What About Anderson Valley?

Trip Advisor has unveiled its list of “The Top 10 Wine Destinations in the United States” for 2012, and it’s packed with appellations both familiar and obscure.

“Familiar” rules the top of the list, with California’s Sonoma County and Napa Valley ranked 1-2, followed by Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the No. 3 slot.

“Obscure” can be viewed in the No. 9 position, as the Colorado growing area of Palisade found its way onto the list.

A few observations…

Some may find it surprising that Napa Valley was not atop the list. After all, it is America’s most famous wine region—by far—and is responsible for putting California on the world wine map.

But those of us who have been working at Vinesse since the early days have always believed that Sonoma County wines delivered comparable quality and much greater value. Don’t get us wrong; we love the wines of Napa Valley. It’s just that a really good wine representing really good value rarely will have the words “Napa Valley” on its label.

So, we’re happy to see the grape growers and winemakers of Sonoma County get their due.

As for Palisade, Colorado, we were a little bit surprised to see it make the list, when such regions as Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and Washington’s Columbia Valley did not. But the area has been coming on strong in recent years, and it’s obviously beginning to be noticed.

A great way to learn about Colorado wines is to attend the Colorado Mountain Winefest, which was held for the 21st time last month. You can get information on the 2013 edition, and check out the gorgeous backdrop, here.

We mentioned the Shenandoah Valley and the Columbia Valley as surprise non-picks for the Trip Advisor list. Another area that we’d put in the top 10—perhaps even the top five—is California’s Anderson Valley, a bucolic area of Mendocino County.

Not long ago, we wrote about Winesong, an annual event that features many of Anderson Valley’s top wines—including world-class renditions of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, sparkling wine and Alsatian varieties.

If you’ve never been, you’ve gotta go. And if you ever go, you’ll agree that Anderson Valley is worthy of Trip Advisor Top 10 status.

Meanwhile, the list for 2012 follows. Trip Advisor notes about each region can be found here.

  1. Sonoma County (California)
  2. Napa Valley (California)
  3. Willamette Valley (Oregon)
  4. Finger Lakes (New York)
  5. Long Island (New York)
  6. Paso Robles (California)
  7. Temecula Valley (California)
  8. Walla Walla (Washington)
  9. Palisade (Colorado)
  10. Plymouth (California)
Posted in Wine Buzz
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