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119 Cards in this Set

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name the 14 sub Ava's of napa valley
los carneros, mount veeder, yountville, stags leap, atlas peak, oakville, Rutherford, saint helena, spring mountain, howell mountain, chiles valley, oak knoll district, wild horse valley, and diamond mountain
what are the 6 sub ava's of columbia valley
wahluke slope, horse heaven hills, rattlesnake hills, yakima valley, red mountain, and walla walla
opus one is a colaberation between what 2 wine giants?
robert mondavi and chateau mouton rothschild
In the paris tasting of 1976 what red wine trounced the best of france?
1973 stags leap winery cabernet
in us what is the % requirements for single varietal labeling
75% except oregon is 90%
what is us % requirements for county /state labeling
75%
what is the us % requirements for appellation lableing
85% except oregon and Washington are 100%
what are us % vintage requirements for lableing
95%
Ava
American viticultural area
not to strict anyone can apply
no quality grading system
California
Climate: Large area with wide variations. All fine wine areas are influenced by fog and/or cooling breezes from the Pacific. Rainfall is generally low in the summer and is supplemented by irrigation.
Soil Type(s): Generally fertile soils. There are many variations, with 10 distinct types identified in the Napa Valley alone. Overall soil type variations were largely ignored until recently. Vineyards are generally planted on the valley floors to facilitate mechanization, but many of the best wines come from the classic hillside vineyards, with lower yields and poorer soils.
Practices and Special Issues:
• Phylloxera: UC Davis developed a hybrid rootstock called AXR1 that was initially resistant to phylloxera, but then quickly overwhelmed by it. Growers quickly adapted it, and the rootstock was widespread in use. The benefit, however, was that planting densities increased, rootstock usage has become more specialized, and more thought was put into which vines belong where. Biotype ‘B’ is Phylloxera Cinera theorized as a mutated strain, now devastating Californian vineyards.
• Pierce’s Disease: A bacterial disease that blocks the flow of nutrients and can kill a vineyard within two years. Originally known as Anaheim Disease. Also affects almonds and oranges. Spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter. There are no resistant vinifera vines. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are particularly susceptible. Apparently, a team of Brazilian scientists seem to have mapped out the DNA of a strain of Xylella, which will apparently enable them to produce a mutation that will stimulate a vine to produce antibodies.
• UC Davis Summation System: Developed in the 1940s as an attempt to identify different climatic zones. The average number of degrees each day above 50ºF during the growth period of the vine, April 1st – October 31st. Not really an accurate indicator, considering the numerous other factors that contribute to ripening. Satellite Thermal Imaging is taking over.
o Region 1: < 2500 days; Region 2: 2500 – 3000; Region 3: 3000 – 3500; Region 4: 3500 – 4000; Region 5: Over 4000
• Other Viticulture Issues: Following the repeal of Prohibition, vines were head-trained, spur-pruned 8 feet apart. During the 1960s, there was a move towards wire training, and the use of some cane pruning. Mechanical harvesting is very common. Hand harvesting is used for most of the top quality wines. North Coast valleys run north-south, and Central Coast valleys run east-west.
• Organic: A vineyard takes three years operating at organic-certified levels before it may be labeled as such.
Varietal(s): Most planted varieties: Chardonnay, Zinfandel, French Colombard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chenin Blanc. Also Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Sangiovese, Viognier, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.
• Chardonnay: Its adaptability has led to a wide range of styles. Straight-forward, fruity, and un-oaked through rich, fat, and butterscotchy versions. Historically, these wines were made in the winery. The new approach is to start with better quality fruit and to try to let the vineyard show through.
• Zinfandel: Recent DNA testing suggests it is the sibling of the Primitivo grape. The mother vine is the Crljenak vine of Croatia. Ranges in styles from ‘adult Kool Aid’ through rich, spicy, full-bodied reds.
• Cabernet Sauvignon: Arguably the best European transplant. Best examples display a combination of rich berry fruit, herbs, and spice. Distinctive examples from the different Napa AVAs.
• Pinot Noir: Caused difficulty for winemakers for a long time. Foggy, cooler areas and less oak usage have proven successful.
• Merlot: Traditionally has not excelled in CA. There was some initial confusion in nurseries between Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Great wines were starting to be made in the 1980s and early 1990s. The crucial characteristic is not flavor as much as texture. The difference between good and ordinary wines is enormous.
• Sauvignon Blanc: SB’s distinctive flavors have shaped the Californian range of styles. Too forceful for the average American palate. Many methods are used to mitigate its characteristics: oak aging, blending with Sémillon, etc. Often too alcoholic and lacks acidity, freshness, and distinction.
• Sangiovese: Received attention at the end of the 1980s. Most have been simple and straight-forward. Vine age should help.
• Viognier: Part of the explosion of interest in Rhône varieties. Variable styles and qualities. Expensive, and often disappointing.
• Syrah: The most successful Rhône variety. Plantings have increased dramatically over the last 10 years.
• In the past, the typical UC Davis graduate approach was all about complete control of every aspect of vinification. This often led to ultra-clean, technically correct wines that were invariably boring.
• The modern approach is more about complexity and subtlety. Acidification is common, and de-acidification is rare. Definite use of oak, and experimentation with different toasting levels.
• California permits acidification, but not chaptalization
Mendocino County
Located 100 miles northwest of San Francisco. The best vineyards here are located on the fork of the Navarro and Russian rivers in the south of Mendocino. Climatic variation is extreme, with many differing microclimates The mountain ridges surrounding the Upper Russian and Navarro rivers have very high altitudes, forming the natural boundary that creates the transitional climate of Mendocino. Generally, warm winters and cool summers. Deep, diverse, alluvial soils. Mainly flat ground or gentle slopes. Because parts of Mendocino are too hot for classic wine production, there has been a tendency in the past to plant highly productive vines for jug wines.
o Alder Springs Vineyard: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Sells to Patz & Hall.
o Eaglepoint Ranch: On Red Mountain above Ukiah Valley. Head-pruned Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Grenache, and Syrah on rocky soils. Sells to numerous wineries.
• Anderson Valley AV
Mendocino County
Climate is considerably cooler here than the surrounding areas, due to coastal influence. Extreme diurnal shifts. Of the 23,300 ha authorized, only around 240 ha are planted. Mostly suitable for sparkling wine production, some aromatic varietals, and even Cabernet and Zinfandel further inland.
o One Acre: High altitude. Sells Pinot Noir to Littorai.
• Cole Ranch AVA
Mendocino County
: Situated in a small, narrow valley, this AVA consists of just 25 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Soils are gravelly-clay.
• Covelo AVA
Mendocino County

Recently approved (2006), located in northern Mendocino County about 45 miles north of Ukiah, and encompasses Round Valley, Williams Valley, and the surrounding foothills. There are currently only 2 acres of land under vine and no wineries. Continental climate. The growing season here is shorter than other Mendocino growing areas such as Anderson Valley and the Yorkville Highlands, and the region experiences greater fluctuations between daytime and nighttime temperatures relative to other Mendocino County appellations.
• Dos Rios AVA
Mendocino County
Located in northern Mendocino County. The lone winery in the AVA, Vin de Tevis, has only six acres under vine almost exclusively planted to red varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel. Despite the lack of vineyard acreage in the region, the climate and soil conditions of Dos Rios are sufficiently different from other Mendocino County growing areas. Soils here are infertile, slopes are steep and the climate is a combination of maritime and continental.
• McDowell Valley AVA
Mendocino County
Protected by the mountains encircling it. Its vineyards are restricted to the gravelly-loam soils at around 1000 feet, other soils being unsuitable for vines. Slightly cooler growing season.
