Best Wine Counties Outside California

Woman walking in vineyard holding a glass of wine

When you think of wine counties, wine tours and even award-winning wines, do you think of regions of Oregon, Washington State, Texas or Arizona?

You should. Our LawnStarter analysis of the best wine counties outside California found wine counties dot the U.S. map. That means some of the best wineries to visit are often much closer to home.

To help rank the best wine counties across the United States, LawnStarter compared more than 1,048 counties across 18 key relevant metrics, including:

  • Visitor accommodations (hotels, motels, and inns in the area)
  • Number of winery tours
  • Number of wine producers
  • Tasting options
  • Number of vineyards
  • Number of award-winning wines
  • Great reviews 

Read on to discover the best wine counties outside California and for a full description of our methodology.

Table of Contents

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Ask the Experts
  3. Methodology

Best Wine Counties Outside California

CountyOverall RankAccomodation RankWine Tours Rank Producers&Origin RankAwards Rank
Benton County WA123717741
King County WA22917274
Clackamas County OR311231031
Yavapai County AZ41105631
Yamhill County OR538639131
Travis County TX632312731
Jackson County OR747106631
Loudoun County VA845242731
Suffolk County NY911143631
Washington County OR1020753231
Arapahoe County CO1136285631
Maricopa County AZ1231110731
Cook County IL1334725631
Hillsborough County FL14241110731
Buncombe County NC1574810731
Comal County TX16201712731
Gillespie County TX17203201031
Leelanau County MI18109452731
Berks County PA192492981373
New Haven County CT20120752331
Collin County TX21130225631
Clark County NV221621310713
Ada County ID23642261031
Harris County TX24181925631
Miami-Dade County FL25661265631
Fulton County GA26553810731
Suffolk County MA271831831075
Lane County OR281241142731
Maui County HI2995415331
Queens County NY30626710731
Walla Walla County WA311971651028
Tompkins County NY32707610231
Marion County IN33756610731
Lake County IL34196305631
Jefferson County CO35729410731
Niagara County NY36713001031
Sevier County TN37908410731
Orange County FL384115710731
Mesa County CO39221862731
Yates County NY40439176106
Berrien County MI411821412731
Burnet County TX42101521331
Pierce County WA431581602731
Bucks County PA441491882731
Broward County FL455416310731
Palm Beach County FL467914610731
Chelan County WA472471501031
Snohomish County WA481921682731
Charlottesville City VA49226310731
Multnomah County OR502781381031
Hudson County NJ51156919431
District of Columbia DC522723610731
Boulder County CO53393315631
Charleston County SC543815415331
Summit County OH551846810731
Hays County TX56922328431
Klickitat County WA57403362331
Orange County NY581163082731
Kittitas County WA595316115131
Northampton County PA60286021331
Kitsap County WA611412048431
Essex County MA6213515510731
Allegheny County PA63134345631
New London County CT641022628431
Josephine County OR653122562318
Erie County NY666014717731
Wasco County OR6714610515331
Skagit County WA682911208431
Hartford County CT699529510231
Schuyler County NY706071671011
Douglas County OR71416305431
Santa Fe County NM72139623731
Cochise County AZ732133235230
Hood River County OR743792802722
Santa Cruz County AZ753411298431
El Paso County CO765230615331
Dallas County TX77675625622
Albemarle County VA784801212731
Davidson County TN791134095631
Chester County PA80864495631
Durham County NC81464629431
Atlantic County NJ8227013513731
Island County WA831913118431
New York County NY841633685631
Jefferson County KY85634835631
Rockingham County NH8611933810731
Westmoreland County PA873981481538
Middlesex County MA8815231710731
Blanco County TX894301088431
Macomb County MI9017211319431
Jefferson County IN91104729431
Westchester County NY92585732731
Douglas County WA9319415123316
Lehigh County PA942153298431
Lee County FL959613623731
Lancaster County PA962063428431
Clarke County VA972343521331
Chautauqua County NY984342422731
Clark County WA994332085631
Milwaukee County WI100237201078
Barnstable County MA1016117327531
Ontario County NY1025492201031
Sussex County DE1038011129431
York County ME10416828115331
Seneca County NY105373425631
Ulster County NY1061475262731
Deschutes County OR1071714565631
Fauquier County VA1084642652731
Marion County OR1094732612731
Mason County WA110389221331
York County PA11139019610731
Franklin County MO1125358310231
Davidson County NC11322710721331
Onondaga County NY11414429217731
Grant County WA1152394712331
Cumberland County ME1161545165631
Grand Traverse County MI1174622098431
St. Louis County MO1182804035631
Gloucester County NJ11910344513731
Jackson County MO12045217010731
Washoe County NV1214822529431
Amherst County VA1223524121331
Pennington County SD12331926919412
Kings County NY1241665455631
Plymouth County MA1255745717731
Carroll County MD12614317827531
Washington County MN12731719417731
Worcester County MA12842225110731
Ashtabula County OH1297271092731
Camden County NJ13018042713731
Schuylkill County PA13135418917731
Fairfield County CT1322965731031
Larimer County CO1332794875631
Steuben County NY1347491322731
Mercer County NJ1354246221331
Yadkin County NC1365703631031
