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Gad About for Grapes and Golf: Our Eastern Half of 10 Stellar Places

In 2018, a USA TODAY readers' poll selected ten regions for great wine in the USA. Whether you enjoy a bit of the grape before or after a round of golf, the vin and the golf complement each other. Tobacco has been replaced by grapes in North Carolina, while central New York ripples outward each year from its unique finger lakes. We looked at the great ten spots for wine and recognized immediately their coalescence and collaboration with golf. Have a look at Colorado to the East, then gather your group and gad about with us, as we connect vineyards and fairways with great delight.


Finger Lakes - New York


Yadkin Valley - North Carolina

  • Golf: The Yadkin Valley region lies a bit west of Winston Salem, home to Wake Forest University. Near Elkin, with the Blue Ridge mountains as a backdrop, Olde Beau, Beaver Creek, and Cedarbrook are favorites of the residents. Closer to the big city, stop in Clemmons at Tanglewood Park and Salem Glen for a stout test of your game..
  • Wine: Not even 20 years old as a federally-recognized viticultural area, North Carolina's Elkin-anchored wine region has emerged as a prodigy in the industry. Muscadine and Scuppernong are the native varietals, but the 67 vineyards in the region extend their offerings to much more. Auto racing fans will recognize Childress Vineyards, and the Lumbee tribe certainly finds pride in Gabbard-owned Native Vines Winery.


Leelanau Peninsula - Michigan

  • Golf: The upper peninsulas of Michigan are a vast space for golf. The season runs for 6 months, which affords ample, sample time for the many courses. If coastal golf is your thing, head to Arcadia Bluffs and Manistee, for a taste of the new, the oldish, and the really old. On the peninsula itself, Bahle Farms, Manitou Passage, and Northport Creek offer 3 affordable and memorable rounds of golf.
  • Wine: The Leelanau.wine trail lists 3 separate treks and, knowing northern Michigan as I do, they are all unique. The 11 wineries along the Northern Stretch, 8 vineyards of the Sleeping Bear loop, and 7 grapeyards of the Grand Traverse Bay roundabout, all merit especial attention. Be sure to dedicate sufficient time to the region, in case you don't make it back next year! 


Texas Hill Country - Texas

  • Golf: Since you find yourself between Austin and San Antonio, when in Texas hill country, we've a selection of courses in both environs. Lions Municipal in Austin proper is that classic, municipal course that everyone knows and everyone loves. On the higher end, try the Barton Creek Resort and its 4 courses. In good old San Antonio, the Alamo City Golf Trail offers 8 courses from which to test your palate.
  • Wine: Since everything is bigger in Texas, we're going to recommend the biggest, best winery names along the Hill Country trail. Try Bending Branch for starters, then mosey to Blue Lotus or Old Man Scary. Still curious? How about Dry Comal Creek and Lost Draw to top off your glass? We thought so!


Grand Valley - Colorado

  • Golf: The city of Grand Junction has two fine golf courses at your disposal; if you're after a quick round, the executive course at Chipata does the trick. It you're all in on the high-end, posh treatment, Redlands Mesa should check the boxes on your list.
  • Wine: Grand Valley is the briefest destination on the eastern half, but don't let that dissuade you from scheduling it on your must-do list. You have the scenery, the mountain air, the proximity to Utah...and you have 7 dedicated wineries at your beck and call. Port, sweet gerwurtzraminer, plum, cabernet franc, the list is nearly endless. Grand views, grand people, grand valley.



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