We are your information source for wine travel, wine trails, and all the interesting local wineries and wine growing regions across the United States. We also bring you the latest wine trail news from across the country.
On our site you’ll find:
- An insider wine lovers tour of unique U.S. wine trails
- Travel highlights, what to see and do
- Local food specialties, places to eat and where to relax
- A brief overview of each state’s wine industry and wine trails
Did you know that all 50 states have at least one winery?
Many are clustered in geographical wine producing regions, where the climate and topography is ideal for producing wine. These clusters of wineries are often linked in a wine trail. For the wine travel devotee, visiting a U.S. wine trail is an ideal relaxing weekend excursion.
We haven’t visited all the wine trails in the United States yet, but we’re getting there!
How is a wine trail designated?
Almost always, official wine trail designation is a joint effort between a state’s tourism bureau, department of transportation and wineries.
Typically, wine trail laws designate certain highways as part of a wine trail. The practical effect is to allow wineries to buy wine trail signs with a directional arrow pointing to their wineries. The signs are placed by the transportation department and are usually green or purple with a grape cluster logo.
Wine trail signs allows visitors and tourists to easily locate wineries via standardized signage, instead of looking for each individual winery sign. The desired effect is to promote the state’s wine industry as a tourist attraction.
Our Wine Trails List page shows all of the wine trails being designated across the United States. There are now almost 140!
Do all states have wine trails?
The short answer is “no”, but there are other factors involved.
Many states see the value in officially designating wine trails. It is commonly viewed as promoting agricultural tourism, a booming segment of the travel and tourism industry. Further, numerous states promote wine trails as an in-state destination, seeking to reach weekend travelers in their own state and thereby capitalizing on a healthy tourism climate.
Even though all 50 states have at least one winery, official wine trail designation isn’t an automatic. There are numerous reasons, including tourism priorities and lobbying strength among local wineries. Some states have led the way in wine trail designation, specifically New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Michigan and several others.
Certain states devote considerable effort to support wine trails and their home state wineries. Pennsylvania and Michigan, for example, both have very comprehensive and updated web sites for their wine industries. In addition, each of their wine trails have their own promotional web sites and brochures, cross promoting not only wineries, but other local attractions.
Conversely, some states with dozens of wineries and a thriving local wine industry do not officially designate wine trails. While the specific rationale varies from state to state, it is important to remember one overriding factor. Wine trail designation is a relatively new trend, and many states seem to be on the verge of adopting the practice.
We view official wine trail designation as a growing trend.
Wineries and the wine industry are an important part of each state’s economy. With agritourism on the rise, the economic impact of wine travel continues to grow. As a result, it’s expected more and more states will move toward official wine trail designations for their wine areas.These trails include wineries along with some other agricultural or production based product. Good examples include Wine and Fruit Trails, Wine and Cheese Trails, and Wine and Beer Trails. We applaud these efforts, as they help spread the word about many small businesses and not just wineries. The thought process is that while some people might not be drawn to a strictly wine trail, it might appeal to them if other elements were involved.
There’s also the belief that combined trails may have more of an appeal to families. While wineries are almost always open and welcoming to those under 21, tasting wine is not. Fruit orchards and dairy producers often combine their tourism marketing with wineries in the same geographical area, thereby appealing to a potentially wider audience.
With agritourism becoming more and more popular, we fully expect to see more hybrid trails as we move deeper into the decade. Back to top
Back to top