Did you know that a vacation to Alaska could include not only a trip to a glacier, but also a visit to a winery?
Bear Creek Winery in Homer not only has a tasting room, but also offers lodging that rivals some of the fanciest accommodations in Napa Valley or Sonoma County.
Planning a trip to Hawaii? After attending a luau, make time to visit Volcano Winery on the big island, which is open every day of the year except Christmas.
While you may not encounter “traditional” wines at these out-of-the-way outposts, you can still have a great time if you keep an open mind. Both wine estates make some tasty cuvees — mostly out of fruit grown nearby, and in some cases including grape juice brought in from other parts of the world.
At Bear Creek, most of the wines are made from berries, and while a few are dry in style, most are medium-sweet to sweet.
They have names like Raspberry Rossa (which includes some Italian grapes in the blend), Shirazzberry (which melds Shiraz from Down Under with Alaska-grown raspberries), Blueberry Mirlo, Spring Harvest (100 percent Rhubarb), Wild Berry (a mélange of blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb and raspberries), and Strawberry Rhubarb (which sounds more like a pie than a wine).
Volcano also uses some traditional wine grapes in its cuvees, although it’s much more fun to sample elixirs such as Guava-Grape, Infusion (an infusion of tea and honey), Volcano Blush (white grapes and exotic jaboticaba berries) and Macadamia Nut-Honey.
In Vermont, apple wines can be sampled at a number of wineries, some of which make varietal bottlings (Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Northern Spy, et al).
At Montana’s Yellowstone Cellars, the grapes are crushed, fermented, cellar aged and bottled at the winery — although they’re grown in Yakima, Wash.
That’s a process employed by a number of wineries in cold-weather states. They purchase their grapes from growers in well-known viticultural areas, but transformed into wine hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
That’s why it can be said that wine is made in all 50 American states.
And that’s why you should google the state’s name and “wineries” every time you travel.