• Mendocino AVA
Mendocino County
This AVA may only be used for wines produced from grapes grown in the southernmost third of the county. It encompasses four other, small AVAs plus surrounding vineyards
• Mendocino Ridge AVA
Mendocino County
Established in 1997, and is the only non-contiguous AVA anywhere in the United States. Originally part of the Anderson Valley AVA, but completely different in many regards: more sun, no fog, but still subject to the cooling that comes with a higher elevation. Consists of a patchwork of vineyards planted above the fogline at 1400 to 2400 feet (high elevation is part of the AVA requirement). Best for Zinfandel, some of which is the best in all California.
o DuPratt Vineyard: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. Sells to Steele, Greenwood Ridge, and others.
o Zeni Vineyard: Zinfandel. Sells to Edmeades.
• Potter Valley AVA
Mendocino County
Situated northwest of Clear Lake. Vines grow on the valley floor and are protected by the surrounding hills.
• Redwood Valley AVA
Mendocino County
The first area in Mendocino to be planted.
• Yorkville Highlands AVA
Mendocino County
: Geographically, but not topographically, this appears to be an extension of the Anderson Valley AVA. Rocky soils with a high gravel content and a cool climate
Central Coast – North
The Central Coast North stretches from the San Francisco Bay area to Monterey. Climate is generally warm, but with many variations. Vines are mostly planted on the flat and sloping lands of the various valleys. Winemaking dates from the 1830s.
• Monterey County
Central Coast – North

: Largest production of Central Coast. Irrigation essential. Fog blankets northern end, so grapes have difficulty ripening there.
o Monterey AVA: A very dry climate.
o Santa Lucia Highlands AVA: Produces wines of intense fruit character and acidic backbone. Chardonnay represents over half of its production, although Pinot Noir is catching up. A north-south alluvial terrace with granitic soils and is sheltered from the Pacific by the Santa Lucia Mountains. Southeastern exposure and high altitudes.
o Pisoni Vineyard: Sells Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Patz & Hall, Siduri, and Testarossa.
o Sleepy Hollow Vineyard: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Sells to Testarossa, Arcadian, and others.
o Arroyo Seco AVA: Triangular-shaped, sloping benchland, with frost-free vineyards of coarse, sandy loam. Some successful Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
o Carmel Valley AVA: Covers 30 sq. miles around the Carmel River and Cachagua Creek. A distinctive microclimate is created by the valley’s elevation and the northeastern Tularcitos Ridge, which curbs the marine fog and provides more sunny days.
o Chalone AVA: High benchland vineyards of high limestone content in the Gavilan Mountains. Noted for excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
o Chalone Vineyard: Fruit mostly used by Chalone, but also sold to David Bruce, Testarossa, and others.
o Hames Valley AVA: North of Lake Nacimiento.
o San Antonio Valley AVA: AVA status July 2006. Southern extreme of the county. Bowl-shaped valley that is significantly warmer than other regions in Monterey. Climate is closer to Paso Robles than other central Salinas Valley subregions. Gravelly loam and clay soils. Best for Rhône and Bordeaux varietals.
o San Lucas AVA: Consists of a 10-mile segment of the Salinas Valley in the southern section of Monterey County. Soils are mostly alluvial loams.
o San Bernabe AVA: Southern Monterey County. Its entire current acreage is actually one large vineyard owned by Delicato
• San Benito County
Central Coast – North
An appellation covering grapes grown anywhere within San Benito County.
o San Benito AVA: Encapsulates the following smaller AVAs.
o Paicines AVA:
o Cienega Valley AVA: Located at the base of the Gabilan Mountain Range. Soil is loamy, well-drained, and subsoil of weathered granite.
o Lime Kiln Valley AVA: Soils are sandy and gravelly loams over limestone, with a high magnesium carbonate content.
o Mount Harlan AVA: A single-winery AVA belonging to Calera. Situated on limestone outcrops.
o Pacheco Pass AVA:
• Santa Cruz County
Central Coast – North
o Ben Lomond Mountain AVA: This AVA covers 60 sq. miles, with just 70 acres.
• Santa Clara County
Central Coast – North
o San Ysidro District AVA: Covers a small enclave of vineyards at the southeastern end of the Santa Clara AVA. Noted for Chardonnay.
o Santa Clara Valley AVA:
o Santa Cruz Mountains AVA: Not really North Coast, but shouldn’t be included in Central Coast, either. Cool region directly south of San Francisco. Famous for Cabernet Sauvignon. Pinot Noir and Zinfandel have some history in the region
• San Francisco Bay AVA
Central Coast – North
This appellation encompasses more than 1.5 million acres that are, to some degree, affected by coastal fog and winds from San Francisco. It also includes the city of San Francisco. Takes in 5 counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa, and parts of two others – Santa Cruz and San Benito.
• Contra Costa County
Central Coast – North
One of the first areas to be planted in northern California. Urban sprawl has devastated vineyard plantings.
o Bridgehead Vineyard: Owned by Cline. Zinfandel and Mourvèdre. Sells to Ridge.
o Duarte Vineyard: Zinfandel. Sells to Turley.
o Pato Vineyard: Zinfandel and Mourvèdre. Sell to Neyers and Rosenblum.
• Alameda County
Central Coast – North
o Livermore Valley AVA: One of the coastal intermountain valleys surrounding San Francisco. Has a moderate climate, cooled by sea breezes and morning fog.
• San Mateo County:
Central Coast – North
Central Coast – South
Stretches southward along the coast from Monterey, and includes the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. A generally warm climate, except for some areas (especially around Santa Maria) due to the coastal fogs. A lot of hillside plantings. Mostly sandy, silty, and clay loam soils.
• San Louis Obispo County
Central Coast – South
o Arroyo Grande Valley AVA: One of the coolest AVAs in California, thanks primarily to its proximity to the ocean and the frequent fog. Vines grow at much higher altitudes than neighboring Edna Valley. Deep, well-drained soils on moderate to steep hillsides. Lots of Pinot Blanc planted. Some excellent Pinot Noir from Talley vineyards.
o Talley Vineyard: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sells to Au Bon Climat, Ojai, and Babcock.
o Edna Valley AVA: Famous for Chardonnay. Located just south of Paso Robles. Maritime influence is a major factor here. Morning fogs are quite common, Early afternoons can be very hot, but are quickly subdued by breezes from Morro Bay.
o Alban Vineyard: 53 acres of mostly Rhône varieties. Grapes sold to Thackrey, Qupé, Au Bon Climat, and Sine Qua Non.
o Paso Robles AVA: One of California’s oldest winegrowing regions. There is no penetration by coastal winds or marine fog, and the area is consequently hotter than others nearby. This is red wine country, primarily for Zinfandel and Rhône varietals.
o James Berry Vineyard: Terraced vineyards. Planted with Rhône varieties and Chardonnay.
o Dusi Ranch: 40 acres of Zinfandel. Sells to Ridge, Peachy Canyon, and Turley.
o Templeton: NOT AN AVA, although many sources wrongly claim that it is. Entirely situated within Paso Robles.
o York Mountain AVA: Small appellation just 7 miles from the sea, situated at an altitude of 1500 feet in the Santa Lucia Mountains, close to the western border of Paso Robles. Very cool area with high rainfall, making it very distinct from the surrounding appellations.
