Texas Hill Country is east of Austin, north of San Antonio and a short drive from both cities. More than 30 wineries dot the fertile valleys and sun-kissed slopes of this growing wine region. Tasting rooms pour Montepulciano, cabernet sauvignon and unique blends that show off the best of the Lone Star State. Just like Texas, the wines are spicy, dry and earthy. Tastings and music are the focus of the Austin Wine & Music Festival, with many events throughout the year. Maps, routes and winery information are available online at TexasWineTrail.com. — Photo by Dave G. Houser/Alamy
Good soil, lots of sunshine and reliable rain make for fantastic wine country — and the United States has plenty, beyond the usual California vineyards. Lesser-known regions produce brilliant wines of all varieties. With a designated driver, a good local map and a taste for gastronomic adventure, try these seven wine regions — all within easy driving distance of a major city.