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7 lesser-known U.S. wine regions to visit

By: Josh Lew on Jan. 17, 2013, noon
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Finger Lakes region, New York

With a total of more than 11,000 acres of vineyards, this winemaking area in upstate New York is thriving. Nearly 100 independent wineries are in operation, mainly around Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, two of the more prominent Finger Lakes. There are a few well-organized “wine trails” that take tourists to some of the best wineries and most beautiful vineyards in the region.

With a tight-knit group of committed winemakers, a location that is convenient for people traveling from East Coast cities like Boston, Pittsburgh and New York City and a focus on sustainable growing practices, this area is one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine-producing regions in the U.S. The wines are high quality, so attending tastings is definitely going to be the highlight for aficionados. The beautiful hills, rivers and lakes of this part of New York are also attractive to nature lovers, who can follow the regional network of trails after they've had their fill of wine tastings and vineyard viewing.