The state with nearly 200 breweries is the ideal place for a suds-fueled adventure. Here, our favorite stops in Beer Land, U.S.A.
The city’s best Belgian-style brewery, the Commons has gone from the founder’s garage to greatness in just over three years. Start with the grassy Urban Farmhouse saison and work up to limited-release sours and other novelties.
Craft beer’s communal ethos is on display at Ex Novo Brewing Co., where all profits go to charity and an eclectic crowd comes for beers such as the piney Eliot IPA.
Bruce Schoenfeld finds a wave of authenticity in Argentina’s best-loved wine region.
The swirl-and-sip set are flocking to Mendoza. They gather in hotel lobbies wearing sandals and gaucho hats, bound for Catena Zapata’s Mayan pyramid of a winery or a polo match at Cheval des Andes. Nearly a dozen wine-tourism companies are operating excursions to the large, important producers. There’s even a continental dining scene striving for global recognition.
For the first time, Americans bought more wine last year than the French, but that was mostly because there are more of us: the average French person still drinks 1.2 bottles of wine a week, six times more than the average American.
This month the country’s famed wine region hosts Napa Valley Arts in April, complete with pop-up exhibits, special tastings, and exclusive events at area wineries—many of which have permanent world-class art collections. A few highlights: A free tour of Silverado Vineyards’ collection of Belle Epoche posters and plein air paintings (April 10, 17); the Yountville Art, Sip, & Stroll, with works from 50 regional artists (April 12); and “Celebrating Woodstock,” a special exhibit of photos celebrating the 45th anniversary of the iconic music event, on view at Markham Vineyards (opens April 19). Click here for a complete line-up.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Did you know that France's charming Champagne region—home of Moët & Chandon, the mother of all producers—is just a 45-minute train ride from Paris? It's one thing I learned this week when I met the lovely Elise Losfelt, the latest addition to Moët & Chandon's team of nine winemakers, who stopped by talk about the spring release of Moët’s Grand Vintage Brut 2006. The other thing I learned from Elise? How to open a bottle of bubbly without injuring your friends and loved ones. Watch her tutorial, and impress your significant other with your new skills while breaking out the bubbly this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Jennifer Flowers is the Travel News Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.
Just downriver from Washington on the western bank of the Potomac, Alexandria has that perfect mix of historic charm—and easy access to the nation’s capital. WHERE TO STAY The 45-room Morrison House is a great choice because it’s small—just 45 rooms—plus there are so many extras, from complimentary wine from 5-6 p.m. to free morning coffee and newspaper. PRICE $165 a night.
LUXE GETAWAY: Baltimore, Maryland
For those who love a good Four Seasons hotel—and really, who doesn’t?—the new Four Seasons in Baltimore is one more reason to visit the city. Plus, the Baltimore Museum of Art just reopened its Contemporary Wing, with works by Olafur Eliasson, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. WHERE TO STAY The 256-room Four Seasons opened in 2011 in Harbor East, with a terrace, heated whirlpool, and a spa. PRICE $339 a night.
WINE TOURS: Barboursville, Virginia
Two hours southwest of D.C., Barboursville, Virginia, is a serene wine country getaway. WHERE TO STAY The lakeside 1804 Inn is a romantic escape: you’ll sleep in a four-poster bed in this historic inn set between Madison's Montpelier and Jefferson's Monticello. PRICE $240 a night.
Earlier this year, I took a weeklong anniversary trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma with my husband, Lee, an academic who gets hives at the thought of anything luxurious. Keeping him comfortable meant mixing extraordinary meals with unexpected finds and cheap local favorites. Here’s the best of our high-low itinerary that kept both of us satisfied.
Touring wine country with a hired driver was hot, but now it just means you can't control your drinking. Today, real oenophiles rent classic cars and self-drive their vineyard peregrinations. Wine industry veteran Ramiro Marquesini's new Slowkar in the Argentine winemaking capital of Mendoza rents lovingly restored Citroën 3CVs from the 1970s and 1980s. In Italy's Tuscan wine country, the father-son duo of Danilo and Federico Dini's five-year-old Chianti Classic Car outfits wine lovers with 1970s AlfaRomeos and Fiats for their tasting room tours. Both provide guides for the map-disabled.
The grapes of Napa often grab the headlines coming out of California wine country but the discerning vino cognoscenti knows that the Golden State harbors some of the best wineries in the world along its central coast. In the thick of it is Paso Robles, a vast countryside of rolling vineyards where vintners sport rustic spurs on their cowboy boots and the pace of life is calm. The annual Harvest Wine Weekend kicks off today, Friday, and promises to be the most robust yet. Over 150 wineries will host grape stomps, tours, tastings, dinners, and pairings (wine and bacon anyone?). One oenophile who will be traipsing around Harvest is Paso Wine Man (above)—the unabashed, vivacious Paso wine country cheerleader whose verve for the region’s splendors knows no bounds.
T+L caught up with the wine man before the big weekend to uncover his wines of choice; find out what makes “Tuscany with cowboys” so special; and why Paso Robles's brand of reds can’t be made anywhere else.