Five hotels where you'll get the full wine country experience--and five wines to enjoy there.
NEW YORK The Greenporter in Greenport. This 15-room boutique hotel and spa is a 1950s motel made hip. Located in the "un-Hamptons" of Long Island's North Fork, it is so local-vintner oriented that the hotel restaurant's wine list existed before its menu (631-477-0066).
VIRGINIA The Inn At Little Washington in Washington. This theatrically lavish country inn and restaurant at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains is also a showcase for Virginia wines. The list features 35 to 45 in-state wines and local-label house wines (540-675-3800).
CALIFORNIA Meadowood Resort in St. Helena. With gabled buildings and guest cabins tucked into a 250-acre forested private valley, Meadowood is the quintessential Napa Valley wine country retreat. Its wine list currently includes over 200 local offerings (707-963-3646).
CALIFORNIA Albion River Inn in Albion. Perched high above the Pacific Ocean, this comfortable Mendocino County hotel offers wall-to-wall views of kayakers and seals as well as a wine list that features 90 Mendocino offerings (707-937-4044).
OREGON The Peerless Hotel in Ashland. Although this restored turn-of-the-century brick-front hotel (furnished in an eclectic Victorian style) is located in southern Oregon, its 100-plus Oregon-label wine list spans the best of the entire state (541-488-6067).
5 Great Wines
NEW YORK 1999 0sprey's Dominion Cabernet Sauvignon ($18) Leaner than a California Cab, with more exotic black-cherry and blackberry fruit than a Bordeaux, this polished wine from the North Fork of Long Island stakes out new territory for a familiar red grape.
VIRGINIA 2000 Horton Reserve Viognier ($25) Winemaker Dennis Horton has won national recognition for his work with Viognier, a quirky white grape from France's Rhône Valley. This melony, layered, dry-but-wonderfully-fruity wine shows the elegant touch of a master.
CALIFORNIA 1998 Quintessa ($95) This aristocratic Bordeaux-style red blend is a stylistic statement from one of Napa's most cosmopolitan couples, Augustín and Valeria Huneeus. It's a silky, seductive wine that packs in layer after compelling layer of flavor.
CALIFORNIA Roederer Estate Nonvintage Brut ($20) The American arm of French Champagne house Louis Roederer gambled on Mendocino's cool climate, but thanks to first-rate grapes and a rigorous selection process, came up with a nuanced, dry sparkling wine that has bested many French Champagnes in blind tastings.
OREGON 1999 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard ($45) Technique is one part of the equation with this wine: It's made from a tiny crop of hillside grapes and bottled without flavor-stripping fining or filtration. Taste is the second: It's concentrated and beautifully proportioned.