10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2015 – Wine Enthusiast Magazine

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Wine Enthusiast magazine has crowned the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2015 in their annual February Travel Issue.  The exciting news is that three US cities top the coveted list: Orlando, Florida; Finger Lakes, New York; and Mendocino, California!

Elizabeth and I have visited Napa and Sonoma several times, (our experiences were so inspiring we designed a detailed party plan to help hosts create an evening all about wine to share with their guests – our Wine Country Crush Party Plan is featured in our book, Plan to Party.) After reading the Wine Enthusiast Article, we’ve put Mendocino, CA on our must-see and sip list of places to visit and The Madrones as a must-stay!

WHY MENDOCINO? According to the Wine Enthuisiats article and Jim Gordon, Mendocino County has 107 wineries and more than 17,000 acres of vineyards. Beyond the wine it hosts giant redwoods, Dungeness crabs (my fave), wild chanterelle mushrooms, an exhilarating rocky coasts.  It’s just over a two hour drive north of San Francisco to Mendocino’s tasting rooms and restaurants which are rarely crowded.  Tip: Lodging options are scarce so book early.  Spring is a great time to visit!

ITS WINE! Pinot Noir fans head straight to Anderson Valley for the highest concentration of tasting rooms and the most prestigious wines in Mendocino County. Some charge for tasting, but many of the old guard don’t. Visit the classics, like Roederer Estate for bubbly, and Handley and Husch for Pinot Noir and Alsace varieties. Others include: Navarro, and Goldeneye, and if you like organic wines, make a visit to Frey Vineyards.

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Beyond wine you can shop in Mendocino for local art and new age jewelry, and marvel at the ocean views. 

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The Madrones – “This is the ideal spot for anyone looking for a true escape, privacy and comfort. ”

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Cypress Grove

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Saucy is a favorite spot for classic wood-fired, thin-crust pizza.

The top 10 list includes where to: sip, dine, lodge and tips on when to go and what to do beyond wine tastings (FYI: “Fun Fact: Giraffes on the Mendocino Coast? Visitors will find these exotic creatures (along with antelope and zebra) at the 110-acre B. Bryan Preserve in nearby Point Arena. Reservations are required for twice-daily tours.)”  It’s a MUST READ for those that love wine, food and travel. Be sure to read it in its entirety and learn more and learn more about these other amazing destinations here>

Top 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2015

  1. Piedmont, Italy
  2. Finger Lakes, NY – USA!
  3. Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  4. Rhône Valley, France
  5. Orlando, FL – USA!
  6. Galicia, Spain
  7. Okanagan, Canada
  8. Loire Valley, France
  9. Mendocino, CA – USA!
  10. Istria, Croatia

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