The Willamette Valley, a premier wine growing region with over 20,000 acres of planted grape vineyards, starts less than an hour south of Portland, Oregon. The valley’s topography is over 100 miles long, spanning 60 miles at its widest point, sitting between the state’s breathtaking Cascade Mountains to the east, with outstanding views of Mount Hood and the Central Coast Range to the west.
New Hampshire is famous for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary held every four years. Beyond this, New Hampshire is annually recognized as one of the most livable states in the country. The Granite State is also famous for its abundance of natural resources and beauty: cherished ocean, large lakes, cascading rivers, and tall mountains. The farm-to-table movement and the growth of domestic wine production are adding to the state’s appeal.
Following the second annual Taste Tours Tuscany last spring at Casali di Bibbiano, a magnificent Italian country estate and winery, I headed to Umbria, a lesser-known but equally wonderful wine region. My trip was focused on learning more about Sagrantino, a red wine grape that has been making a lasting impression.
In the heart of Sonoma Valley in California, the Russian River flows south through acres of highly sought-out vineyards. The Russian River Valley is an American Viticulture Area (AVA), or appellation, one of many sub-appellations within the broader North Coast appellation. An AVA is a geographical area of wine grape growing legally determined by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The region became an official AVA in 1983, expanded its boundaries in 2005 and again in 2011, and now has more than 15,000 acres of vineyards, 200 grape growers, and 75 wineries. Many wineries in California and beyond produce wines from grapes sourced from this area.
Both wine professionals and consumers agree that Italy’s wines are among the world’s finest, especially their big, bold reds. They are wines that exude class, diversity, and style. Italian reds are perfect companions to Italy’s outstanding cuisine and to our delicious Seacoast winter recipes.
Alsatian wines are a line of fabulous primarily whites that are terrific accompaniments to holiday meals. Last month, I attended a wonderful dinner at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in which chef-owner Tony Maws created a tasting menu that perfectly complemented several different wines from Alsace.