• Santa Barbara County
Central Coast – South
Two main AVAs are Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley, plus new Santa Rita Hills AVA. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Becoming one of the best areas in the world for Pinot Noir. The Santa Maria and Santa Ynez Valleys are east-west, parallel running valleys with coastal influences.
o Santa Maria Valley AVA: The Pacific winds blow along this funnel-shaped valley, cooling the area. The soil is sandy and clay loam. Top quality Pinot Noir area, as well as Chardonnay and some of California’s best Syrahs.
o Bien Nacido Vineyard: Well-known and top-quality vineyard located in the Tepesquet Bench area.
o Santa Ynez Valley AVA: Bounded by mountains to the north and south, Lake Cachuma to the east, and by a series of low hills to the west. The close proximity to the ocean moderates the weather with maritime fog. The Santa Rita Hills block penetration of the coldest sea winds, however, so the middle and eastern end of the valley isn’t necessarily the coolest of coastal climates.
o Sanford & Benedict Vineyard: Possibly Santa Barbara’s finest Pinot Noir vineyard. Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Nebbiolo, and Viognier.
o Stolpman Vineyard: Grenache and Mourvèdre.
o Santa Rita Hills AVA: Located almost entirely within the Santa Ynez Valley AVA and includes all of the latter’s coolest areas. Planted primarily with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but some Syrah and Riesling are also planted here.
• Lake County
North Coast
Smallest viticultural district in the North Coast. Warm inland district east of Mendocino.
o Clear Lake AVA: The large water mass helps to moderate the climate here. Some interesting Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. Contains 90% of all the vineyard area in Lake County.
o Guenoc Valley AVA: Lies south of McCreary Lake. Located 15 miles north of Calistoga, the Guenoc Valley extends from the upper part of Napa Valley into Lake County. Granted Viticultural Area status in 1981, Guenoc Valley is home to one winery, Guenoc Winery. Encompassing 23,000 total acres, this valley is currently planted to 385 acres of vines. Widely fluctuating warm days and cool nights during the growing season. Spring frosts have turned out to be a serious problem, so all vineyards have frost-protection systems. The leading varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, with Sauvignon Blanc a distant third.
o High Valley AVA: New appellation. Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Volcanic soils.
o Benmore Valley AVA: Surrounded by the peaks of the Mayacamas Mountains, this AVA has 125 acres of vines, but no wineries.
o Red Hills Lake County AVA: SW shores of Clear Lake. Substantial diurnal shift. Rolling hills of volcanic origin. Just north of Napa.
• Solano County Green Valley AVA
:North Coast
Solano County. Sandwiched between Napa Valley to the west and the Suisun Valley to the east. The soil is a clay loam and the climate is influenced by the cool, moist winds from the Pacific and San Francisco Bay.
• Suisun Valley AVA
North Coast
Solano County. Adjacent to Solano County Green Valley, and in close proximity to the Central Valley. Enjoys the same cool, moist winds from the Pacific and San Francisco Bay.
Central Valley
Huge fertile valley stretching 400 miles. Generally homogenous climate (the only exception being Lodi, which is cooled by sea air from the Sacramento River. The Central Valley is baking-hot, flat, and dry. Accounts for ¾ of all California wine, and ½ of that figure is produced by Gallo. It is possible to make good wines, but this region’s various appellations are almost irrelevant, as most of the companies producing wines from this area use the generic California appellation for very everyday wines.
• Madera AVA
Central Valley
Located in the Madera and Fresno Counties. Grows both wine and table grapes.
• Lodi AVA
Central Valley
Located in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. Inland area that comprises alluvial fan, plains that are prone to flooding, and terrace lands. Good source for relatively inexpensive varietal wines.
o Alta Mesa AVA: Sacramento County. Located in north-central Lodi. Distinguished by its mesa-like elevation. Heavy clay and gravel soils. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cab Franc, and Merlot.
o Borden Ranch AVA: Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. Located in central Lodi. The most topographically diverse of the Lodi subappellations. Mostly jug wine production.
o Clement Hills AVA: San Joaquin County. Located in Southeastern Lodi. Second largest appellation in Lodi. Generally warmer and wetter. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Tempranillo.
o Consumnes River AVA: Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. Located in the northwestern corner of Lodi. Cooler climate than other Lodi appellations due to persistent maritime and inland fog. White wines dominate.
o Sloughhouse AVA: Sacramento County. Located in the NE corner of Lodi. Warmest of the Lodi appellations with upland elevations of 590 feet. Situated on the western foothills of the Sierra Range, it receives the least moderation from cooling Pacific Ocean winds, resulting in less fog but higher annual precipitation. Grape varieties include Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Zinfandel.
o Jahant AVA: Sacramento County, in central Lodi. The smallest of the Lodi appellations. Unique pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils. Climate is cool and dry due to proximity to the Mokelumne River, Sacramento Delta, and relatively low elevations.
o Mokelumne River AVA: San Joaquin County. Located in central Lodi, south of the Jahant AVA. Contains Lodi’s most vigorous soils. Low elevation. The first area to be planted in Lodi, and home to Lodi’s major wine-producing facilities.
• Yolo County
Central Valley
o Capay Valley AVA: Located 80 miles northeast of San Francisco, just east of Napa over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grapes grown include Tempranillo, Syrah, and Viognier.
o Dunnigan Hills AVA: Located northwest of Sacramento. Most of the vineyards belong to R.H. Phillips.
o Merritt Island AVA: An island bordered on the west and north by Elk Slough, by Sutter Slough on the south, and the Sacramento River on the east.
• Sacramento County
Central Valley
o Clarksburg AVA: Across Sacramento, Solano, and Yolo Counties. A large area south of Sacramento, encompassing the Merritt Island AVA. Cooled by the breezes that roll in off Suisan Bay.
• San Joaquin County:
Central Valley
o River Junction AVA: An area where cool maritime air collects, causing the river junction to be significantly cooler than other Central Valley areas. Entirely owned by McManis Family Vineyards, and planted almost entirely to Chardonnay.
• Stanislaus County:
Central Valley
o Salado Creek AVA: Western Stanislaus County. Located in northern San Joaquin Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Viognier.
o Diablo Grande AVA: Owned entirely by Diablo Grande Resort. Only 36 of the allowed 30,000 acres are actually planted
what are the 3 Mega-Appellations of cali
• Central Coast AVA: Central Coast was the second mega coastal appellation in California to be approved by the BATF. The massive AVA encompasses vineyards from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and all that lay between. The appellation was granted based on the shared cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean, and includes numerous smaller AVAs within its boundaries.

• North Coast AVA: This all encompassing appellation takes in all the counties north of San Francisco: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Despite its gargantuan size of over three million acres, the North Coast AVA is generally influenced by a couple of key ecological factors, with the most significant climatic feature being the cool coastal air and fog from the Pacific Ocean.

• South Coast AVA: Includes all of Orange County and western portions of Riverside and San Diego counties, where coastal influences moderate the warmth of the southern California sun. There are more than 3,000 acres under vine in the appellation, much within the borders of the appellation’s sub-regions, the Temecula, Ramona Valley, and San Pasqual Valley AVAs. Traditionally, Chardonnay dominated the acreage, but the area’s recent battle with Pierce’s disease has forced local wineries and vineyards to focus on more pest-resistant varietals. This is fostering an exciting new age of hardy Rhone, Italian and Iberian grape production.
Ontario
Climate: Northern Continental climate. The Niagara Peninsula is located between 41ºN and 44ºN. The lake affects the growing conditions in both summer and winter. Consistent winter freeze for producing ice wine. The wind off of the lake provides air circulation and limits static frost and moisture.
Soil Type(s): Glacial till and clay loam found throughout the peninsula from ancient Lake Iroquois. Sandy loam near Ontario shore. Lockport dolomite on top of escarpment, and the higher pH equals higher acidity in grapes.
Practices and Special Issues: Spring frost is a risk. Fall rain can be a challenge. Humidity brings mildew and rot. Bud damage is common for less hardy varieties, e.g. Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. Canopy management, wind machines, drip and overhead fan irrigation, and dry farming are all important. Mix of training systems: VSP prevalent. Double Guyot.
