American Viticultural Area

American Viticultural Area

An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), United States Department of the Treasury. The TTB defines AVAs at the request of wineries and other petitioners. There were 190 AVAs as of May, 2008. [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau " [ U.S. Viticultural Areas] " Updated as of 4/23/2007 ] Prior to the installation of the AVA system, wine appellations of origin in the United States were designated based on state or county boundaries. All of these appellations were grandfathered into federal law and may appear on wine labels as designated places of origin, but these appellations are distinct from AVAs.

American Viticultural Areas range in size from the Ohio River Valley AVA at convert|26000|sqmi|km2|-3 across four states, to the Cole Ranch AVA in Mendocino County, California, at only convert|62|acre|ha|0. The Augusta AVA near the town of Augusta, Missouri was the first recognized AVA, gaining the status on June 20, 1980.Code of Federal Regulations [ Title 27, Volume 1] ALCOHOL, TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND FIREARMS]

Unlike most European wine appellations of origin, an AVA specifies only a geographical location from which at least 85% of the grapes used to make a wine must have been grown. AVAs are more similar to the Italian Indicazione Geografica Tipica than other European appellation of origin systems. American Viticultural Area designations do not limit the type of grapes grown, the method of vinification, or the crop yield. Some of those factors may, however, be used by the petitioner to justify uniqueness of place when proposing a new AVA.


Current regulations impose the following additional requirements on an AVA:
* Evidence that the name of the proposed new AVA is locally or nationally known as referring to the area;
* Historical or current evidence that the boundaries are legitimate;
* Evidence that growing conditions such as climate, soil, elevation, and physical features are distinctive;

Petitioners are required to provide such information when applying for a new AVA, and are also required to use USGS maps to both describe (using terms from the map) and depict the boundaries.

Once an AVA is established, at least 85% of the grapes used to make a wine must be grown in the specified area if an AVA is referenced on its label.

State or county boundaries — such as for Oregon or Sonoma County — are not AVAs, even though they are used to identify the source of a wine. AVAs are reserved for situations where a geographically defined area has been using the name and it has come to be identified with that area.

A vineyard may be in more than one AVA. For example, the Santa Clara Valley AVA and Livermore Valley AVAs are located within the territory of the San Francisco Bay AVA, which is itself located within the Central Coast AVA.

Current areas

The following is a listing of AVAs, broken down by region:

List of California AVAs

Central Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains

All of these AVAs are included in the geographic boundaries of the Central Coast AVA with the exceptions of Ben Lomond Mountain AVA and Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, which are surrounded by, but are specifically excluded from, the larger regional AVA.
* Arroyo Grande Valley
* Arroyo Seco
* Ben Lomond Mountain
* Carmel Valley
* Central Coast
* Chalone
* Cienega Valley
* Edna Valley
* Hames Valley
* Lime Kiln Valley
* Livermore Valley
* Monterey
* Mt. Harlan
* Pacheco Pass
* Paicines
* Paso Robles
* San Antonio Valley
* San Benito
* San Bernabe
* San Francisco Bay
* San Lucas
* San Ysidro District
* Santa Clara Valley
* Santa Cruz Mountains
* Santa Lucia Highlands
* Santa Maria Valley
* Sta. Rita Hills
* Santa Ynez Valley
* York Mountain

Central Valley

Unlike other regions of California, there is no large regional AVA designation that includes the entire Central Valley wine growing region.
* Alta Mesa
* Borden Ranch
* Capay Valley
* Clarksburg
* Clements Hills
* Cosumnes River
* Diablo Grande
* Dunnigan Hills
* Jahant
* Lodi
* Madera
* Merritt Island
* Mokelumne River
* River Junction
* Salado Creek
* Sloughhouse
* Tracy Hills

Klamath Mountains

These AVAs are located in the southern Klamath Mountains of far northwestern California.

* Seiad Valley
* Trinity Lakes
* Willow Creek

North Coast

All of these AVAs are included within the geographic boundaries of the six-county North Coast AVA.

