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10 Coolest Wineries to Visit Slideshow

10 Coolest Wineries to Visit Slideshow

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Valaer Murray

Mendoza, Argentina, boasts a handful of innovatively designed wineries, but what sets Trapiche winery apart is the insistence on celebrating the history of the wine region in a modern context. The company took over an abandoned winery built in 1912 — part of the first generation of Mendocino winemakers — and completely overhauled the buildings while keeping intact cherished vintage elements like the original signs on concrete tanks and the end-of-the-line railroad tracks. Even the remnants of the original brick walls were integrated into the modern glass and steel visitors’ center. In the spirit of bringing the past into the future, Trapiche is also testing a biodynamic vineyard on site, with a picturesque pond, gardens, and animals including a llama.

Trapiche, Mendoza, Argentina

Valaer Murray

Mendoza, Argentina, boasts a handful of innovatively designed wineries, but what sets Trapiche winery apart is the insistence on celebrating the history of the wine region in a modern context. In the spirit of bringing the past into the future, Trapiche is also testing a biodynamic vineyard on site, with a picturesque pond, gardens, and animals including a llama.

CADE Estate Winery, Napa Valley, Calif.

In an eagle’s perch on top of Howell Mountain, CADE has one of the most panoramic views of Napa Valley, as well as a track record of producing quality organic wines. As Napa’s first LEED Gold Certified winery, CADE’s owners, also the owners of PlumpJack Winery, put a premium on modern technology in addition to modern design. Architect Carlos Fernandez conceived a design that stands out among the hillside greenery, but includes elements like a huge iron door meant to rust and evolve with the weather and arching, rounded cement walls that mimic the circle of life.

City Winery, N.Y.

Even in a sprawling Tribeca location, New York’s City Winery is still mini by California standards, but proprietor Michael Dorf managed to pack a lot into the space. What makes the winery especially cool can be traced back to Dorf’s roots in the music scene, as the founder of the (in)famous music venue, the Knitting Factory — the full roster of noteworthy bands and musicians spans from heavyweights to up-and-comers. Added to that is a creative approach to winemaking that invites members of the community to learn about and experience the process, even crushing grapes and making their own vintages.

Stratus Wines, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

As one of the heralded emerging wine regions, Niagara now has a lot more going for it than the falls. When it opened in 2005, Stratus Wines' facility was the first of its kind, earning a silver LEED certification. Perhaps inspired by the proximity to the incredible natural wonder of the falls, the remarkable design utilizes the natural resources to not just be more sustainable, like the geo-exchange technology, but also to enhance the aesthetics, like the “glass cube” tasting room.

Leo Hillinger Wines, Jois, Austria

Modern to an extreme, the 8-year old winery’s design was meant to conform to its natural setting by being partially built into a hill, which also helps keep the humidity low and the temperature controlled. Sleek and modular, the buildings are an interesting contrast to the historic but relatively low-profile Jois wine region of Austria, bordering on Hungary, where the industry is only beginning to be revolutionized.

Peregrine Wines, Central Otago, New Zealand

As a major shoot location for the filming of The Lord of the Rings series as well as the upcoming movie, The Hobbit, Central Otago, one of New Zealand's emerging wine regions is the perfect stop for oenophile sci-fi fans. A collection of interesting wineries, like Amisfield and Felton Road, showcase the area's stunning landscape, which makes it difficult to decide which is the coolest. But, Peregrine Wines' soaring architecture sets it apart from the rest. Mirroring the winerys namesake as well as the high altitude at which the vineyards are situated, the sharp lines and industrial materials are also a stark contrast to the raw topography.

Clos Pegase Winery, Calistoga, Calif.

Its wide central column and bold lines are meant to evoke Greek culture, but its the winery owners emphasis on the Muses and the arts they represented in mythology that makes Clos Pegase so unique. Since opening in the late 80s, the Shrems have collected and displayed a huge collection of art, from contemporary to antiquity. Visitors can take a self-guided circuit of the paintings, sculpture, and glassware displayed in the sculpture garden, visitors center, and wine caves in a kind of Metropolitan Museum of Art meets New Age Napa tour.

