A Guide to Lesser-Known National Parks

We’re all familiar with iconic National Parks such as Yellowstone, Zion and the Grand Canyon. But did you know that there are a total of 423 national park sites in the United States, across more than 84 million acres? These include miles and miles of trail systems, protected landmarks, and hundreds of wildlife species.

We’ve picked out a few lesser-known national parks to add to your summer road trip list! Need more inspiration? Check out the National Park’s Site here: Find A Park

Lassen National Park(image: Quentin Burgess via Unsplash)

Lassen National Park
Northern California
Area: 106,452 Acres

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to thousands of wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, volcanoes, and hydrothermal sites with bubbling mud ponds and steaming fumaroles. Vistas dotted with jagged peaks grant endless photo opportunities in this unique California landscape. Summit Lassen Peak for epic views and connect to the Pacific Crest Trail through the park’s forested trail network.

 

Big Bend National Park(image: Adan Guerrero via Unspalsh)

Big Bend National Park

Southwest Texas
Area: 801,280 Acres

The Chisos Mountain range and surrounding Chihuahuan desert create a truly spectacular landscape. Ancient limestone canyons, fast-running rivers, hundreds of bird species, and blooming cacti fill this Texas treasure. Stargazing enthusiasts will enjoy the pitch-black night skies full of sparklers.

Shenadough National Park(image: Taylor Wright via Unsplash)

Shenandoah National Park
Virginia
Area: 200,000 Acres

Just 75 miles from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is a tranquil getaway from city life. Full of waterfalls, wildflowers, and wooded vistas. Wildlife enthusiasts will love bird watching and may even spot a black bear! The famous Appalachian Trail connects through the park, traversing rocky peaks and forested wetlands.

Hot Springs National Park(image: Samantha Beaty via Unsplash)

Hot Springs National Park

Arkansas
Area: 5,550 Acres
Hot Springs National Park stands as an icon for healing and an artifact of the “American Spa” of the 20th century. Nine historic bathhouses surrounded by natural thermal springs, deeply forested trails, and mountain views provide a peaceful and rejuvenating experience.

Negroni Noir

Our newest cocktail is a play on the classic Negroni, a favorite among the Union Wine Co. team. We worked with Alyson of Wild Folk, who released a cocktail book last year titled: The Flower Infused Cocktail.

Underwood Negroni Noir - The Flower Infused Cocktail

NEGRONI NOIR

1 oz gin

1 oz Gran Classico

1/2 oz sweet vermouth

1/2 oz pinot noir syrup

In a mixing glass, stir gin, gran classico, sweet vermouth, and pinot noir syrup with ice until chilled. Strain into your prepared glass and zest with orange peel.

Underwood Negroni Noir - The Flower Infused Cocktail

PINOT NOIR SYRUP

1 cup Underwood Pinot Noir

1 1/2 cups demerara sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 strip of orange peel

1 tbsp dried osmanthus flowers

Underwood Negroni Noir - The Flower Infused Cocktail

Combine pinot noir and sugar in a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. once the sugar has dissolved completely and the syrup has thickened, remove from the heat. Add the cinnamon stick and orange peel, cover, and steep for 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, stir in the osmanthus flowers. cool completely before using.

Photography and Recipe by Alyson Brown – Wild Folk 

The Women of Union Wine Company

Women in Wine Union Wine Company

Here at Union Wine Company, we are proud to have an incredible group of women, not only on our winemaking team but across the company. We’ve been taking some time these past few weeks to recognize all of the women who work for UWC and what we do. We sat down the other day to discuss the challenges facing women in the wine industry and the growth and excitement we have for the future for women in the wine world.

Listen to our conversation on Spotify or Youtube.

Women in Wine Union Wine Comany

Kolby Childers, Joanna Engel, Meredith McGough

Union Wine Company Women in Wine

Cassidi Harris

Union Wine company women in wine

Herisbel Ramirez

Red Wine Chili

Red Wine Chili with Underwood Pinot Noir

Since it feels like we’re still in the dead of winter, we’ve got an excellent chili recipe for you. This one uses a little bit of Underwood Pinot Noir to cook with, but don’t worry, it leaves plenty of the bottle left for you to drink and enjoy. Keep your thoughts away from the snow, sleet, or rain outside, and get cozy with some Red Wine Chili.

Red Wine Chili with Underwood Pinot Noir

INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
15 ounces diced tomatoes, not quite 2 cans, about 1 1/2 cans
15 ounces tomato sauce
1.5 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons chili powder
48 ounces kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup Underwood Pinot Noir

PREPARATION:
Saute onions and garlic in a saucepan until onions are translucent. Add to the slow cooker.

In the same saucepan, brown beef in 1 cup water, save the juice!

Place beef and juice in the slow cooker.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Red Wine Chili with Underwood Pinot Noir

Recipe by Sugar and Charm

Easy Ways to Give Back

Ways to Give Back

The holidays are in full swing and amidst the hustle and bustle of our lives it’s nice to stop for a moment and give back to our communities, especially during a time that can be more stressful for families in need.

Here’s a few easy ways you can help out this season. Sometimes all it takes is one small effort to make a big difference in someone’s holiday.

+ Buy a Meal, Give a Meal

Many grocery stores and food retailers are running programs where you can easily add a meal at check-out, ranging from $5-$10.  Consider this as you do your holiday meal shopping.

Ways to Give Back

+ Food Bank Donation

Most food banks are set up for online donations, making giving back a breeze!

+ DeClutter

Clean out a few items from your kiddos toy box and donate to a local shelter or non-profit, making the holiday a little brighter for another child.

+ Care Packages for the Houseless

Grab a handful of essentials (warm socks, toiletries, water, a snack) and keep a few packages on hand to give out on your daily commute. Chances are you will pass a few houseless neighbors on your drive who could really use these items.

Ways to Give Back

+ Donate Your Miles

Have a bunch of air miles you may not use? Consider donating them to an organization like Make a Wish. Your miles can help give a child with terminal illness the trip of their dreams. https://wish.org/travel

+ Wrap Gifts

Volunteer a couple hours of your time to help wrap gifts for foster children. A quick Google search in your area should provide you with a few options and locations.

Happy Holidays!