* Alexander Valley
* Anderson Valley
* Atlas Peak
* Bennett Valley
* Benmore Valley
* Chalk Hill
* Chiles Valley
* Clear Lake
* Cole Ranch
* Covelo
* Diamond Mountain District
* Dos Rios
* Dry Creek Valley
* Green Valley of Russian River Valley
* Guenoc Valley
* High Valley
* Howell Mountain
* Knights Valley
* Los Carneros
* McDowell Valley
* Mendocino
* Mendocino Ridge
* Mt. Veeder
* Napa Valley
* North Coast
* Northern Sonoma
* Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
* Oakville
* Potter Valley
* Red Hills Lake County
* Redwood Valley
* Rockpile
* Russian River Valley
* Rutherford
* Solano County Green Valley
* Sonoma Coast
* Sonoma Mountain
* Sonoma Valley
* Spring Mountain District
* St. Helena
* Stags Leap District
* Suisun Valley
* Wild Horse Valley
* Yorkville Highlands
* Yountville

Sierra Foothills

All of these AVAs are contained entirely within the geographic boundaries of the Sierra Foothills AVA.
* California Shenandoah Valley
* El Dorado
* Fair Play
* Fiddletown
* North Yuba
* Sierra Foothills

South Coast

All of these AVAs are contained entirely within the geographic boundaries of the South Coast AVA.
* Cucamonga Valley
* Leona Valley (proposed)
* Malibu-Newton Canyon
* Ramona Valley
* Saddle Rock-Malibu
* San Pasqual Valley
* South Coast
* Temecula Valley

List of Pacific Northwest AVAs

A list of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho:

*Applegate Valley, Oregon
*Chehalem Mountains, Oregon
*Columbia Gorge, Oregon and Washington
*Columbia Valley, Washington and Oregon
*Dundee Hills, Oregon
*Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
*Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
*McMinnville, Oregon
*Puget Sound, Washington
*Rattlesnake Hills, Washington
*Red Hill Douglas County, Oregon, Oregon
*Red Mountain, Washington
*Ribbon Ridge, Oregon
*Rogue Valley, Oregon
*Snake River Valley, Idaho and Oregon
*Southern Oregon, Oregon
*Umpqua Valley, Oregon
*Wahluke Slope, Washington
*Walla Walla Valley, Oregon and Washington
*Willamette Valley, Oregon
*Yakima Valley, Washington
*Yamhill-Carlton District, Oregon

List of East Coast AVAs

A list of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) on the East Coast of the United States:

*Catoctin, Maryland
*Cayuga Lake, New York
*Central Delaware Valley, New Jersey & Pennsylvania
*Cumberland Valley, Maryland & Pennsylvania
*Finger Lakes, New York
*Hudson River Region, New York
*Lake Erie, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
*Lancaster Valley, Pennsylvania
*Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
*Linganore, Maryland
*Long Island, New York
*Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
*Monticello, Virginia
*Niagara Escarpment, New York
*North Fork of Long Island, New York
*North Fork of Roanoke, Virginia
*Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace, Virginia
*Outer Coastal Plain, New Jersey
*Rocky Knob, Virginia
*Seneca Lake, New York
*Shenandoah Valley, Virginia and West Virginia
*Southeastern New England, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island
*The Hamptons, Long Island, New York
*Virginia's Eastern Shore, Virginia
*Warren Hills, New Jersey
*Western Connecticut Highlands, Connecticut
*Yadkin Valley, North Carolina

List of Central US AVAs

A list of the remaining American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), not on the West or East Coasts:

*Alexandria Lakes, Minnesota
*Altus, Arkansas
*Arkansas Mountain, Arkansas
*Augusta, Missouri
*Bell Mountain, Texas
*Escondido Valley, Texas
*Fennville, Michigan
*Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Texas
*Grand River Valley, Ohio
*Grand Valley, Colorado
*Hermann, Missouri
*Isle St. George, Ohio
*Kanawha River Valley, West Virginia
*Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan
*Lake Wisconsin, Wisconsin
*Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan
*Loramie Creek, Ohio
*Mesilla Valley, New Mexico and Texas
*Middle Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico
*Mimbres Valley, New Mexico
*Mississippi Delta, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
*Ohio River Valley, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia
*Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
*Ozark Highlands, Missouri
*Ozark Mountain, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma
*Shawnee Hills, Illinois
*Shenandoah Valley, Virginia and West Virginia
* Sonoita, Arizona
*Texas Davis Mountains, Texas
*Texas High Plains, Texas
*Texas Hill Country, Texas
*Texoma, Texas
*West Elks, Colorado

ee also

*Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée
*Indicazione Geografica Tipica
*American wine


External links

* [ Appellations of Origin] from the TTB website
* [ AVAs with links to detailed descriptions] , from the Code of Federal Regulations located at a Cornell website

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