Varietal(s): Both vitis vinifera and hybrids are planted. Winter hardiness is important.
• White: Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Vidal (a hybrid: Ugni Blanc x Seibel 4986, aka Rayon d’Or).
• Red: Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Baco Noir, Marechal Foch.
• Modern technology: Temperature-controlled inox tanks, bladder and basket presses, micro-oxidation, reverse osmosis, modern filtration.
• American, French, Hungarian, and Canadian oak with a range of coopers.
• De-acidification necessary for certain varieties in some vintages.
• Burgundian techniques for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Vintner’s Quality Alliance
• Provincial and Geographical designations.
• Minimum sugar levels and independent lab analysis and tasting panel.
• 100% Ontario grapes, 85% grown in named vintage, 85% grown in named DVA - 100% vitis vinifera except for Vidal icewine.
• Estate bottled = 100% estate grown and produced wines; Single vineyard = 100% fruit from named vineyard.
• VQA does not allow acidification or amelioration (the addition of water and/or sugar to adjust acid levels).
Niagara Peninsula
Ontario
Niagara Peninsula (43ºN to 44ºN) is responsible for 85% of all Ontario wine. Wines are typically referred to as being from ‘The Bench’ or ‘Niagara on the Lake’.
Lake Erie North Shore
Ontario
At 42ºN, same as Bordeaux
Pelee Island
Ontario
200 ha at 41ºN, same as Rome. Canada’s most southerly wine area.
Prince Edward County
Ontario
Emerging area
North Shore of Lake Ontario
Ontario
Very cool with unique limestone soils.
British Columbia
Climate: See individual appellation notes.
Soil Type(s): See individual appellation notes.
Practices and Special Issues: Recent change towards hiring of full-time viticulturalists. Lots of VSP (Vertical Shoot Position). Some Scott Henry on the vigorous sites. Some mechanical harvesting on the larger sites. Labor shortage is an issue. Spraying for Powdery Mildew is common. Irrigation is very common.
Varietal(s):
• White: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Ehrenfelser.
• Red: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Marechal Foch.
• Modern technology: Temperature-controlled inox tanks, bladder and basket presses, micro-oxidation, reverse osmosis, modern filtration.
• American, French, Hungarian, and Canadian oak with a range of coopers.
• De-acidification necessary for certain varieties in some vintages.
• Burgundian techniques for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Similkameen Valley
British Columbia
West of the Okanagan Valley. High desert cattle country. Just over 80 hectares (200 acres) of vineyards. Very hot, dry summers. Long hours of sunshine and low humidity. Strong winds are a bit of a problem. Varied soils – similar to the Okanagan.
Fraser Valley
British Columbia
Located east of Vancouver . Expansive and fertile agricultural region. There are approximately 28 hectares (70 acres) under vine. Warm, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. Mostly white varieties.
Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
British Columbia
Most of the 150 acres (60 hectares) are planted on Vancouver Island near the town of Duncan. Similar climate to the Fraser Valley. Mostly white varieties.
Okanagan Valley
British Columbia
• This is the largest and oldest region in Canada. Over 90% of vine area is here. 100-mile (160-km) long valley is planted with approximately 5,500 acres of premium grape varieties.
• The south end of the valley has less than six inches of rainfall a year, making it the only classified desert area in Canada. The north end of the valley has less than sixteen inches.
• Classic red vinifera grapes are widely planted in the south end, and French and Germanic white grape varieties planted in the north. Merlot accounts for 2/3 of all red grapes grown, and Chardonnay ¼ of all white grapes grown.
• In general, the eastern side of the valley is mostly sand. Very deep sand in the south, between 80 and 300 feet – depending on who you speak to. More gravel, clay and glacial deposits on the western side.
Napa
Napa starts just north of San Francisco Bay, and runs north/northwest to the foothills of Mount St. Helena. Flanked by Sonoma Valley to the west and Lake Berryessa to the east.
Climate: The region ranges from cool (near the Bay, in the Carneros district) to warm (in the northern section and Pope Valley). The northern section is considerably warmer than the southern. Mountain vineyard exposures can vary greatly, especially whether or not they are above the fogline.
Soil Type(s): Soils are fertile clay and silt loams in the south of the region, and gravel loams of better drainage and lower fertility in the north. Geologically, Napa Valley is an uplifted seabed. Volcanic ash and fluctuating sea levels have led to repeated layerings of sedimentary material over millions of years. There are at least ten alluvial fans. The most celebrated is the Rutherford Bench. Mountain soils are thin and infertile, and valley soils are rich, thick, and alluvial.
Practices and Special Issues: Vines are mostly planted on the valley floors, with some cultivated on slopes. Western slopes favor white varieties (wooded areas provide afternoon shade) and eastern slopes favor reds.
Varietal(s): The most widely planted varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon (10,600), Chardonnay (9,300), Merlot (5,900), Pinot Noir (2,400), and Sauvignon Blanc (1,900). Napa County is the leader in number of wineries and in planted acreage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot; it ranks fourth in Chardonnay and second in Pinot Noir acreage.
Industry Notes: Within the county, there are about 200 wineries (the most of any county in the U.S.) and some 36,100 acres of vine.
Napa County
For all intents and purposes, ‘Napa County’ means ‘Napa Valley’ when speaking of grape-growing and winemaking. Virtually every vine in the county is, in fact, included within the recognized Napa Valley AVA. Some wineries choose to use the Napa County appellation on their labels for a variety of reasons, including philosophical opposition to the use of a "valley" designation for mountain-grown grapes.
• Napa Valley AVA
Napa County
: For all intents and purposes, the Napa County name means Napa Valley when one speaks of grape-growing and winemaking. Virtually every vine standing in the county is, in fact, included within the recognized Napa Valley AVA. Only a small portion of the county, in the upper northeast quadrant, miles removed from the valley itself in distance, climate, and soil type, is not included in this appellation.
o Dickerson Vineyard: Located between St. Helena and Rutherford. Supplies Zinfandel to Ravenswood.
o Moore (Earthquake) Vineyard: Eastern hills of Napa. Zinfandel to Turley
• Guenoc Valley AVA
Napa County
: Located 15 miles north of Calistoga, the Guenoc Valley extends from the upper part of Napa Valley into Lake County. Granted Viticultural Area status in 1981, Guenoc Valley is home to one winery, Guenoc Winery. Encompassing 23,000 total acres, this valley is currently planted to 385 acres of vines. Widely fluctuating warm days and cool nights during the growing season. Spring frosts have turned out to be a serious problem, so all vineyards have frost-protection systems. The leading varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, with Sauvignon Blanc a distant third.
• Howell Mountain AVA
Napa County
On the opposite side of the valley from Diamond Mountain, in the hills northeast of St. Helena, found amidst a rolling hillside of vineyards, forest, and brush, at elevations between 1,600 and 2,200 feet. Soils are volcanic in origin and have a rusty, terra-cotta appearance. The location and moderately warm temperatures make it a hospitable place for grapes like Zinfandel and Rhône varieties; however, it is Cabernet Sauvignon, grown here by Dunn Vineyards and La Jota that has given a special standing to the few hundred acres of vines on Howell Mountain. Long growing season. The area has a long and successful history dating back to the late 1800s. Also some Chardonnay.
o Bancroft Vineyard: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. Sells Merlot to Beringer.
o Beatty Ranch: Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The oldest Zinfandel on Howell Mountain.
o Black-Sears Vineyard: Zinfandel. Highest vineyard on Howell Mountain.