Yakima County WA1371009174225
Pinellas County FL138337775631
Campbell County KY13922523123731
Rock County WI1401696136031
Monroe County FL1411921638931
Cobb County GA14212126229431
Jackson County IL1436581858431
Hillsborough County NH14441427115331
Polk County FL14524823223731
Monmouth County NJ14637826817731
Horry County SC14710528929431
Bernalillo County NM1484072413731
Kent County MI14916224629431
Washington County MD15043818619231
Clallam County WA15115547417731
Fayette County KY15228940015331
Wyandotte County KS1531427338931
Waldo County ME15410732529431
Cape Girardeau County MO15530219127531
Sandoval County NM1566049917731
Davie County NC15740111027531
Walton County FL15829824323731
Greene County MO15917532627531
Warren County NY16011433329431
Salem County NJ1612299036031
Wayne County MI1628956219431
Lampasas County TX1632684936031
Franklin County KY1646037419431
Kootenai County ID16525621129431
Cuyahoga County OH16636247210731
Montgomery County MD16712244023731
Williamsburg City VA16814015238931
Sarasota County FL1698761819431
Whatcom County WA1703476982731
Washtenaw County MI17118940423731
Lake County IN17238832019431
Columbia County NY17325046817731
Montgomery County TN1742605638931
Dutchess County NY17549341010731
Lancaster County NE17636135419431
Mahoning County OH17737628723731
Tarrant County TX178517945631
Municipality of Anchorage AK17918867815331
Lubbock County TX18034346117731
Hancock County ME1819746329431
Goochland County VA1825209529431
Montgomery County PA18341936519431
Emmet County MI18451925221331
Richmond City VA1857967017731
Jo Daviess County IL18658313023731
Union County IL18778828813714
Dauphin County PA18810060023731
Pinal County AZ1894340638931
Calvert County MD19048225023731
New Castle County DE191849654419
Bedford County VA1926768823731
Bell County TX19349235019431
Dubuque County IA19435015336031
Llano County TX1951361649131
Litchfield County CT1968772785231
Hennepin County MN19717774015331
Mille Lacs County MN19835838923731
Lincoln County OR19914548329431
Madison County VA20072924415331
Rensselaer County NY20115653627531
Henderson County NC20254138617731
Dearborn County IN203694754431
Androscoggin County ME2041713754431
Rappahannock County VA20572834810731
Pasco County FL20620165519431
Delta County CO2076405732731
Lake County FL20815350429431
Jefferson County NY20955534319431
Culpeper County VA21058223023731
Baltimore County MD21119876115331
Harford County MD21260122723731
San Juan County WA2133574827531
Pottawattamie County IA21423860921331
Shelby County AL21524046029431
Hunterdon County NJ21688520213731
Williamson County TX21732543427531
Delaware County PA21849763810731
Berkshire County MA21944539123731
Cayuga County NY2206326295231
Erie County OH22143554817731
Eagle County CO22230052323731
Shenandoah County VA22342539227531
Lake County OH2246086058431
Sussex County NJ22517839638931
Green County WI22657154913731
Monroe County IN2278025127531
Putnam County FL2288902723731
Queen Anne's County MD22927148329431
Taney County MO23024638536031
Nassau County NY23131471117731
Oneida County NY23263419829431
Hampshire County MA23352339923731
Grays Harbor County WA2349482823892
Flathead County MT23528450829431
Muskingum County OH236673938931
Okanogan County WA23793125613731
Currituck County NC23811215654431
Trumbull County OH23913814054431
Polk County OR240996487631
Warren County OH24135935236031
Hawaii County HI2422229454431
Perry County PA24316412754431
Bradley County TN24413316954431
Canyon County ID2457975088431
Denton County TX24656161815331
Sarpy County NE24754045923731
Doña Ana County NM24826142938931
Fredericksburg City VA24940732038931
Jefferson County WA2507096558431
Benton County OR2516257811031
Clatsop County OR25231059229431
Honolulu County HI2532636954431
St. Francois County MO25484417527531
Henry County VA25518120054431
Tillamook County OR25640936038931
Allegan County MI25750757323331
Albany County NY25850863421331
Volusia County FL25912879619431
Kane County IL26062336129431
Mclennan County TX26145434438931
Prince George's County MD26240239238931
Luzerne County PA26347170819431
Chaffee County CO26437170823731
Kalamazoo County MI26550165421331
Fairfield County OH2664272554431
Delaware County NY2679467829431
Burlington County NJ26820565036031
Grand County UT26918561838931
Warren County NJ27034571127531
Warren County VA27110613427531
Kenai Peninsula Borough AK27249051629431
Franklin County MA27353358923731
Essex County NJ27444867823731
Wayne County NY27581644617731
Kewaunee County WI2769598929431
Lamoille County VT27740641938931
Jefferson County MO27817366738931
Belknap County NH27921823954431
Brown County IN28027324149131
Armstrong County PA28133613954431
Coffee County TN2824178054431
White County GA2834845343898
Madison County IL28467023538931
Union County NJ28553053629431
Baldwin County AL28632752638931
Buffalo County WI28717033654431
Ottawa County MI28831619354431
Franklin County WA289109722221325
Forsyth County NC29070649623731
Missoula County MT29143674623731
Grimes County TX29285227929431
Polk County WI29332321554431
Louisa County VA29411879229431
Cleveland County NC29583312838931
Caledonia County VT29677918138931
Harrisonburg city VA29768046329431
Monroe County IL29869274231
Mifflin County PA29928628554431
