Cheers! Eat and Drink Your Way Across America

The Orbitz Insider Index reveals top U.S. wine and dine travel destinations to tantalize your taste buds

CHICAGO – September 26, 2006 – From outstanding pinot noir and seafood in Oregon to chardonnay and ham in Virginia, the United States boasts outstanding Food & Wine getaways “from sea to shining sea.” Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), the faster, easier way to find the trip you want today, released its tenth Orbitz Insider Index highlighting fall Food & Wine getaways throughout the U.S. Let’s face it, Napa and Sonoma are king when it comes to wine making, but the Orbitz Insider knows there are other great Food & Wine vacations only a hotel room away.

”Whether you fly or drive, the Orbitz Insider knows there is a hotel getaway and a vineyard near you,” said Heather Leisman, director of merchandising for Orbitz. “Across America, the fall is the perfect time of year to take a vacation of tastings and food pairings while on a quest to find that perfect vintage of wine.”

Food & Wine Destinations

“When many people think about a Food & Wine getaway, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California are usually their first thought,” said Leisman. “Throughout the United States, there are a variety of great epicurean destinations with delectable cuisine, a plethora of wine choices and fun activities to accentuate your travel experience.”

This addition of the Orbitz Insider Index looks at wine regions that are also popular travel destinations. The Index is based on package and hotel bookings at properties on Orbitz.com in these destinations with great vineyards nearby.

ORBITZ INSIDER INDEX

TOP U.S. REGIONAL FOOD/WINE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS*

Rank
Wine Destination

Midwest
1
Ohio River Valley

2
Nashville/Bloomington, IN Area

3
Leelanau Peninsula, MI

Northeast
1
Cayuga Lake, NY

2
Long Island, NY

3
Seneca Lake, NY

South/Southwest
1
Central Virginia/Monticello

2
Texas High Plains

3
Texas Hill Country

West / Northwest
1
Monterey County, CA

2
Santa Barbara County, CA

3
Puget Sound, WA

*Based on land-only hotel room and package hotel room bookings on Orbitz for check-in between 6/1/06 and 10/31/06. Based on net bookings as of 9/12/06.

Orbitz Staff Insider Picks

Amongst its more than 3.7 Million square miles of land and a variety of climates, the U.S. has many different regions suitable for cultivating grapes. These regions are peppered throughout the country, and because of the growing popularity of Food & Wine tastings, are growing in popularity as travel destinations. The Orbitz Insider Staff has picked some great Food & Wine destination options that are sure to give anyone’s taste buds a workout, no matter where you’re traveling.

Portland, OR

As a base of operations for a Food & Wine extravaganza, Portland is an outstanding destination. The city is full of delectable restaurants featuring fresh cuisine from local farms. For the traveler having difficultly deciding where to eat, head to the Portland Farmers’ Market. This is the spot to pick up fresh food or get suggestions from the locals regarding where to eat. Once you’ve satisfied your stomach, head south about 30-45 minutes to the heart of the Willamette Valley. One hundred miles long and 60 miles wide, Willamette Valley is home to more than 200 wineries and is an outstanding area to taste world renowned pinot noir.

Seattle, WA

For travelers who love fresh seafood and wine, the Seattle area is the Food & Wine destination for you! There are more than 50 different wineries in the Seattle area, many purchasing grapes from wineries in the east. Because of this, wine fans have the opportunity to taste both western and eastern grown grapes in one stop. Wineries in the Seattle area are scattered throughout the entire region, making access to transportation a must. Before leaving, take advantage of great seafood restaurants in the area, many serving local wines to complement any entrée.

San Francisco, CA

With two of the most famous wine trails just north of this beautiful city, great food and wine are abundant in and around San Francisco. Travel just north to the town of Napa to grab wine maps and great food before heading on your grape-filled adventure. With several hundred vineyards from Napa up to St. Helena and Calistoga, there is something for every type of wine lover. For those looking to maximize time in this gorgeous countryside, cross over to Sonoma Valley, which has an additional 40 wineries! After indulging in a wide variety of Napa and Sonoma wines, head to North Beach, San Francisco’s “Little Italy,” for great food in one of the oldest areas of the city.

Charlottesville, VA

October is Virginia Wine Month, and what better way to spend a vacation than wining and dining at beautiful Charlottesville area vineyards. The Monticello Wine Trail, located in and around Charlottesville, features more than 20 vineyards. To help celebrate Wine Month, the Monticello Wine Trail Festival is being held October 14 and 15. This celebration will feature 18 different Virginia wineries and gourmet foods from leading restaurants! The entire state celebrates with its own festival – The Virginia Wine Festival – in Leesburg, VA, September 30 – 31. If seeking fun outside the festival environment is more your taste, many local vineyards also offer picnics complete with food and wine as part of their year-round visiting options. As the weather cools and the leaves change, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting outside with some delicious food and wine.

Augusta / St. Louis, MO

Relish in the Americana of the Mississippi River’s very own St. Louis. Featuring the country’s first designated wine district, St. Louis is the perfect heartland getaway for wine-lovers to savor award-winning vintages. After a tour of the largest underground cellars in North America, visitors can head the opposite direction with a 630 ft. ride up to the top of the famed Gateway Arch, the nation’s largest monument. With over 1,000 restaurants in St. Louis, travelers will not be hard pressed to clear their palettes with the authentic German fare for which the area is renowned.

Fredericksburg / Austin, TX

Fredericksburg is located in the heart of beautiful Texas Hill Country, which has more than 20 wineries and five special Trail Events throughout the year. Local wineries offer tastings of newly released wines, wine and food pairings, seminars, demonstrations and tours. Fredericksburg was settled in 1846 by German and immigrant families and offers great German cuisine as well as unlimited Texas hospitality!

Portsmouth / Newport, RI

For a classic New England experience, explore the quaint cobblestone streets of Newport, a city famous for its scenic coastline and magnificent mansions. Newport’s three local wineries offer an intimate look into this historic destination, featuring varietals adept to its cool climate. Pair a wine tasting with the perfect meal at any number of Newport’s waterfront restaurants. A fresh whole lobster or classic bowl of hearty clam chowder is the perfect complement to a gastronomic tour of this city-by-the-sea.

About Orbitz:

Orbitz (www.orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website www.orbitz.com to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 400 airlines, more than 65,000 lodging properties worldwide and 13 car rental companies. Orbitz is a Travelport Inc. brand. Travelport (www.travelport.com) is one of the largest and most geographically diverse travel companies, dedicated to creating the exceptional travel experiences the world demands.

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