• Calistoga
Napa County
NOT AN AVA. The northernmost community in the Napa Valley has become its most densely packed tourist center. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and vineyards on all four, Calistoga provides a warmer climate for grape growing than its down-valley neighbors; its best-known products are fat, rich Cabernets. Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel also grow well in the Calistoga area. The area has high daytime temperatures often moderated by cooling winds that blow in at night through the narrow, twisting gap that connects the upper Napa Valley to Knights Valley. Soils are rocky or gravelly, deep and well-drained.
o Eisele Vineyard: Purchased by Araujo in 1990. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. Formerly a single vineyard of Joseph Phelps (1975-1991).
o Three Palms Vineyard: Supplies Bordeaux varieties (primarily Merlot) to Duckhorn and Sterling.
• Spring Mountain District AVA
Napa County
A distinctly identifiable watershed lying west of St. Helena, this AVA forms part of the Mayacamas Mountain Range, the boundary between the Napa and Sonoma valleys. South of Diamond Mountain. This stretch of hillside has a long history of grape growing dating back to the 19th century. Soils and exposures vary considerably, with most vineyards favoring later-maturing red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. In some vineyards, however, it is the early-ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which have earned the better reputations.
o York Creek Vineyard: Has been providing grapes to the Ridge winery (among others) for almost two decades, has earned a reputation for Cabernets, Zinfandels, and Petite Sirahs.
• St. Helena AVA
Napa County
The vineyards surrounding St. Helena range in climate from Region II just west of town to warmer Region III conditions elsewhere. The low-lying, creekside soils often produce above-average to superb Chardonnays, while the hillside slopes along the western edge of the valley floor are earning a reputation for Cabernet. An extension of the Rutherford Bench in soil type and exposure. Across the valley, the eastern hillsides get the hot late-afternoon sun and are home to Zinfandel and Syrah.
o Hayne Vineyard: Sells Zinfandel and Petite Sirah to Turley.
o Madrona Ranch: Bordeaux varieties. Owned by David Abreu. Sells to Etude, Selene, and Pahlmeyer.
• Rutherford AVA
Napa County
As a political subdivision and AVA, it is a swath cut across the Napa Valley from side to side rather than one identifiable and cohesive source of grapes. But Rutherford has lent its name to the western benchland that encompasses areas both north and south of the town and grows amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. For years, insiders have referred to the special character of wines from the area as "Rutherford Dust”. In some wines – especially those grown on the Rutherford Bench – this added seasoning can head in the direction of tea leaves, mint, and allspice. Rutherford contains 3,500 acres of primarily red Bordeaux varietals. Important plantings include: Cabernet Sauvignon (2,000), Merlot (600), and Cabernet Franc (100). The 300 acres of Chardonnay and 200 acres of Sauvignon Blanc are often planted in cooler or lower-lying areas. The home of Inglenook and Beaulieu.
o Bella Oaks: Legendary Cab from Heitz Cellars. No wines in 1991 or 1992 (replanting after eutypiose).
o Sycamore Vineyard: Cab from Freemark Abbey.
o Bosché Vineyard: Cab from Freemark Abbey.
• Oakville AVA
Napa County
Situated in the southern half of the Napa Valley, midway between Yountville and Rutherford, this is some of the Napa Valley’s best Cabernet-growing turf. A substantial portion of the Robert Mondavi and Beaulieu Vineyard vines are in Oakville, along the western edge of the valley floor right in the middle of the famous Rutherford Bench. The Oakville AVA cuts across the valley following political rather than grape growing lines. Great Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, and even Sauvignon Blanc.
o Martha’s Vineyard: Legendary Cab from Heitz Cellars. No wines from 1993-95 due to replanting.
o To-Kalon Vineyard: Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Planted in 1866.
o Backus Vineyard: Outstanding Cabernet from Joseph Phelps.
o Fortuna Vineyard: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Behrens & Hitchcock).
o Oakville Ranch: Supplies Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to Lewis
• Yountville AVA
Napa County
To the south, in relatively cool growing conditions, are Chardonnay vineyards. To the west, in the midst of what might be considered prime Cabernet country, sits the home of Domaine Chandon, while the eastern side of the valley contains the Stags Leap area, renowned for its rich, generally elegant Cabernet and Merlot. This AVA has one of Napa’s coolest vineyard exposures, which is why some people rate its Cabernet Sauvignon above those of its neighbors.
o Napanook: Cabernet Sauvignon. The core of Dominus.
• Stags Leap District AVA
Napa County
About a mile east of Yountville. Known primarily for its rich, supple, balanced, and usually expensive Cabernet Sauvignon, this viticultural pocket has distinctly red soil and gets its name from a prominent knoll of red rocks that marks its eastern boundary. In recent history, the name has been applied to the limited area of land near the eastern hills thought to be influenced by reflected sunlight and warmth from the rocks. Also Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Meritage wines.
o Fay Vineyard: Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.
• Oak Knoll District AVA
Napa County
: Located toward the southern end of the Napa Valley (immediately north of Carneros, west of Stags Leap, and south of Yountville) at a relatively low elevation on the valley floor, making it susceptible to the moderating, cooling influence of San Pablo Bay. Supporting wineries have coined this AVA (est. 2004) a “sweet spot” – not too warm, not too cool, making for great sugar/acid balance and a source of great Chardonnay, and even red Bordeaux varietals.
• Mount Veeder AVA
Napa County
Southwest side of Napa, west of Yountville, near the southern extremity of the Mayacamas Mountains, Mount Veeder rises some 2,500 feet above the Napa Valley floor. The AVA encompasses a territory ranging from 400 feet to 2,400. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay account, in equal measure, for 80% of current plantings. Also Zinfandel and Merlot. Cool sea breezes from San Pablo Bay temper the climate. Relatively high rainfall, but lies above the fog line.
• Tulocay
Napa County
: NOT AN AVA (yet). Likely to be the next Napa AVA in a year or so. A horseshoe-shaped valley east of the city of Napa, just north of Carneros. Subject to cooling breezes from San Pablo Bay, but the morning fog burns off much sooner here in the afternoon. Soils are well-drained, stony loams.
o Little Creek Vineyard: Cabernet Franc for Soter. Also Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
o Caldwell Vineyard: Actually in Coombsville. Bordeaux varietals, plus Chardonnay and Syrah. Big supplier to Pahlmeyer and Dunn.
• Los Carneros AVA
Napa County
Covers an area of low, rolling hills that straddle the counties of Napa and Sonoma. Cool sea breezes that come off San Pablo Bay provide an excellent fine-wine growing climate, especially for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, in both still and sparkling versions. 55% of the appellation lies within Sonoma. The clay soils are also well-suited to Merlot.
o Las Amigas Vineyard: Owned by Beckstoffer. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.
o Beckstoffer Vineyard: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
o Durrell Vineyard: Clay and clay loam soils. Almost all Chardonnay, with some Syrah and Zinfandel. Sells to Patz & Hall.
o Hudson Vineyard: Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Sells to Saintsbury, Duxoup, Kongsgaard, Marcassin, Kistler, and Jade Mountain.
o Stanly Ranch: Sells Pinot Noir to Beringer and Saintsbury.
o Truchard Vineyard: The most northerly vineyard in Carneros. 169 acres of Merlot, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Sells to Havens and Cornerstone.
o Winery Lake: Mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with some Merlot.
• Diamond Mountain District AVA
Napa County
: Part of the Mayacamas Range, in the northeastern corner of Napa Valley. Porous volcanic soils and extended sun exposure are the key to legendary Cabernet Sauvignon. Also Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel. Yields are low and quality very high.
o Diamond Mountain Ranch: 120-acre vineyard now owned by Sterling, and the highly-regarded Diamond Creek estate which produces long-lived Cabernets.
