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Lesser Known Wine Regions that you Must Visit

Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to…

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Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to make wine. The world has embraced wine making and excellent booze is now being produced all over the map. Let’s explore and see where these hidden wine gems are located and what makes them so special.

Wine producers are spreading their wings and growing some superior grapes in some unexpected places.

npr 

Kakheti, Georgia

I’m not talking about Georgia in America; I’m talking about the one that straddles Europe and Asia. This former Soviet country has excelled in producing some really interesting and delicious varieties of grapes. Wine production is nothing new to this region as archeologists have found winemaking equipment dating as far back as 6,000 BC.

One unique thing that wine makers in Georgia do is they ferment their wine in clay jars instead of the standard wooden or steel barrels. The clay gives Georgian wine a distinct sweet taste and earthy after tones.

 

Douro Valley, Portugal

Known as the birthplace of port wine, the Northernmost region in Portugal is a wine lover’s heaven. With panoramic views of the rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, wine has been produced in this region for over 2,000 years.   The golden colored hills and the divine port produced here will make this a favorite among port snobs from around the globe.

 chilled magazine

Finger Lakes Region, New York

White wines flourish in this Northern New York region, specifically Rieslings. The expansive landscape is dotted with waterfalls, 11 glacial lakes and one great lake, giving the region miles and miles of beautiful coastlines. With well over a 100 wineries, the Finger Lakes region is the largest wine-producing region East of California in the USA.

 tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Grown in rich nutrient volcanic soil, Tenerife produces exquisite reds and whites. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife features grape varieties that were completely wiped out of the European mainland in a mid-1800s epidemic. The rare varieties create distinct flavor profiles and memorable aftertastes. The island views and abundant sea life compliments the island’s white wine collections.

 

Healdsburg, California

Avoid the rush that happens in Napa and head just an hour North to Healdsburg wine region. Producing similar quality wines, Healdsburg is Napa’s red headed stepchild. Born out of the need t have more wine tasting locations, Healdsburg boasts over 200 wineries and multiple award winning varieties. California has some of the best weather and soil combinations in the world, so it’s no surprise that he wine here is fantastic.

 pinterest

Door County, Wisconsin

If you are a fan of fruit wines, Door County should be your next stop. Located in the Midwest, Door County has eight wineries and is famous for their tart cherry wine. Specializing in fruit wines, Door County has plenty of grape varieties as well, so a little something for everyone.

 

Franschhoek, South Africa

Nestled just 45 short minutes from Cape Town, Franschhoek was originally known as Elephant’s Corner for the huge elephant population that roamed here. Now known for their impressive wine, the area is the best in South Africa and possibly all of Africa. Enjoy a hop-on hop-off style tour that stops at every winery and you can get a real taste of the region.

 

Enjoy these of the beaten path wine regions and taste some of their specialties, to see what all the hype is about.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Schug, NPR, chilled, New York Times, pinterest

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Destinations

The 411 On Travel Insurance

Whether it was a family memeber or stranger,you’ve probably had someone talk about travel insurance. Read through this simple breakdown and find out everything.

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     There are those that swear by it and some that don’t even know what it is – we’re talking travel insurance… and it actually may be much more beneficial than you may think! You never know what may happen when traveling so it’s always best to be prepared for anything and everything. The last thing you’d want is a ruined trip thanks to one unavoidable issue. This guide will help breakdown the extra expense and explain everything you need to know about travel insurance.

Needed?

     First and foremost, we’ll start by saying that it is definitely not necessary for any and all vacations. It all depends on what kind of trip you’re taking. Officially, you can ensure any trip that involves traveling at least 100 miles. so if you’re taking a short driving trip to visit family or friends within your state or a neighboring state, chances are you won’t need to bother. But, once your trip involves a longer flight, travel insurance can be a safe bet.

     However, there are many misconceptions about the insurance. It doesn’t cover any expenses that may come up during your trip. It will only ensure payments that took place before your departure. So, that suggests any shows or sporting event tickets, hotel expenses, pre-paid car rental, etc. can all be covered by travel insurance. But, if in the middle of your trip, you decided to catch a concert last minute, that expense cannot be covered by your travel insurance. Similarly, travel insurance cannot cover anything that is refundable, even if it was purchased before departing on your trip.

     Also, it is very important to compare and contrast plans before picking one. There are several different options out there. Take your time and consider everything about your trip and your budget. Consider the ages of all parties involved, the location of the trip, and the length of the trip. And make sure the one you choose is comprehensive and includes things like emergency medical coverage and baggage protection.

Again, travel insurance isn’t always necessary, but it can be extremely helpful and can help ensure you enjoy a safe and enjoyable travel experience. 