Monongalia County WV30026731054431
Rio Arriba County NM30158756829431
Camden County MO30244274627531
Jersey County IL30374725338931
Spotsylvania County VA3045566454431
Hood County TX30565335638931
Guilford County NC30627537649131
Windham County CT30785516238931
Northumberland County PA30854510154431
Grand Isle County VT30963937238931
Perry County MO31041224054431
Chesterfield County VA311881974231
Bradford County PA31283920138931
Umatilla County OR313107652610231
Hendricks County IN314941374231
Buchanan County MO315446374231
Anderson County TX31664339838931
Mohave County AZ31726936554431
Madison County NC318214102931
Dorchester County MD319595074231
Otsego County NY32052272429431
Jefferson County WI32196011538931
Weld County CO32223141454431
Monroe County NY3236658012731
Grayson County TX32447964136031
Chambers County TX32550520654431
Douglas County KS32661644638931
Augusta County VA32737897931
Washington County VA32870439038931
Shelby County TN32916557249131
Columbia County OR330310297931
Iowa County IA33174565523731
Mason County TX3327891849131
Madison County NY3337810374231
Hunt County TX334985274231
Lucas County OH33568963929431
Cass County ND33648564138931
Bourbon County KY3371314074231
Williamson County TN33841034054431
Franklin County VT3392518474231
Luna County NM34058960036031
Cattaraugus County NY34173345136031
Doña Ana County NM34266846338931
Stark County OH34384974815331
Adams County PA34477254929431
Rabun County GA34576157329431
Van Buren County MI34690058721331
Clarke County GA3477108554431
Clear Creek County CO34868211854431
Strafford County NH3494100102931
Garvin County OK35020453454431
Storey County NV351877102931
Latah County ID35241341649131
Surry County NC3538977885631
Henrico County VA35438739554431
Chisago County MN355106331629431
Jefferson County WV356773397931
Sheboygan County WI35751829654431
Bay County FL35821754954431
Bayfield County WI35921456454431
Franklin County IL36062021054431
Hampden County MA36172668529431
Clark County OH36249135154431
Lexington County SC36324356954431
Anne Arundel County MD36444774838931
Pacific County WA3655164102931
Essex County NY36624164149131
Butler County OH36738145554431
Ravalli County MT36875668529431
Olmsted County MN36961829749131
Stafford County VA3708532102931
Nez Perce County ID37148841649131
Manassas City VA37243141954431
Jackson County MI37394931538931
Union County OH3742872174231
Burke County NC37590952629431
Marion County KY376904554431
Greenville County SC37729780029431
Elk County PA37878267629431
Mecklenburg County NC37970754938931
Greenbrier County WV38056870138931
Clinton County NY381109847921331
Union County NC38281045238931
Ocean County NJ38349643449131
Monroe County PA38484511949131
Sullivan County NY38576656036031
LaPorte County IN38667961838931
Calhoun County MI387101628338931
Franklin County AR388104042829431
Iron County UT38935752654431
Maury County TN39015973354431
Macon County TN39112929102931
Wabasha County MN39238357349131
Brown County WI39336080923731
Muskegon County MI39467864138931
Lancaster County VA3958989749131
San Miguel County NM3966530774231
Wood County OH39746550049131
Racine County WI39812637102931
Page County VA3992002697931
Effingham County GA4005032874231
Etowah County AL40191161829431
Los Alamos County NM40282123102931
Polk County TN4033184474231
Houston County MN40457642949131
Peoria County IL40512325674231
Beaver County PA40649166102931
Lancaster County SC40791112102931
Anderson County KY40870166438931
Caroline County MD40912573102931
King George County VA41028215971431
Winneshiek County IA41165637649131
Otoe County NE41292143938931
Kendall County TX41387272427531
Potter County TX41425271154431
Westmoreland County VA41578764136031
Alamance County NC416106266721331
Bonner County ID41765072438931
Bexar County TX41855248749131
Gunnison County CO41957841154431
Brazos County TX42022219074231
Cass County NE42193145102931
Montezuma County CO42261774838931
Anderson Counties SC42320921774231
Brown County OH4249695854431
Robertson County TN4253778174231
Greene County VA426123230113731
Washington County NY42782526649131
Madison County TN42851051254431
Columbia County PA42910621497931
Pottawatomie County KS43064276138931
St. Mary's County MD43178364138931
Washington County PA43296666129431
Dodge County WI43376224102931
Northampton County VA43471938649131
Stephenson County IL43532817971431
Story County IA43681363438931
Boyle County KY43773532754431
Warren County MO4382429197931
Kauai County HI43922476654431
Willamette Valley OR4403919874231
Lenawee County MI44194349338931
Juneau County WI4425631997931
Cowlitz County WA44352754454431
Leavenworth County KS44423362102931
Clinton County IA44515720397931
Henry County TN44653953654431
Walworth County WI44739279738931
Delta County MI44890155838931
Otero County NM44963544854431
Green Lake County WI45025925574231
Montgomery County NC4514379374231
Oconto County WI452202124102931
Skamania County WA4537218308431
Hocking County OH45426511797931
Spencer County IN45580535749131
Cherokee County NC45681834649131
Jefferson County KS45752658654431
Miami County KS458109357329431
Clinton County OH4594767174231
Rogers County OK46045665354431
Kent County DE461102774823731
Bedford County PA462137218102931
Charlotte County VA46330424574231