Novelty Hill-Januik Winery, Woodinville, Wash.

The winemaking process is as much intellectual as it is sensory, and the Novelty Hill-Januik Winery takes pains to reflect that duality. The incredibly cerebral design takes into account the rhythm and geometries of the agricultural landscape, along with the craft, technology, and patterns of wine production. Still, the sensual pleasures are alluded to via the cozy outdoor fire pit, well-landscaped terraces that encircle a bocce court, and the incorporation of the surrounding wetlands into the public spaces.

Hop Kiln Winery, Healdsburg, Calif.

As suggested by its name, this Sonoma County winery has more to do with brewing than most winemaking facilities given that it is located on a former hops farm where the three-story hops dryer has been converted to a winemaking facility and tasting room. Set in a structure dating back to 1905, Hop Kiln is now one of the foremost landmarks along the Russian River Valley wine trail, and visitors stop at the historic property to taste not only the wines but the local artisanal food and wine pairings created by the Kenwood Inn chefs.

Lopez de Heredia, La Rioja, Spain

The Rioja winery's biggest claim to fame was that its visitor’s center was designed by Zaha Hadid, one of the world’s most celebrated and high-profile postmodern architects. Fluid and structural, the pavilion is curiously a “movable” building and provides an interesting counterpoint to the winery’s original architecture, dating from more than 125 years ago. As a winery that also handcrafts its own barrels, the bodega offers visitors a unique look into one of the oldest but little seen traditions in winemaking.

Why Visit The Best Willamette Valley Wineries

If you are planning a trip to the Willamette Valley wineries in Oregon, you’re making a wise decision.

The Willamette Valley is one of the most picturesque wine regions in the United States. The rural beauty of the rolling hills blends perfectly with the small town charm of the local communities. Cities like McMinnville and Dundee feel like throwbacks to a simpler and less hurried time. Try to picture yourself winding your way along rural roads lined with breathtaking vineyards that are interspersed with dense forests and gorgeous fields full of grazing horses. This is a truly idyllic place to visit.

Now let's talk about the wine. The best Willamette Valley wineries produce Pinot Noir. The Pinot from this region is widely considered to be among the world's finest. Often compared to Burgundy, the pinnacle of Pinot perfection, the Willamette Valley stands proudly as an ideal growing region for this delicate grape. The cool and humid climate paired with ideal soil conditions allows growers to match Old World styles with a touch of New World flair.

You can easily reach the Willamette Valley wineries from Portland Oregon. It will take you about 30 minutes to reach the first wineries worth stopping at. You'll need several days to hit the top Willamette Valley wineries, so give yourself plenty of time and find a nice place to base yourself. While there are clusters of wineries throughout the valley, you can spend a fair amount of time driving between some.

There are also some less than ideal roads leading to some of the best Willamette Valley tasting rooms. Consider renting an SUV if you plan to drive. Or better yet, find a local tour guide who already knows how to navigate the rural roads.

Planning your wine tasting trip is the fun part. We hope we can help by recommending our favorite wineries. You can use these as a starting point as you plan out an itinerary. And you can use our wine country travel tips to make sure you have a great time. Enjoy!

Heads up: Our posts may contain affiliate links. If you click through and purchase we receive a small fee. That helps us keep the lights on! Thanks.

Can't make it to the best Willamette Valley wineries? You can still have great Oregon wine shipped to your house.

These are the Top 10 Willamette Valley Wineries to check out now:

SIgnorello Vineyards

Best for: Tasting experience, winery tour, food and wine pairing

After the October 2017 Atlas Peak Fire, all that was left of Signorello was their vineyards and their wine tanks. It took owner Ray Signorello only moments to decide what he would do about that. After asking whether the employees were ok, then inquiring about the vineyards, he immediately pledged to rebuild.