 


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Destinations

Travel East To West & Back On A Cross Country Train

Traveling in America can be expensive so what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs $213. Not on a plane but on a train!

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     Wanderlust takes us far away to foreign lands and different cultures but many haven’t even seen their home country. America is a huge parcel of land that it’s shocking how common it is for us to have never explored our own preverbal backyards.

We recommend getting out there to see what makes America so grand. Its people, land, and its majesty. Traveling across America can be expensive. Therefore, what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs just north of $200? Not on a plane but on a train! See our land and all it has to offer for only $200+!

Travel blogger Derek Low figured out the route and shared it with the world. He mapped out a path from San Francisco to New Your City on two trains.

His route takes you through 11 states, across 3,397 miles and so many unforgettable sights. Amtrak has some great deals so if this isn’t your desired destination, you should plan your own train adventure and see this beautiful country for yourself.

 

Details

     It’s a simple two-train path that can easily be recreated for a return trip. Amtrak offers these incredible 15-day rail passes that allow the rider to essentially take up to 8 separate rides.  The 15-day deal is more expensive ($429) than the straight route but it allows you more exploration time and freedom.

If you purchase Amtrak’s 15-day deal you can stop at cities along the route and explore at your own pace, as long as you finish the trip in 15 days. What a great way to see new cities without breaking the bank.

     Blogger Derek Low stopped at Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago on his way to New York. Can you imagine how expensive it would be if you tried to fly to all these different cities? Plus all the added stress that flying brings, geez, why does anyone fly. Oh, yea because it’s so fast.

If time isn’t an issue, traveling by trains are much less stressful and visually more appealing. Airports can be a real sore and most major city train stations are relics of our architectural past. Train stations hark back to a time when train travel was exciting and people treated it as such an inspiring event. Let’s make that magical feeling happen again and see just how special our country is. 

The Route

     From San Francisco, buy a ticket on the California Zephyr Line for as cheap as $130. This line takes you all the way to Chicago, through Salt Lake City, Denver, and Omaha. At times, this train travels alongside the historic route 66, the famed road from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The next route takes you from Chicago to New York City along the Lake Shore Limited for as cheap as $83. That’s a grand total of $213 for a cross-country trip, pretty sweet indeed.

For more adventures the train runs all the way to Boston, so your options are pretty limitless.

 

 


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Destinations

Visiting The Very Best American Factory Tours

Factories are the backbone of America. More than likely, this beautiful country wouldn’t exist without them… And some of those factories have amazing tours!

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     There are thousands of American brands that we all know and love. You own and use all their great products but you rarely think about how or where they’re assembled. Visiting factories is a literal ton of fun and an activity many tourists never consider. Visiting a factory is a fantastic way to spend the day, enjoying some of your favorite items being crafted.

America was built through incredible factories which built amazing products. However, most people don’t realize that these factories are home to tantalizing tours as well. Here are some of our favorites:

GIBSON GUITARS

Memphis Tennessee has a rich musical history that has tourists flocking to the town to experience where some of their favorite musicians spent a lot of their time.  This is where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and many other music legends spent a lot of their time cranking out hit after hit. A lot of these amazing artists need guitars to make their music and when they reach for a guitar, odds are they reach for a Gibson.

The Gibson factory is where they craft these awesome guitars and you can take an awesome one hour tour of the place for only ten dollars. You will see guitar technicians put these guitars together from scratch and the end results are sure to blow your mind. If you like guitars then this is definitely the tour for you.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Cruising on your hog is a pleasurable experience that many people love to partake in when flying down the open road. If you love bikes then a tour of one of or all of the Harley Davidson factories is a must. You can find factories in York, Pennsylvania, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and Kansas City, Missouri.

See these bikes built from handlebars to seat and marvel at the beauty of the classic Harley Davidson motorcycle. Each factory focuses on a different model so if you’re looking for a specific Harley in your tour do your research first and make sure you’re hitting the right factory. 

CRAYOLA CRAYONS

If you got some kids on a trip then definitely hit the Crayola Crayons factory. See how they create colors like mac n cheese, Caribbean green, and celestial blue. This tour is great for adults and insanely fun for kids as well. There are 26 different attractions for kids to experience such as Melt & Mound, Drip Art, and Doodle in the Dark. With names like that do you expect anything but a colorfully good time? I don’t think so.

KOHLER

Sometimes you want to see something you use every day be made. If you have a lot of experience with something then it’s good to know how that thing is made so you have a better understanding of how it works and where it comes from. We all have a lot of experience with toilets, that is unless you live out in the woods somewhere.

So come see how toilets are built at the Kohler factory tour in Kohler, Wisconsin. They don’t only make toilets there, they make kitchen and tile products as well. The tours are completely free and you’ll have no problem taking a few bathroom breaks.


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