Licking County OH464116727538931
Muskogee County OK46533077649131
Sherburne County MN466148221102931
Warren County PA46733422974231
East Feliciana Parish LA46850266754431
Gibson County TN46959256654431
New Hanover County NC47030727474231
Henderson County KY47151766154431
Washington County FL472187212102931
Steuben County IN47366650854431
Alleghany County NC47481941249131
Florence County SC47521937474231
Oswego County NY476301134102931
Richland County OH47779940854431
San Saba County TX478111014249131
Clinton County IL479102057038931
Darke County OH48022039474231
Pike County IL48146073554431
Oklahoma County OK482104773429431
Ripley counties IN48354712274231
Cass County IN48493530454431
Montrose County Co48573778038931
Columbia County WA48631119597931
Riley County KS48774147354431
Crawford County OH48868855454431
Fremont County CO48970352554431
Stanly County NC490116137938931
Dakota County MN49199131349131
White County IN49250317274231
Refugio County TX49317652674225
Patrick County VA49442612597931
Trempealeau County WI495102430249131
Clermont County OH49644957102931
Colorado County TX497272228102931
Harrison County Lo498115376102931
Linn County OR499100571136031
Johnson County MO50072455554431
Elmore County ID50166469949131
Jackson County WV50223548171431
Alexander County NC50348723774231
DeKalb County TN504245264102931
Comanche County TX50547424974231
Lincoln County TN50689339754431
Prince William County VA507423116102931
Carroll County IA508106867836031
Fillmore County MN50992342649131
Thurston County WA5102998428431
Catoosa County GA51116153674231
Somerset County PA51249424874231
Bosque County TX513339197102931
Okmulgee County OK51422846874231
Van Zandt County TX515110920554431
Scotland County NC516294260102931
Franklin County PA51770070349131
Aransas County TX51814259274231
Oakland County MI51919084119431
Roane County WV52086350449131
Macon County IL521285277102931
Payne County OK522208349102931
Screven County GA523355219102931
Washington County WI524404182102931
Tyrrell County NC52583496102931
Callaway County MO52685055954428
Guernsey County OH527290291102931
Davis County UT52855724774231
Pike County MO52965271154431
Person County NC53083751954431
Terry County TX53111956643607
Edgar County IL532263332102931
Jefferson Parish LA533128715631
Madison County MT53471568554431
Dent County MO53537434697831
Catawba County NC53677360654431
Erath County TX53798540154431
Crawford County PA538111176929431
Onslow County NC539322286102931
Richmond County VA5406305997931
Delaware County OH54160283710731
Fayette County TX542103835954431
Randall County TX54316071171431
Jefferson County PA544400254102931
Whitman County WA545103642349131
Erie County PA5464638488414
York County SC54759387102931
Elkhart County IN54867474854431
Wallowa County OR54986660949131
Kandiyohi County MN550103275938931
San Juan County CO55130552274231
Cherokee County TX552353318102931
Morrow County OR55355338271431
Massac County IL554477223102931
Ogemaw County MI55575270654431
Allegany County MD55661481038931
Bergen County NJ55721084815331
Mercer County PA55851238374231
Hardin County TX559349339102931
Cooke County TX56064478249131
La Crosse County WI56148628497931
Teton County WY562101592102931
Anoka County MN563738715631
Washington County OH56487460454431
Sumner County TN56568555102931
Carteret County NC566262432102931
Lawrence County MO56744133097931
Madison County MO56871875954431
Lebanon County PA56967282102931
Morris County TX570326380102931
Hampton city VA571321384102931
Shelby County IL57266777854431
Washington County AR57336355674231
Benton County MO574292434102931
Gilliam County OR57554229397931
Cortland County NY57677419974231
Pulaski County KY577657130102931
Concho County TX57850944474231
Marion County FL57953142974231
Bastrop County TX58095058754431
Jefferson County LA58171627274231
Lewis County WV58242054274231
Marathon County WI583101753254431
Christian County KY58484814974231
Bristol County MA5853087113731
Spokane County WA5861328715631
Sawyer County WI587293477102931
Fairfax County VA58863183429431
Garland County AR58937064174231
Washington County IL5909626574231
Van Buren County IA59198063154431
Indiana County PA59294567854431
Kent County MD59333568574231
Lincoln County NC59480980538931
Jefferson Davis Parish LA59528372474231
Grant County NM59630357397931
Hickman County TN59741861874231
Fentress County TN598459386102931
Hamilton County TX599558314102931
Mclean County IL60052851474231
Dawson County NE60138068274231
Wayne County IN602731158102931
Benzie County MI603103759254431
Owen County IN6049581297931
Tippecanoe County IN60582279102931
Teton County ID606105459254431
Curry County OR607536365102931
Okanogan County WI608457433102931
Wake County NC6097487115331
St. Charles County MO6101958718431
Lincoln County KY61142168574231
Somerset County MD612105461854431
Turner County SD613396498102931
Salem city VA61466344274231
Noble County IN61582329974231
Jackson County WI61697074849131
Frederick County MD61717487110231
McCurtain County OK61862847474231
Klamath County OR61941181854431
Oneida County WI620109159254431
Douglas County NE62147081554431
Dane County WI62213487113731
Robeson County NC623514424102931
Atascosa County TX624103310474231
Allegany County NY625827133102931