• Pope Valley
Napa County
: NOT AN AVA. Nestled in the hills east of Calistoga, this hot and dry depression hosts a few hundred acres of vines that suffer a shorter, hotter growing season than the main valley but are, for financial and historical reasons, still entitled to use the prestigious Napa Valley AVA. Wines from this subsection have generally proven to be rustic, but St. Supéry Vineyards, using grapes from the Dollarhide Ranch in Pope Valley, has produced decent wine
• Chiles Valley AVA
Napa County
: Located in the Vaca Mountains overlapping the northeast edge of the Napa Valley and at a higher altitude, this small valley has been allowed to call its grapes Napa Valley because of historical precedent. However, the growing season is shorter, hotter, and less hospitable than the real valley. Very few wines of significance are grown here aside from the occasional Zinfandel from Green and Red. Also Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
• Atlas Peak AVA
Napa County
11,400 acres on and around Atlas Peak Mountain, where more than ¼ of California’s Sangiovese is planted. Located east of Stags Leap District. Rainfall is low, making this an arid region. Elevation is high, also making it a relatively cool region as well.
o Waters Ranch: Owned by Pahlmeyer. All Bordeaux varietals (red and white).
• Wild Horse Valley AVA
Napa County
Technically attached to Napa, Wild Horse Valley actually straddles the county line, occupying more of Solano than Napa. The most obscure Napa AVA, with only 100 acres under vine. Lies east of Carneros.
Oregon
Climate: Presence of the Pacific Ocean moderates frosts, but can induce fog and potential rain, leading wine-growers to choose microclimates within the broader region. While most of the shared AVAs of Washington/Oregon are planted in the rain shadow and semi-desert of the Cascade Mountains, the majority of the Oregon wine-growing regions wholly within the state experience milder winters and cooler/wetter summers due to the Pacific Ocean marine flow
Soil Type(s): Red Hills of Dundee (Jory Loam) and WillaKenzie (Sedimentary). See individual appellation notes.
Practices and Special Issues:
• Rainshadow Effect: From the Cascade Mountain Range.
• Humidity: Can be an issue. Trellising is a bit higher.
• Phylloxera: Was discovered in the area in 1990. Much of the area is still planted on its own rootstock.
Varietal(s): Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Burgundian approach, with boutique hand-crafted methods and indigenous yeasts, older oak, etc.
Labeling laws are strict. Varietal must be 90% (except for Cab – 75%), and geographic location must be 100%. Wine growing region extends from the western coastal range to the Cascade Mountains, from Portland to the north intermittently to the border of California. The concentration of quantity and worldwide recognition focused on the Willamette Valley. There are also northern regions shared with Washington. There are currently 15 recognized AVAs in Oregon.
Willamette Valley
Oregon
• AVA status in 1984. A cool growing season with plenty of rain. Challenges include: uneven ripening, variable harvest (can start anywhere from September through November depending on the vintage), and the questionable ‘rain shadow’. Cool air from the Pacific is brought in by the Van Duzer Corridor (Lincoln City to Salem) and two others, running from Newport to Corvalis, and Florence to Eugene. Summer temperatures can rise into the 90/100s on occasion. Warm summer days and extended growing seasons are moderated by cool night temperature, ensuring acidity retention in wines. Winters are mild (temperatures go below freezing only in December and January). Annual rainfall in the Willamette Valley is 40-45”, with greater rainfall to the west.
• Small family owned and operated wineries. Cooperatives and custom crush facilities (Carlton Winemakers’ Studio, Northwest Wine Company with Laurent Montalieu, Dean Fisher of ADEA).
• Cool climate varietals: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Blanc.
• Varied soils. The hillsides have silty clay loams and variety of sedimentary and volcanic soils. Planting takes place mainly on hillsides.
• The Willamette is often subdivided into North and South. The north has 4700 acres of volcanic slopes and well-drained soil. Pockets of rust-red iron dioxide in the soil, known as the Red Hills of Dundee, add their own unique flavor. The South has 950 acres of clay-like and loamy soil, with slightly warmer temperatures than the North.
• Contains six AVAs:
o Chehalem Mountains: AVA status 12/27/2006
o Eola-Amity Hills: AVA status 6/17/2006
o Ribbon Ridge (contained within the Chehalem Mountains AVA): AVA status 7/1/2005
o Yamhill-Carlton District: AVA status 2/7/2005
o McMinnville: AVA status 3/21/2005
o Dundee Hills: AVA status 1/31/2005
Southern Oregon
Oregon
• AVA status 11/14/2005.
• This AVA was established to allow the two principal winegrowing regions in the southern part of the state to jointly market themselves; this creation of a "super-AVA" is a departure from the trend in the Willamette Valley AVA of establishing smaller AVAs specific to a particular locale's climate or soil conditions.
• Encompasses the Applegate Valley, Umpqua Valley, and Rogue Valley AVAs as well as a connecting corridor of land between the latter two regions.
• Known as a source of quality wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Iberian varietals increasingly present
Umpqua Valley
Oregon
• AVA status 4/30/1984.
• Grape growing in the Umpqua Valley dates back to 1880, distinguishing this area as one of Oregon's oldest wine producing regions. Hillcrest Vineyards in Roseburg, established in 1959, was Oregon's first commercial winery post-Prohibition. Richard Sommer, owner of Hillcrest, is considered one of the founders of Oregon's wine industry.
• Region consists of small mountain hillsides and valleys south of the Willamette Valley, around Roseburg. Not a simple open basin, but a series of valleys and undulating hills. The world-famous Umpqua River is the largest and most notable of the many waterways in the region, particularly known for its fly fishing on the North Umpqua River.
• The conditions of the area are likened to that of the Russian River Valley in California: cool enough to produce high-quality Burgundian wines from varieties like Pinot noir and Chardonnay, yet warm enough to grow Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Rieslings and Gewürztraminers in a climate similar to Alsace, also some Tempranillo.
• Clay loam with soil depths varying between 15 and 20 feet. The base under the soil is gravel from the remains of the old riverbed. Normal summertime water level is at a depth of about 13 feet
Red Hills Douglas County
Oregon
• AVA status 11/14/2005.
• Sub AVA of Umpqua Valley.
• 5,500 acres and is a single vineyard AVA, one of just a few in the country. Located near Yoncalla.
• Originally petitioned as the Red Hill AVA, the proposed appellation brought protest from Willamette Valley vintners, where a region known as Red Hills is also located; the name Red Hill Douglas County was instead chosen to avoid consumer confusion.
Rogue Valley
Oregon
• AVA status 1/22/1991.
• Climate: Mountains temper rainfall, which is generally under 20”. Weather is measured by four distinct seasons. Growing season approx 170 days and book-ended by April and October.
• The main tributaries are Bear Creek and the Rogue River. To the east of the Rogue Valley are the Cascade Mountains. To the west and north is the Coastal Range. To the south are the Siskiyou Mountains.
• Soils are granite, sand and alluvial clay.
• Varieties: Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and some Pinot in Illinois Valley.
• The last year has seen a trend to planting Syrah. A lot of hype about the Del Rio vineyard. Rob Wallace planted his Syrah grapes in 1999, and has sold his fruit to many of the top winemakers in Oregon. The vineyard site itself is the lowest in the valley, thereby profiting from a longer growing season.
Applegate Valley
Oregon
• AVA status 2/12/2001.
• Located within the Rogue Valley.
• South of Grants Pass and east of Bear Creek Valley. Climate: Moderate mix. Drier and warmer than the Illinois, but cooler than Bear Creek. Further inland and sheltered from Pacific marine air. Varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and Zinfandel
Illinois Valley
Oregon
NOT AN AVA)
No AVA status as of 2/2007.The westernmost and coolest valley, suited to growing cooler climate varieties: Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Early Muscat, Gamay Noir.
Bear Creek Valley
Oregon
No AVA status as of 2/2007.The warmest area within the appellation. Widely planted to pears. Highly suited to warmer climate grape varieties. Plantings include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Syrah.
