When Leif Erikson dubbed the North American coast "Vinland" or "Winland" back around 1000 A.D., he may or may not have meant to call our continent a land of vines (linguists say the term might also have meant "land of meadows") — but a land of vines is what we've become.

The sheer quantity and variety of good and great wine being made in America has grown exponentially in recent decades. It is now produced in all 50 states — even Hawaii, even Alaska(though admittedly the latter state's offerings are mostly made from fruits and berries, plus grape juice imported from more temperate climes) — and there are bottles worth savoring from almost every source.

Narrowing our national enological wealth down to a mere 101 wineries, then, is a daunting task each year. To help us meet the challenge, we reach out annually to experts in the field, from all over the country — sommeliers, wine writers and bloggers (including our own contributors, of course), chefs and restaurateurs, and of course the wine-savvy editors at The Daily Meal — asking them to nominate their favorite wineries (as many as ten per person) and to tell us what they like about them.

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