Stevens County WA62697676349131
Warren County KY62748981054431
Churchill County NV62882878354431
Butler County KS629313618102931
DuPage County IL6309987115331
Brookings County SD63199572454431
Cape May County NJ63210887115131
Pulaski County VA633836143102931
Yellowstone County MT634329618102931
Johnson County IL63588233571431
Overton County TN63663351974231
Kerr County TX63758644397931
Houston County TX638499470102931
Norfolk County MA63938584821331
Effingham County IL64080637574231
Adams County WA64154349597931
Staunton City VA64253866774231
Huron County MI643110465154431
Worth County IA644572422102931
Newport County RI645124718721331
Sumter County GA646107470154431
Nicollet County MN647686345102931
St. Landry Parish LA648344655102931
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Harnett County NC655892144102931
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Salt Lake County UT6572187123731
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Henderson County TX660795259102931
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Crow Wing County MN66365480254431
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Union County OR66565859274231
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Torrance County NM67276050174231
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Cannon County TN68476154274231
Door County WI68525887115331
Sullivan County NH68675456174231
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Pitkin County CO68835679174231
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Rice County MN705105481838931
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DeKalb County MO738936358102931
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York County MN99519987174231
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Genesee County NY99821687174231
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Middlesex County CT100088287149131
Iowa County WI100189187149131
Brown County MN1002115487138931
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Jasper County IA100585387154431
Sullivan County TN100685687154431
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Leon County FL101227787174231
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La Plata County CO101490487154431
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Carson City NV102034287174231
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Gilmer County GA102495687154431
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Warren County IA1027119487138931
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Seminole County FL102996387154431
Howell County MO103096887154431
Williamson County IL1031102687149131
Tulsa County OK1032122387129431
Goodhue County MN1033120487136031
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Accomack County VA103646187171431
Richland County IL103798987154431
Coos County OR103841587174231
Okfuskee County OK103999787154431
Kent County RI1040101187154431
Hughes County SD1041101387154431
Wilkes County NC1042123587123331
Fond du Lac County WI1043102387154431
Frederick County VA1044102587154431
Nye County NV104555187174222
Bonneville County ID104645087174231
Pierce County WI1047109187149131
Blaine County OK1048105387154431
Morgan County CO104987584874231
Atchison County KS1050107687154431
Dawson County GA1051108587154431
Montgomery County VA105256787171431
Haywood County NC105352487174231
Marion County OH105452587174231
Craig County OK1055109087154431
Warrick County IN105653487174231
Clay County MO1057121687138931
Hamilton County TN105853787174231
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Jefferson County OR106054687174231
Pepin County WI1061113587149131
Garrett County MD1062338871102931
Jasper County TX1063124770874231
Kennebec County ME1064111187154431
Franklin County VA1065111687154431
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Ogle County IL1067114487149131
Major County OK1068111887154431
Johnson County IN1069112087154431
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Silver Bow County MT107360087174231
Cowley County KS1074424871102931
Roanoke County VA107548387197931
Daviess County KY107662987174231
Wayne County NC107763687174231
Chaves County NM107863887174231
Greene County NY107964787174231
Butler County IA108064987174231
Giles County TN108165187174231
Orange County NC108251387197931
Grand County CO108365587174231
Vilas County WI108466887174231
McCracken County KY1084115587154431
Adams County IL1086115987154431
Berrien County GA108768187174231
Hancock County IA108868387174231
Ascension Parish LA108968487174231
Union County PA109069087174231
Clark County IL109169287174231
Fayette County PA109269487174231
Flagler County FL1093500871102931
Weber County UT109470287174231
Fountain County IN1095504871102931
Snyder County PA109671187174231
Pima County AZ109795084897931
Russell County KS10981007842102931
Worcester County MD109973887174231
Schenectady County NY110078687171431
Presidio County TX110174387174231
Rockwall County TX110274887174231
Raleigh County WV110375187174231
Fremont County WY1103946848102931
Asotin County WA110586087171231
Jessamine County KY110676987174231
Bollinger County MO1106119787154431
Walton County GA110877687174231
Lake County MT110977787174231
Spartanburg County SC111078187174231