Oregon Shared AVAs with Washington
• Columbia Valley: AVA status 12/13/1984
• Walla Walla Valley: AVA status 3/7/1984
• Columbia Gorge: AVA status 7/9/2004
Oregon Shared AVAs with Idaho
• Snake River Valley: AVA status 4/9/2007
Several levels to the basic u.s. appellation system.
• American or United States: Classifies blended and varietal wines from anywhere in the U.S. Like a French Vin de Pays. Not permitted to carry a vintage. 100% from within U.S., District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
• Multi-State Appellation: Classifies wines from any two or three contiguous states. The percentage of wine from each state must be clearly indicated.
• State Appellation: Classifies wine from one state. Min. 75% of the grapes must come from that state (except for California: 100% and Texas: 85%). The remaining grapes must come from a contiguous state.
• Multi-County Appellation: Classifies wines from any 2 or 3 contiguous counties. The percentage from each must be clearly indicated.
• County Appellation: Classifies wines from any county within the state. The 75% grape origin rule applies (Napa County 85%).
Approved (or American) Viticultural Area
Set up in 1978 by the BATF. Now called the TTB. Theoretically defined by geographic and climatic boundaries. No limitations on yields, grape varieties, etc. The approval for an AVA is actually rather simple, and very few applications are likely to be rejected. The very first United States AVA was Augusta (Missouri), in 1980. The second was Napa, in 1981. As of late 2006, there are approximately 180 AVAs.
• 85% for origin of grapes.
• Grape variety: 75% for County-designate wines (85% for Napa), 85% for AVA-designate wines, and 95% for single vineyard.
• 95% for vintage.
• Estate Bottled: 100% of the grapes have come from a single AVA and from an estate’s own vineyards (or vineyards owned or controlled by the estate). The winery and the vineyard must also be in the same AVA.
• Texas
5th largest wine-producing state. Three main regions: North Central, South Eastern, and South Central. Pierce’s Disease is the biggest problem. The Texas High Plains is the most consistent AVA. High elevation, with hot days and cool nights. Good Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. AVAs: Bell Mountain AVA; Escondido Valley AVA; Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA; Texas Davis Mountains AVA; Texas High Plains AVA; Texas Hill Country; Texoma AVA; Mesilla Valley AVA (New Mexico, Texas).
• New York
80% of grape acreage is lambrusca. The rest is equally divided between vinifera and hybrid vines. After Prohibition, production was dominated by larger wineries in the Finger Lakes region. Dr. Konstantin Frank proved in the 1960s that Chardonnay and Riesling thrive here if grafted onto the correct rootstock.
o Finger Lakes AVA: Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.
o Lake Erie AVA: Most of the grapes are for grape juice and table grapes. Shared between New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
o Cayuga Lake AVA:
o Seneca Lake AVA:
o Niagara Escarpment AVA:
o Hudson River Region AVA: Seyval Blanc does well here.
o Long Island AVA: Cabernet Franc and Merlot on the North Folk.
• North Fork of Long Island AVA:
• The Hamptons, Long Island AVA:
Oregon
Climate: Presence of the Pacific Ocean moderates frosts, but can induce fog and potential rain, leading wine-growers to choose microclimates within the broader region. While most of the shared AVAs of Washington/Oregon are planted in the rain shadow and semi-desert of the Cascade Mountains, the majority of the Oregon wine-growing regions wholly within the state experience milder winters and cooler/wetter summers due to the Pacific Ocean marine flow
Soil Type(s): Red Hills of Dundee (Jory Loam) and WillaKenzie (Sedimentary). See individual appellation notes.
Practices and Special Issues:
• Rainshadow Effect: From the Cascade Mountain Range.
• Humidity: Can be an issue. Trellising is a bit higher.
• Phylloxera: Was discovered in the area in 1990. Much of the area is still planted on its own rootstock.
Varietal(s): Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Burgundian approach, with boutique hand-crafted methods and indigenous yeasts, older oak, etc.
Labeling laws are strict. Varietal must be 90% (except for Cab – 75%), and geographic location must be 100%. Wine growing region extends from the western coastal range to the Cascade Mountains, from Portland to the north intermittently to the border of California. The concentration of quantity and worldwide recognition focused on the Willamette Valley. There are also northern regions shared with Washington. There are currently 15 recognized AVAs in Oregon.
Willamette Valley
Oregon
• AVA status in 1984. A cool growing season with plenty of rain. Challenges include: uneven ripening, variable harvest (can start anywhere from September through November depending on the vintage), and the questionable ‘rain shadow’. Cool air from the Pacific is brought in by the Van Duzer Corridor (Lincoln City to Salem) and two others, running from Newport to Corvalis, and Florence to Eugene. Summer temperatures can rise into the 90/100s on occasion. Warm summer days and extended growing seasons are moderated by cool night temperature, ensuring acidity retention in wines. Winters are mild (temperatures go below freezing only in December and January). Annual rainfall in the Willamette Valley is 40-45”, with greater rainfall to the west.
• Small family owned and operated wineries. Cooperatives and custom crush facilities (Carlton Winemakers’ Studio, Northwest Wine Company with Laurent Montalieu, Dean Fisher of ADEA).
• Cool climate varietals: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Blanc.
• Varied soils. The hillsides have silty clay loams and variety of sedimentary and volcanic soils. Planting takes place mainly on hillsides.
• The Willamette is often subdivided into North and South. The north has 4700 acres of volcanic slopes and well-drained soil. Pockets of rust-red iron dioxide in the soil, known as the Red Hills of Dundee, add their own unique flavor. The South has 950 acres of clay-like and loamy soil, with slightly warmer temperatures than the North.
• Contains six AVAs:
o Chehalem Mountains: AVA status 12/27/2006
o Eola-Amity Hills: AVA status 6/17/2006
o Ribbon Ridge (contained within the Chehalem Mountains AVA): AVA status 7/1/2005
o Yamhill-Carlton District: AVA status 2/7/2005
o McMinnville: AVA status 3/21/2005
o Dundee Hills: AVA status 1/31/2005
Southern Oregon
Oregon
• AVA status 11/14/2005.
• This AVA was established to allow the two principal winegrowing regions in the southern part of the state to jointly market themselves; this creation of a "super-AVA" is a departure from the trend in the Willamette Valley AVA of establishing smaller AVAs specific to a particular locale's climate or soil conditions.
• Encompasses the Applegate Valley, Umpqua Valley, and Rogue Valley AVAs as well as a connecting corridor of land between the latter two regions.
• Known as a source of quality wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Iberian varietals increasingly present
Umpqua Valley
Oregon
• AVA status 4/30/1984.
• Grape growing in the Umpqua Valley dates back to 1880, distinguishing this area as one of Oregon's oldest wine producing regions. Hillcrest Vineyards in Roseburg, established in 1959, was Oregon's first commercial winery post-Prohibition. Richard Sommer, owner of Hillcrest, is considered one of the founders of Oregon's wine industry.
• Region consists of small mountain hillsides and valleys south of the Willamette Valley, around Roseburg. Not a simple open basin, but a series of valleys and undulating hills. The world-famous Umpqua River is the largest and most notable of the many waterways in the region, particularly known for its fly fishing on the North Umpqua River.
• The conditions of the area are likened to that of the Russian River Valley in California: cool enough to produce high-quality Burgundian wines from varieties like Pinot noir and Chardonnay, yet warm enough to grow Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Rieslings and Gewürztraminers in a climate similar to Alsace, also some Tempranillo.
• Clay loam with soil depths varying between 15 and 20 feet. The base under the soil is gravel from the remains of the old riverbed. Normal summertime water level is at a depth of about 13 feet
Red Hills Douglas County
Oregon
• AVA status 11/14/2005.
