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Best Wine Region (2020)

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Note from 10Best: Someday, we'll all be ready to pack our suitcases again and head out on our next adventures. In the meantime, we'll keep supporting the places that inspire us. 

  • Walla Walla Valley

    Walla Walla Valley
    Washington

    Italian immigrants began growing wine grapes in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley in the 1850s. Today, this region features more than 100 wineries producing a range of varietals, most popularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The American Viticultural Area spreads across the border into Oregon as well.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Walla Walla

  • Valle de Guadalupe

    Valle de Guadalupe
    Baja California

    This wine region 75 miles south of the U.S. border is Mexico’s premier winemaking destination. This village in Baja California is surrounded by more than 100 wineries producing world-class biodynamic wines, with varietals largely from the Mediterranean.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / cesar fernandez dominguez

  • Finger Lakes

    Finger Lakes
    New York

    New York’s picturesque Finger Lakes region is home to three distinct American Viticultural Areas, Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake AVAs. Visitors to the area will find more than 130 wineries, many specializing in Riesling.
    Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council

  • Temecula Valley

    Temecula Valley
    California

    Temecula Valley is known for its diversity of varietals, with more than 50 types of grapes grown in the area. Wine grapes have been grown in the area for more than 200 years, but these days, the warm region is best known for its Italian and Rhone varietals.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Temecula Valley

  • Texas Hill Country

    Texas Hill Country
    Texas

    The scenic Texas Hill Country surrounding the communities of Austin, Fredericksburg, Stonewall, Lampasas and New Braunfels is home to more than 50 different wineries. This American Viticultural Area is the second largest in the country, with varietals ranging from Viognier to Tempranillo to Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot to Chenin Blanc to Aglianico to Sangiovese to Mourvèdre, with increasing acreage being planted in warm weather grapes.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Kanokwalee Pusitanun

  • Monticello

    Monticello
    Virginia

    Back in the 1770s, Thomas Jefferson tried to make wine at this Monticello estate in what is now the heart of Central Virginia’s Monticello American Viticultural Area. When not sipping on European grape varietals, visitors to the region can explore the battlefields of the Richmond area, tour historic Charlottesville or stroll through revitalized downtown Lynchburg.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / lovingav

  • Lodi

    Lodi
    California

    Lodi’s classic Mediterranean climate creates excellent conditions for producing a diverse range of wines, though many area wineries focus predominately on red. Highlights of the more than 100 varieties in production include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.
    Photo courtesy of Lodi Winegrape Commission

  • Sonoma County

    Sonoma County
    California

    Sonoma County boasts 18 unique wine regions growing more than 60 varieties of wine grapes (most predominately Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). Some 85 percent of the vineyards remain family owned and operated. The area is on a quest to become the world’s first 100-percent sustainable wine region by 2019.
    Photo courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism

  • Paso Robles

    Paso Robles
    California

    California's Paso Robles wine country comprises 11 different American Viticultural Areas exhibiting a diversity of microclimates and growing conditions. The most commonly grown varieties among the area’s 40,000 acres of vineyards are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah and Chardonnay.
    Photo courtesy of Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

  • Verde Valley

    Verde Valley
    Arizona

    Sedona’s Verde Valley features a dry, arid climate , dramatic temperature changes from day to night and volcanic soil, resulting in excellent conditions for growing grapes. Visitors to the region can explore its wineries and tasting rooms along the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / DOUGBERRY

While California undoubtedly produces excellent wine, it's got stiff competition these days. North America is home to more than 250 grape-growing regions.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Wine Region are as follows:

  1. Walla Walla Valley, Washington
  2. Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California
  3. Finger Lakes, New York
  4. Temecula Valley, California
  5. Texas Hill Country, Texas
  6. Monticello, Virginia
  7. Lodi, California
  8. Sonoma County, California
  9. Paso Robles, California
  10. Verde Valley, Arizona

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning wine regions!

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Jill Barth

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