Perry County IN1111124087135931
Kendall County IL111278587174231
Jackson County GA111379187174231
Moore County NC1114613871102931
Vermilion County IL111581487174231
Stewart County GA111684187174231
Atoka County OK111784287174231
Clinton County MI111885687174231
Washington County MO111986787174231
Jefferson County IA112087687174231
Houghton County MI112187787174231
Hot Springs County WY112288187174231
Boone County IA1123117184874231
Nicholas County WV11241081848102931
Lackawanna County PA112588687174231
Greene County OH1126714871102931
Russell County VA1127121587154431
Pitt County NC1128717871102931
Teller County CO112990487174231
Moore County TN1130722871102931
Red Lake County MN113191387174231
Adams County IA1132723871102931
Posey County IN113391587174231
Merrick County NE113491887174231
Madison County OH1135739871102931
Orange County VT113692887174231
Deuel County SD113792987174231
Mason County MI113893287174231
Berkeley County WV113893287174231
Benson County ND1140118884874231
Rock Island County IL114180087197931
Washita County OK1142753871102931
Avery County NC114381787197931
Sanilac County MI11441125848102931
Cumberland County TN114596587174231
Allamakee County IA114682987197931
Chickasaw County IA114783287197931
Kodiak Island Borough AK114897487174231
Chenango County NY114998187174231
Henry County MO11501132848102931
Meigs County OH1151789871102931
Iredell County NC1152103387171431
Bulloch County GA1153803871102931
Clarke County IA115398987174231
Monroe County WV1153122687154431
Butler County NE1156100087174231
Chilton County AL1157100187174231
Emmet County IA1158100687174231
Clarion County PA1159100787174231
Redwood County MN1160101487174231
Guadalupe County TX116187987197931
Montgomery County NY1162107687171431
Hopkins County TX1163103087174231
Franklin County IA11641247795102931
Gallia County OH1165104887174231
Levy County FL1166105187174231
Scotts Bluff County NE1167864871102931
Ray County MO1168106387174231
Meade County SD1168106687174231
Kanabec County MN1170870871102931
Parker County TX1171871871102931
Conway County AR1172107387174231
Randolph County NC1173108387174231
Lafourche Parish LA1174108487174231
Baxter County AR1175894871102931
Fergus County MT1176895871102931
Fulton County OH1177908871102931
Tioga County PA1178910871102931
Williams County OH1179919871102931
Bronx County NY1180110187174231
Park County CO1181110387174231
Marion County WV1182930871102931
Ringgold County IA1183940871102931
Kiowa County OK1184944871102931
Highlands County FL1185122084874231
Greene County IL1186111487174231
Yell County AR1187961871102931
Knox County IN1188112087174231
Cleveland County OK1189112287174231
Rutherford County NC1190112987174231
Dekalb County GA1191123887154431
Minnehaha County SD1191124787129431
Chippewa County MN1193977871102931
Kodiak Island Borough County AK1194113487174231
Washington County ME1195987871102931
Caldwell County NC1196114287174231
Clark County WI1197106387197931
Page County IA1198106987197931
Jefferson County FL11991218842102931
Blount County TN12001019871102931
Sumter County FL12011021871102931
Bryan County OK1202114687174231
Marinette County WI12031031871102931
Bracken County KY1204108687197931
Gulf County FL1205115587174231
Cole County MO12061035871102931
Lawrence County IL12071041871102931
McDowell County NC12081045871102931
St. Joseph County MI12091050871102931
Guthrie County IA12101054871102931
Foster County ND1211116587174231
Warren County IN12121069871102931
Jackson County IN1213110787197931
Nemaha County NE12141080871102931
McDuffie County GA12151082871102931
Wise County VA1216117987174231
Antrim County MI1217124787136031
Hardin County KY1218119987171431
Ohio County IN1219119387174231
Saline County NE12191114871102931
Mitchell County IA12211123871102931
Union County KY12221124871102931
Wright County MN1223124787138931
Tallapoosa County AL12241131871102931
Vernon County WI1225116587197931
Barton County KS12261150871102931
San Juan County NM12271155871102931
Jennings County IN12281160871102931
Caldwell County KY1229120787174231
Crawford County IL1230120887174231
Des Moines County IA1231120987174231
Hardin County IA12321171871102931
Buffalo County NE12331174871102931
Hillsdale County MI12341186871102931
Galax city VA12351187871102931
Chemung County NY12361190871102931
Franklin County KS12371191871102931
Socorro County NM1238120187197931
Lee County IA12391197871102931
Eaton County MI1240122287174231
Montgomery County MO12411202871102931
Orange County IN1242123387171431
Fremont County IA1243123587171431
Madison County GA12441212871102931
Lake County MN12451219871102931
Marion County IA12461223871102931
Hernando County FL1246124787154431
Charlton County GA12481227871102931
Osage County MO1249123087197931
Hancock County IN12501229871102931
Audubon County IA1251123387197931
Appomattox County VA12521230871102931
Jasper County SC1253124087174231
Medina County OH12541235871102931
Butler County MO12551247848102931
Kittson County MN1256124787174231
Scott County MO1256124787174231
Gaston County NC12581247871102931
Henry County IL12581247871102931
Miami County OH12581247871102931
Infographic showing best wine counties outside California by categories, such as most popular wine tours, most award-winning wines, etc.

