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You no longer have to head to Sonoma or the Napa Valley for fabulous wines! Grapes are a relatively hardy crop, and independent vineyards and wineries have been popping up all over the country in recent years. So if you’re looking for something fun (and delicious) to do this summer, take a road trip or check out your local wine scene!

Plan a trip (as I once did) around your wine tasting schedule, or if you are headed out on summer vacation and just looking for something to do, see if the area you are traveling to offers a winery or two for you to check out.



Some of my favorites over the past few years include the numerous (too many to count) vineyards of the Finger Lakes region of New York. This is where I learned the difference in processes for “Oaked” and “Unoaked” Chardonnay. The oaked is aged in oak barrels while the unoaked is aged in stainless steel barrels. I also discovered Ice Wines in New York. Highly concentrated sweet dessert wines created when they let the grapes stay on the vine through the first frost.


The Berkshires of Massachusetts, a Newport, RI winery and inland Maine have also provided for some refreshing tastings on a sunny summer day!



If you love wine, if you love history, if you love science and agriculture…hop in your car (or on a plane) and head to a winery near you!

Shelley Nicholson

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