Colorado wine country is just outside Grand Junction, clustered around the town of Palisade along the Colorado River. Wineries producing merlot, cabernet sauvignon and Syrah share the fertile Grand Valley with multiple peach and cherry orchards. Start your day out in Grand Valley by shopping for succulent peaches, ripe tomatoes and crisp veggies from local farm stands. Bring your overflowing picnic basket on your winery tour to find a perfectly paired wine. Palisade hosts September's Colorado Mountain Winefest, which celebrates the state's winemaking history. For winery listings and trip ideas, check out VisitGrandJunction.com. — Photo by Bluerabbit/age fotostock
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.