Key Takeaways

Northwest is Best

Washington and Oregon dominate our top 10 Best Wine Counties Outside California list with two Washington counties and four Oregon counties in the top 10. 

The South’s Wine Belt

Arizona in the west has two counties in our top 20, Florida in the east has one county in those lofty ranks, and Texas is the buckle in this wine belt with three counties in the top 20. 

Wine and Roses … and Other Attractions

Some counties rank high because the attractions are as inviting as the wine. For example, you can sign up for at least 33 wine tours in Buncombe County, North County, including the author’s favorite at the Biltmore Estate.

Ask The Experts

Some areas have clusters of wineries that draw visitors from across the region, state and country, but what makes a winery region successful?

That’s just one of the questions about regional wines and wineries that we asked a handful of experts.

Here are the questions:

  • What makes a winery region successful? What about the climate makes some states stand out for their wines?
  • Is it easier or harder to own and run a winery outside California?
  • Are regional wines and wineries underrated?

You can read their answers below.


Paul E. Read
Professor of Horticulture/Viticulture, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska
Chris Gerling
Senior Extension Associate, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
Dr. Clive Kaiser
Professor and Interim Director, Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Oregon State University
Tim E. Martinson
Senior Extension Associate, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section, Cornell University
Dr. Imed Dami
Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University
Paul E. Read
Professor of Horticulture/Viticulture, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska

1. What makes a winery region successful? What about the climate makes some states stand out for their wines? 

Some grape varieties can’t flourish in specific climates, for example harsh winters prevent easily overwintering most Vitis vinifera cultivars (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, etc.).  Also growing degree days (GDD) and hours of sunshine during the growing season are important factors.

2. Is it easier or harder to own and run a winery outside California? 

Before the advent of the extreme fires in California, I would have said that it is harder to own and run  a winery outside of California, but every region has its challenges, even California.

3. Are regional wines and wineries underrated? 

Yes, unfortunately.  Many regional wines, such as Edelweiss in Nebraska, Norton in Missouri, Vidal in Canada are not given their due respect.



Chris Gerling
Senior Extension Associate, Department of Food Science, Cornell University

1. What makes a winery region successful? What about the climate makes some states stand out for their wines? 

It really depends on how you define success.  Grapes require specific growing conditions to survive, but they are not all that limiting.  It can’t be too hot or too cold, too dry or too wet. 

There are grapes growing in Texas and in Minnesota, in California and in Maine. While California specializes in vinifera grapes (traditional European wine grapes), grapes native to this part of the world are grown in the South and Northeast. 

Also, the introductions of new hybrids have expanded the boundaries of “suitable” vineyard locations (especially the University of Minnesota releases). 

I guess there are two major factors that put California in the driver’s seat: scale and familiarity.  While grapes grow in the rest of the country, they tend to grow in specific parts of those states. 

In California, a vineyard can be hundreds or thousands of acres.  And then there are the names. Most consumers are aware of Chardonnay and Cabernet.  They are less aware of Marquette, Blanc de Bois and Vidal.

2. Is it easier or harder to own and run a winery outside California? 

There are a number of pros and cons to each. Buying a California winery will be much more expensive and not really newsworthy.  Starting a winery in a place where there aren’t thousands might generate more publicity and interest, and will almost definitely (with a few exceptions) be cheaper. 

Now, in California there is already an enormous marketing machine in place, so it’s not as hard to convince the market that you can produce good wine. 

Marketing will be much harder in “new” wine regions.  You will not have access to equipment suppliers right next door and all of the associated infrastructure, so all of that will be more expensive and more difficult to get. 

