are four of our top regional picks for early springtime wine-fueled travel.
Napa and Sonoma are great, but come early spring, our sights are on the sunny Central Coast. Santa Barbara's six AVAs offer a diverse range of topography and vineyard sites, mostly dominated by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Urban wineries, farmers markets and high-quality restaurants with locally sourced ingredients are in no shortage, making it a well-rounded getaway spot.
Relax, East Coasters—heading to domestic wine country doesn't have to mean hopping on on the next flight to California. Central Virginia is one of the country's hottest wine regions to visit right now, with Charlottesville acting as the perfect lodging point. Hit the Monticello Wine Trail during the day, head back to eat and drink your way through the city at night, and be sure not to miss the slew of local breweries scattered around the region for a break from the bottle.
Those looking to get away from it all will find solace in the blissful banks of Bordeaux. A newly operating high-speed train route between Paris and Bordeaux makes it easy to trade in the City of Lights for a weekend of wine. Cabernet lovers should stick to winery visits on the Left Bank, while Merlot aficionados can get their fill on the Right Bank. Don't forget to try the region's exquisite dessert wines, too.
Barcelona in April is where history, great food, local wine and gorgeous scenery collide. Penedès (where Cava is produced) is just 25 miles from the city and is home to hundreds of producers, ranging from small family wineries to larger estates. If you'd rather not drive, a curated organic wine tour equipped with roundtrip transportation is the move.
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