Happy Hour: Less-Traveled Wine Regions for Your Bucket ListJBF Editors
March 20, 2015
Indulge your Friday afternoon wanderlust with these oenophile-centric travel tips from Andy Chabot, food and beverage director at the Barn at Blackberry Farm, which took home our 2014 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine Program. Here, Chabot shares his favorite less-traveled wine regions for incredible tasting journeys without the pesky crowds.
Paso Robles, California
I imagine that Paso Robles is what Napa was like in the ’70s: farm country, plenty of incredible wines, and friendly winemakers who open their doors to visitors. A nice bonus is that local restaurants sell many of the area’s hard-to-find wines.
A quick trip from Paris, this is a fantastic region for white-wine lovers. It’s not overly touristy, and there are some very fun restaurants and hotels with great wines. All seven of the Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis sit together in a bowl like an amphitheater.
The traditional Aszu Tokaji wines from this region in northeastern Hungary are among the world’s finest dessert wines, but the real surprise is the area’s dry wines. What’s more, the vineyards were classified back in the 1700s, making them some of the oldest in the world!
Walla Walla, Washington
Some of America’s most sought-after wines are made in this wild and somewhat undeveloped region in southwestern Washington (and in Oregon, as the AVA crosses state boundaries). The local laws don’t allow visiting at all times, so it’s smart to plan ahead and call before going.