Journey Along Our Virtual Wine-Soaked Road Trip Across the USA
With July 4th Weekend just around the corner, we’re taking this week to highlight our favorite places to drink domestic wine across the country. From wineries to restaurants to a handful of bars in between, these ten stops are certain to keep you hydrated from coast to coast. Strap your seatbelt on and get ready for a delicious virtual journey!
New York - Terrassen & Empire Estate
We’re starting our virtual road trip in upstate New York with our friends Thomas Pastuszak and Jessica Brown at their Finger Lakes-based projects, Terrassen and Empire Estate. Originally from the region, this industry power couple now sheds light on the untapped potential for delicious wine from northern New York. We can’t get enough of their crisp Blaufrankisch rosé and bone dry Riesling. On our way downstate, we’ll certainly be swinging by our TriBeCa location to stock up on some more!
Philadelphia - Fishtown Social
Next up, we’re headed south -- though not without making a pit stop at Fishtown Social first. This natural wine hotspot is perfect for snagging a quick glass of something quirky and delicious. Owner Vanessa Wong has curated a honed-in selection of organic and biodynamic wines from some of our favorite regions and winemakers, including Las Jaras, Frank Cornelissen, and more. Pennsylvania can be a tricky state when it comes to finding good wine, which makes stopping by this local gem all the sweeter.
Charleston - Graft
For good music, great wine, and an all-around epic time, hitting Graft is a no brainer. Founded in 2018 by our friends Femi Oyediran and Miles White, this spot is the perfect place for geeking out with like-minded wine lovers or simply catching up with friends over a bottle. Graft offers over 240 selections by the bottle and 20+ pours by the glass at all times, ranging from the classics to off-the-beaten-path gems. As the duo likes to say, ‘imagine it as your living room filled with good wine.’ We already feel at home.
Savannah - The Grey
We’ve officially made it to the south (and we’re starving!) For great wine and delicious eats, there’s no better place to stop than The Grey. Head chef Mashama Bailey whips up southern favorites with African influences, including foie gras, grits, and smoked greens. Wash down your top picks with a mouthwatering cocktail creation from the bar’s exciting menu and get ready for some serious hospitality.
Chicago - Galit
Our Chicago location isn’t open just yet (coming soon!) so in the meantime, we’ll be getting our food and beverage fix at Lincoln Park-based Galit. This Middle Eastern-focused eatery is putting out some of the best shareable snacks and cocktails we’ve had in a long time. For all things labneh, falafel, and classic Israeli favorites, this place is an absolute must. Snag a shawarma to-go and let’s keep the journey going!
Denver - Bar Helix
Now that we’ve hit Denver, we definitely think we’ve earned a drink. Enter Bar Felix. Owned by Kendra Anderson, the bar’s world-class cocktail program is just as thoughtfully curated as its wine list. Plenty of highbrow/lowbrow snack options are available, though caviar is always a staple. For those passionate about all things drinkable (cocktails, wine, spirits), this place is an absolute must.
Arizona - Caduceus Cellars
After the last few wine and cocktail bars, we’re ready for a winery visit. Luckily, we don’t have to wait until we hit the West Coast. Located in the heart of Arizona’s Cochise County, Caduceus Cellars / Merkin Vineyards is a humble, family-owned winery operated by Maynard James and Jen Keenan. The pair’s small-productions wines are filled with just as much personality as the hands that craft them. Whether crisp whites or bold reds are more your thing, Caduceus has an answer for you. Skeptical Arizona sippers, we implore you to give these bottles a whirl.
Central California - Presqu’ile & Lieu Dit
Before we even crossed the state line, we knew exactly what our first stop in California would be. Our friends over at Presqu’ile and Lieu Dit are based in the heart of Santa Barbara County and have some seriously delicious wines to quench our thirst. Presqu’ile’s beautiful Santa Maria-based tasting room sets the perfect backdrop for sipping wine, savoring snacks, and taking in the beauty of Central California. Whether crisp rosé, ocean-influenced whites, or New World Pinot Noir is more your thing, these two wineries certainly have something for you. We can’t think of a better place to kick off the final leg of our journey.
Northern California - Pax & Monte Rio Cellars
Driving up California’s coastline is one of the most beautiful journeys one can take. However, by the time we reach the North Coast, we’re going to need our thirsts quenched again. After a brief stop to visit the crew at our SF location, we’re heading to Sebastopol to say hello to our pals Pax Mahle and Patrick Cappiello, owners and winemakers of Pax Wine and Monte Rio Cellars, respectively. These guys are producing delicious, easy-drinking juice that definitely rivals some of the Old World’s best. For Northern Rhone fanatics looking for a taste of something similar (with a New World flare, of course), Pax’s Syrah is a must. For those who can’t get enough of all things natural, Monte Rio’s unique varietal bottlings are certain to satisfy. Drop by the tasting room and make yourself at home or simply snag some bottles to enjoy from the comfort of your own couch.
Oregon - Lingua Franca
Our last stop on our domestic wine-soaked journey is definitely one of the best. We’re heading up to Oregon and popping by Lingua Franca to visit our buddy Larry Stone MS. Located in the heart of the Eola-Amity Hills (Willamette Valley), this joint venture was founded by Larry, David Honig, and Dominique Lafon back in 2015. These wines are reminiscent of our favorite Old World regions, yet remain unique in their own right. For fans of Burgundian Chardonnay, earthy Pinot Noir, and balanced, high-acid New World juice, these bottles need to be on your radar.
We made it! Our wine-soaked journey across the US is complete. Thanks for joining us! From our Verve Wine family to yours, we wish you happy, healthy, and wine-filled Fourth of July Weekend.