Off the beaten wine trail: Explore four emerging regions

— -- Brilliantly hued forests and frost-nipped pumpkin patches are the destinations of choice for day-trippers in autumn, but it's time to add a stop to the itinerary: the tempting wine-tasting room. About half of states — and parts of Canada and Mexico — produce noteworthy bottles and showcase them along scenic wine trails. In honor of the vintage now being harvested, USA TODAY's Jerry Shriver and Chris Gray profile four emerging grape-growing regions worth a stop. Sip well and wisely.

Hudson Valley, New York: By virtue of a wine-grape-growing tradition dating to the 1670s, the Hudson Valley bills itself as America's oldest wine-producing area.

Hill Country, Texas: Prohibition nearly wiped out Texas's wine industry, but it re-emerged in the 1970s and now embraces 163 wineries in four regions.

Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan: The state's 56 wineries are spread across Michigan along four wine trails, but most of the best grapes are grown near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and its bays.

Eastern Townships, Quebec: Since 1980, visionary winemakers in the Cantons-de-l'Est region bordering Vermont have braved the elements to establish a burgeoning trade.

READERS: What lesser known vineyard tours have you taken? Share your list below.