About The Appellation Trail

The Countdown!

Update: As of December 26, 2011 we have visited 45 appellations and thus succeeded in our quest!

Appellations Visited

  1. Santa Cruz Mountains
  2. Central Coast
  3. Santa Clara Valley
  4. Lodi
  5. Mokelumne River
  6. Clements Hills
  7. Borden Ranch
  8. Jahant
  9. Clarksburg
  10. Amador County
  11. Paso Robles
  12. Edna Valley
  13. San Luis Obispo County
  14. Santa Rita Hills
  15. Santa Ynez Valley
  16. Santa Barbara County
  17. Alexander Valley
  18. Sonoma Coast
  19. Carneros
  20. Sonoma Valley
  21. Russian River Valley
  22. Dry Creek Valley
  23. Sonoma County
  24. Cienega Valley
  25. Mt. Harlan
  26. San Benito
  27. Saddle Rock – Malibu
  28. Livermore Valley
  29. Southeastern New England
  30. Massachusetts
  31. Temecula Valley
  32. Riverside County
  33. San Pasqual Valley
  34. Sierra Foothills
  35. El Dorado
  36. Fair Play
  37. Puget Sound
  38. Oakville
  39. Napa Valley
  40. Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
  41. St. Helena
  42. Sonoma Mountain
  43. Yolo County
  44. Mt. Veeder
  45. Rutherford


Nicole Gustas and Mike Rainey. We’ll get bios up here sometime soon. In the meantime…

We’re just a couple of people who love wine. While we may occasionally make a comment about a raisin flavor in our wine, we’re not wine snobs.

We’ve been known to drink wine out of a box; when it comes to box wines, we’re especially fans of Black Box. Our favorite find of last year were 500-mililiter tetrapaks of Alice White wine (chardonnay and shiraz) at Big Lots for $1 each, perfect for bringing to Burning Man.

The downside of not being wine snobs is that our vocabulary for describing what we taste tends to be somewhat limited. Hopefully this will change as the year goes on.


The Appellation Trail: 52 weeks, 40 wine appellations. We’ll visit 40 wine appellations over the year.


Over the course of 2011. Like any great project, if it does well enough, there will be a sequel, only one of us will demand too much money and be recast with a young unknown or older almost-has-been.


Wine-growing areas across the United States. According to Wikipedia there are 197 American Viticultural Areas (aka appellations) in the United States, so we’re not likely to run out.

If we get around to renewing our passports, Canada and/or Mexico might make it on here in 2011, but don’t hold your breath.


There’s a whole post on that.

How (do you determine what qualifies as a visit?)

There’s a post on that, too.

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