Sorry, Napa Valley. Apologies, Sonoma Valley. The Hill Country crushes both of those heavily hyped California destinations (like a grape) in a new ranking of the best wine regions.
The Hill Country lands at No. 3 in the 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice awards for the top 10 wine regions. Nine U.S. regions and one region in Mexico made the list, with Washington state’s Walla Walla Valley earning the No. 1 spot. Neither Napa Valley nor Sonoma Valley appears in the top 10.
A panel of experts teamed up with10Best editors to pick the initial nominees. Online voters determined the 10 winners.
“The Hill Country is such a special place to us all, and we are thrilled to share it with the world, thanks to all of the Texas wine lovers who voted for the region this year,” says January Wiese, executive director of Texas Hill Country Wineries, a nonprofit trade group.
About 1 million people visit the Hill Country’s 50-plus wineries each year. Spanning more than 9 million acres, the Hill Country is the country’s third-largest winemaking region, producing types of wine such as viognier, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chenin blanc, aglianico, sangiovese, and mourvèdre.
The 10Best nod isn’t the only accolade the Hill Country has harvested recently. For instance, Travel + Leisure magazine named the Hill Country one of the country’s 50 best places to visit in 2021.