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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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Loudon County, Virginia

Loudon County is a winemaking region that sits just outside of Washington, D.C.  This is certainly one of the most easy-to-reach viticulture destinations in the U.S. It is also one of the most interesting because the wineries are situated amid some noteworthy historic sites. In addition to presidential estates and Civil War battlefields, Loudon boasts scenic horse-riding trails, farmers markets and farm restaurants, and even canoe and kayak routes on the famous Potomac River. 

The vineyards of Loudon are framed by scenic rolling hills. Despite its location near one of the world's most important cities, this area has a very rural flavor.  Wineries are located in several “clusters.” It is possible to explore a cluster as part of a tour. Tour companies use cars and buses to ferry visitors to wineries, but green-minded travelers can follow the Loudon wine trail on bicycles.