06 October 2007

Make Mine Indiana Wine?

Elite Travel reports...

Orbitz Reveals Top 10 Fastest-Growing Wine Regions

Food- and wine-related travel is escalating in popularity throughout the United States, and not just in the Napa Valley, according to Orbitz in its latest surprising survey. The company has announced the top 10 fastest-growing wine regions in its recent Index release. The Index includes some unexpected "hot" wine destinations such as the "City of Brotherly Love."

"No matter where you live in the U.S., you're probably not more than a few hours away from a great vacation that pairs a nice hotel with a local vineyard," said Heather Leisman, senior director of merchandising for Orbitz.

Not unexpectedly, California's Napa Valley is still king. But others include: Texas Hill Country; Arkansas Wine Country; Puget Sound, Washington; Columbia Cascades and North Central Washington; Grand River Valley, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee/Bloomington Area, Indiana; Applegate/Rogue Valley, Oregon; Lake Erie Region, Ohio; Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Orbitz's findings were based on both food and hotels in the area. Some other sometimes surprising findings:

* Philadelphia offers much more than monuments and museums. The city is actually in the vicinity of 18 wineries, six of which make up the Brandywine Valley wine trail, located just 25 minutes away.

* Distinctive wines combined with southern hospitality have vaulted the Texas Hill and Arkansas Wine Countries to the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, on the Orbitz Insider Index fastest-growing list. And the Pacific Northwest is gaining on California as the place to be when it comes to wine excursions.

* Three of the top 10 fastest-growing regions in the United States are from points of interest in Washington and Oregon. And before snow starts to fall in the Midwest, there are a number of growing wine regions that have given destinations in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Michigan four of the top 10 spots.

* In Mexico, tequila is king, but Sonora is home to half of Mexico's vineyards. The Baja region and Ensenada are also known for their wines – and their food and wine festivals.

* In Canada, the Okanagan region features some of Canada's best scenery and wine.

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