Finally, some places will be thrilled to have the wineries and will bend over backward to support them, while others may view them as a nuisance.

3. Are regional wines and wineries underrated? 

I would say that many wines and wineries are definitely underrated. The good news is that local is hot, people are more interested in trying new things, and the internet allows people to learn about new places. But yes, wines from all over the country are worth a try.


Dr. Clive Kaiser
Professor and Interim Director, Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Oregon State University

1. What makes a winery region successful? What about the climate makes some states stand out for their wines?

For a wine region to be successful there are many factors that must be met.

Firstly, the climate and soils must be superlative. Heat units in summer are critical, and warm days with cool nights in fall are paramount to building sugars and secondary metabolites.

Secondly, the region must be aesthetically pleasing.

Thirdly, you must have great wine makers who win national and international awards.

Fourthly, you must have skilled viticulturists who know how to manipulate the vines and manipulate them so that they deliver the best grapes and produce them sustainably.

Finally, you need infrastructure and support from local entities for the AVA to thrive.

2. Is it easier or harder to own and run a winery outside California?

It is probably easier to own and run one outside of California. You are not up against the establishment when you start a winery in a newer region.

Also, the cost of land is substantially lower than in recognized AVA’s such as Napa. 

3. Are regional wines and wineries underrated?

Absolutely, I have lived in five countries and tasted wines from all over the world, and Walla Walla remains one of the hidden secrets in international wines. … Superlative wines that never disappoint!


Tim E. Martinson
Senior Extension Associate, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section, Cornell University

1. What makes a winery region successful? What about the climate makes some states stand out for their wines?

Climate and soils are king. Different cultivars have different requirements (warm season, cool season), and most V. vinifera grapes have only moderate winter hardiness, so winter low temperatures are a limiting factor. 

Cab Sauvignon is the dominant grape in parts of California, but aromatic whites (such as Riesling) and cool climate reds (eg. Pinot noir, Lemberger) more suited to our cool climate.

Hybrid grape vines tend to be more cold-hardy and have better disease resistance than the classic vinifera varieties – so they can be grown in more places, and in places where vinifera would die back to the ground every winter.  They are newer, but many make excellent wine.  But different.

2. Are regional wines and wineries underrated?

Yes, although our region (Finger Lakes) is gaining increasing acceptance and international recognition.  It’s a long 20-30 year process.


Dr. Imed Dami
Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

1. What makes a winery region successful? What about the climate makes some states stand out for their wines?

Production of high wine quality; reputation of the region; marketing and promotion of the region. Most states have adequate climates to ripen quality fruit. The challenge is to match a given grape variety with a specific site (climate).

This is work in progress in a lot of regions in the US.  

2. Is it easier or harder to own and run a winery outside California?

This question is best addressed to winery owners. I am sure the winery business is cheaper outside CA. In OH and eastern US and Midwest, wineries are of smaller size than in CA. But, they are successful. In OH, a new winery opens every month and we are at ~345 wineries now, highest in the Midwest.

3. Are regional wines and wineries underrated?

Yes. For example, in Ohio, many wineries produced high quality wines and won international awards for their wines. Yet, few consumers know that fact. 

The Finger Lakes are famous for their Riesling. Ohio produces just as good Riesling, yet nobody knows that.



California was excluded from our rankings because the Golden State is almost synonymous with wine-making. We wanted in this study to spotlight the best wine counties outside California.

To help you find the best counties outside California for wine lovers, LawnStarter compared 1,260 counties across the U.S. across four main dimensions: 1) Accommodations, 2) Wine tours, 3) Producers and Origin, 4) Award-winning wines.

We evaluated these factors using 18 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights and the following scores:

Accommodations – Total Points: 30

  • Number of Hotels: 10 Points
  • Average Rating (out of 5*): 8 Points
  • Number of Reviews: 6 Points
  • Average Price: 6 Points

Wine Tours – Total Points: 27

  • Number of Wine Tours: 10 Points
  • Average Rating (out of 5*): 6 Points
  • Number of Reviews: 6 Points
  • Average Price: 5 Points

Producers & Origin – Total Points: 25

  • Number of Producers: 20 Points
  • Number of AVAs: 5 Points

Prizes – Total Points: 18

  • 2018 Awards Count: 3 Points
  • 2018 Gold Medal Wines: 3 Points
  • 2018 Silver Medal Wines: 2 Points
  • 2018 Bronze Medal Wines: 1 Point
  • 2019 Awards Count: 3 Points
  • 2019 Gold Medal Wines: 3 Points
  • 2019 Silver Medal Wines: 2 Points
  • 2019 Bronze Medal Wines: 1 Point

Sources: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Yelp,

Main Image Credit: Shutterstock

Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan is a former content director for LawnStarter. She is a former radio newscaster and journalist. In her free time she enjoys traveling, gardening, visiting wineries, reading, and playing trivia games in her home state of Colorado.