That process may take a few years, but even in their temporary quarters, Signorello offers one of the best winery experiences in Napa Valley.

You could go to Signorello Estate to enjoy one of the best tasting room views in Napa Valley. You could go to sample their limited production, highly-rated, estate-grown wines. You could even go because they’re one of the few Napa wineries that pour two white wines along with their reds.

But the real reason to visit is to get a glimpse of one of the few family-owned wineries left in Napa, a winery where the owner and his father planted the original vines by hand.

Go for the Estate Experience, which includes a driving tour of their vineyards, followed by a seated tasting of five wines, paired with thoughtfully chosen, seasonal gourmet bites.

Charleston Wine + Food

March 4-8, 2020 | Charleston, South Carolina

A who's who of culinary legends descends on Charleston's skyline for Charleston Wine + Food &mdash Photo courtesy of Stacy Howell / Charleston Wine + Food

Celebrating the hospitality and graciousness of this Southern darling, Charleston Wine + Food is a veritable who’s who of culinary legends, James Beard Award nominees and winners, and television’s most notable celebrity chefs.

There are delectable dinners, seaside suppers, cooking classes, edible excursions, foodie fitness, cocktail conclaves, a three-day culinary village extravaganza and unparalleled wine lunches and dinners. The 125-plus events over five days, in every corner and neighborhood of the city, have helped set the wine and food festival bar.

How Much You Need

You should get 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium every day. Most Americans don’t meet that goal.

Your needs might be different if you have kidney disease. Some people with kidney disease should get less potassium than the 4,700 mg guideline. If your kidneys don’t work well, too much potassium could stay in your body, which can cause nerve and muscle problems. If you have kidney disease and your doctor hasn’t already told you what your potassium limit is, ask about it.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine, and watch the sauce magically come together.

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The Best Of Wine Tourism awards writes:

“It is the first ‘Branded Hostel’ in the world, considered by The Guardian as ‘one of the Ten Best New Luxury Hostels’. Its unique location is inside the building bought by George Sandeman in 1811, which still today is used for aging Sandeman Porto Wine. High quality hospitality service, 43 king sized, custom designed single beds in four dorm rooms, and 12 suites decorated with original Sandeman artwork.

Several Port related experiences are on offer: a traditional guided tour to the Port Wine Cellars, a late afternoon cocktail at the reception – bar, or dinner in The George Restaurant & Terrace.”

Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena is historically relevant to Napa Valley's timeline. This was the winery that produced the first-place chardonnay which took the big win over the best of Burgundy in the 1976 Paris Tasting.

Both chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are big winners at this one-of-a-kind estate tucked into Napa's northern tip of Calistoga. The multiple tastings they offer vary greatly and carry considerable content for both Napa newbies and seasoned enthusiasts.

Chateau Montelena showcases two cabs. One is made with grapes sourced from Napa Valley and the other is crafted from all estate-grown grapes.

Florida’s 4 Finest Wineries

Muscadine grapes might as well be sweet, sweet currency in Florida. Oenophiles will be surprised to learn that in the state recognized for retirees, a general lack of inclement weather, and no shortage of vacation destinations, muscadines are king. These saccharine grapes native to the state are only 1 reason why the wineries of Florida are both refreshingly atypical and visit-worthy.

Wine traditionalists beware. Those diehard wine enthusiasts expecting a full-bodied cabernet or a traditional Italian port and an easy chair to drink it in might be surprised. Anticipate something more modern and a little left of the norm. Expect avocado wine made from the oil’s separation during fermentation. Don’t question the sweet sting of the sparkling citrus varieties as they hit your tongue. This isn’t the place for conventional rule. This is Florida, where wine can be fruit-inspired, grown on the vine, or even personalized. And these 4 wineries are some of the state's finest.


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