Can’t Afford Napa, but Want a Wine Adventure? Check Out Three Affordable, Amazing Wine Trip Ideas Here.

Napa and Sonoma are beautiful, amazing places to visit.  Known as “wine country,” these cities charge a mighty premium to visit, and then charge even more for wine tastings and food.  Add to that an outrageous hotel bill – even in low season they can be $200-$300 a night, and you’ve got yourself a hard knock to the wallet.

In that light, I’ve compiled a list of a couple of my personal favorite cities to visit for wine tasting.  These are cities that might not be world-famous, but they do make world-class wines that are as good (and sometimes better!) than their Californian counterparts.

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Texas Hill Country, TX

Outside of Austin, believe it or not, there are nearly fifty wineries within just 60 miles of each other.  That may sound like a lot – but Texas roads and freeways are large and fast, 60 miles can be less than an hour on most days.  The grapes that grow in this southwest region are surprisingly delicious, with a couple of Syrah and Grenache selections that will knock your boots off.  A quick Google search should give you a huge list of wineries to visit.

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Smith Mountain Lake, VA

Central Virginia boasts a number of impressive wineries, and, in areas like Smith Mountain Lake, incredibly scenic views to enjoy with your wine.  They grow grapes for Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and more in this gorgeous and natural getaway.  Google the Roanoke area for wineries, there are more than sixteen, and enjoy a wine paired picnic by the lake.

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Willamette Valley, OR

For Pinot Noir lovers, this is an absolute must-visit.  A bit more crowded than my other recommendations, because of it’s great reputation, it still falls into the cheaper-than-Napa price range.  The 500 wineries within the 150 miles of valley produce some of the best wines on the planet.  Second only to the Pinot Noir, the Pinot Gris should not be missed in Willamette Valley.  Definitely worth looking into, particularly if you are on the West Coast.  Use Google to find a list of wineries – and enjoy the whites!

If you look hard enough, you can find a relatively inexpensive, very relaxing wine getaway on a budget.  These are just a few suggestions, I know there are many more out there.  So next time you’re thinking Napa, maybe it’s worth looking into these less crowded, fun wine trips instead.  You’ll save a dollar or two, maybe you can even bring back more wine.

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