• Sub AVA of Umpqua Valley.
• 5,500 acres and is a single vineyard AVA, one of just a few in the country. Located near Yoncalla.
• Originally petitioned as the Red Hill AVA, the proposed appellation brought protest from Willamette Valley vintners, where a region known as Red Hills is also located; the name Red Hill Douglas County was instead chosen to avoid consumer confusion.
Rogue Valley
Oregon
• AVA status 1/22/1991.
• Climate: Mountains temper rainfall, which is generally under 20”. Weather is measured by four distinct seasons. Growing season approx 170 days and book-ended by April and October.
• The main tributaries are Bear Creek and the Rogue River. To the east of the Rogue Valley are the Cascade Mountains. To the west and north is the Coastal Range. To the south are the Siskiyou Mountains.
• Soils are granite, sand and alluvial clay.
• Varieties: Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and some Pinot in Illinois Valley.
• The last year has seen a trend to planting Syrah. A lot of hype about the Del Rio vineyard. Rob Wallace planted his Syrah grapes in 1999, and has sold his fruit to many of the top winemakers in Oregon. The vineyard site itself is the lowest in the valley, thereby profiting from a longer growing season.
Applegate Valley
Oregon
• AVA status 2/12/2001.
• Located within the Rogue Valley.
• South of Grants Pass and east of Bear Creek Valley. Climate: Moderate mix. Drier and warmer than the Illinois, but cooler than Bear Creek. Further inland and sheltered from Pacific marine air. Varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and Zinfandel
Illinois Valley
Oregon
NOT AN AVA)
No AVA status as of 2/2007.The westernmost and coolest valley, suited to growing cooler climate varieties: Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Early Muscat, Gamay Noir.
Bear Creek Valley
Oregon
No AVA status as of 2/2007.The warmest area within the appellation. Widely planted to pears. Highly suited to warmer climate grape varieties. Plantings include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Syrah.
Oregon Shared AVAs with Washington
• Columbia Valley: AVA status 12/13/1984
• Walla Walla Valley: AVA status 3/7/1984
• Columbia Gorge: AVA status 7/9/2004
Oregon Shared AVAs with Idaho
• Snake River Valley: AVA status 4/9/2007
Several levels to the basic u.s. appellation system.
• American or United States: Classifies blended and varietal wines from anywhere in the U.S. Like a French Vin de Pays. Not permitted to carry a vintage. 100% from within U.S., District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
• Multi-State Appellation: Classifies wines from any two or three contiguous states. The percentage of wine from each state must be clearly indicated.
• State Appellation: Classifies wine from one state. Min. 75% of the grapes must come from that state (except for California: 100% and Texas: 85%). The remaining grapes must come from a contiguous state.
• Multi-County Appellation: Classifies wines from any 2 or 3 contiguous counties. The percentage from each must be clearly indicated.
• County Appellation: Classifies wines from any county within the state. The 75% grape origin rule applies (Napa County 85%).
Approved (or American) Viticultural Area
Set up in 1978 by the BATF. Now called the TTB. Theoretically defined by geographic and climatic boundaries. No limitations on yields, grape varieties, etc. The approval for an AVA is actually rather simple, and very few applications are likely to be rejected. The very first United States AVA was Augusta (Missouri), in 1980. The second was Napa, in 1981. As of late 2006, there are approximately 180 AVAs.
• 85% for origin of grapes.
• Grape variety: 75% for County-designate wines (85% for Napa), 85% for AVA-designate wines, and 95% for single vineyard.
• 95% for vintage.
• Estate Bottled: 100% of the grapes have come from a single AVA and from an estate’s own vineyards (or vineyards owned or controlled by the estate). The winery and the vineyard must also be in the same AVA.
• Texas
5th largest wine-producing state. Three main regions: North Central, South Eastern, and South Central. Pierce’s Disease is the biggest problem. The Texas High Plains is the most consistent AVA. High elevation, with hot days and cool nights. Good Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. AVAs: Bell Mountain AVA; Escondido Valley AVA; Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA; Texas Davis Mountains AVA; Texas High Plains AVA; Texas Hill Country; Texoma AVA; Mesilla Valley AVA (New Mexico, Texas).
• New York
80% of grape acreage is lambrusca. The rest is equally divided between vinifera and hybrid vines. After Prohibition, production was dominated by larger wineries in the Finger Lakes region. Dr. Konstantin Frank proved in the 1960s that Chardonnay and Riesling thrive here if grafted onto the correct rootstock.
o Finger Lakes AVA: Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.
o Lake Erie AVA: Most of the grapes are for grape juice and table grapes. Shared between New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
o Cayuga Lake AVA:
o Seneca Lake AVA:
o Niagara Escarpment AVA:
o Hudson River Region AVA: Seyval Blanc does well here.
o Long Island AVA: Cabernet Franc and Merlot on the North Folk.
• North Fork of Long Island AVA:
• The Hamptons, Long Island AVA:
• Virginia
First of the original 13 colonies to cultivate grapes. 140 vineyards with 1500 acres of vines, 70% of which are vinifera. Chardonnay is the most planted variety. There are six AVAs: Monticello AVA, Shenandoah Valley AVA (shared with West Virginia), Rocky Knob AVA, North Fork of Roanoke AVA, Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA; Virginia’s Eastern Shore AVA
• Missouri:
First wines were produced in the 1830s, after which the industry flourished. A small industry exists today. Mostly hybrid vines. The very first United States AVA was Augusta, in 1980. AVAs: Augusta AVA; Hermann AVA; Ozark Highlands.
Washington
Climate: Northerly latitude provides an average of two hours more of sunlight per day than California during prime growing season., with an average of 17.4 hours of sunlight daily. Cool nights help to retain acidity. Eastern region is dry with harsh winters and warm summers. Warm days, cool nights. Cascade Mountains afford a Rainshadow effect. Western region is wet, cool, with an annual rainfall of 30”.
Soil Type(s): Glacial flooding 50,000 years ago brought silty loam topsoil, high in mineral content with excellent drainage.
Practices and Special Issues:
• Rainshadow Effect: From the Cascade Mountain Range.
• Winter Freeze: Can be a huge issue, usually about 1 out of every 8 years. Does help to prevent pests.
• Irrigation: Semi-arid desert in eastern regions makes irrigation essential. One of the most significant challenges is water supply.
• Latitude: Lies on the same latitude as Bordeaux.
Varietal(s): 57% red to 43% white. Many varieties do well. Most common:
• Chardonnay: WA’s most widely planted white variety. Characterized by crisp acidity. Oak use is common.
• Sémillon: Most is made to be drunk young but can age well. Some late harvest and botrytis-affected wines.
• Riesling: One of the original varieties grown in WA. Dry to off-dry styles are most common. Some late harvest and botrytis-affected wines.
• Sauvignon Blanc: Often labeled Fumé Blanc. Oaked and un-oaked versions. Typically lively and fruity with crisp acidity.
• Merlot: Considered by many to be the grape of WA. Tend to be more full-bodied and higher in alcohol than Bordeaux versions and higher in acidity than CA versions.
• Cabernet Sauvignon: Does as well as Merlot here, maybe even better. Characterized by firmer tannins and acidity than CA versions.
• Cabernet Franc: Used in blends primarily, but more are being made as varietal wines.
• Syrah: The rising star of red wine grapes in WA. Only introduced in 1988 but is already showing great promise.
Two distinct zones, East and West. There are now 9 appellations in WA.
: Washington is currently ranked as the second largest producer in the U.S. 350 grape growers, over 400 wineries. Industry employs over 11,000 people. Impacts state economy by $2.4 billion annually. Production
Columbia Valley
Washington
AVA status in 1984. Largest appellation in WA with 11 million acres. More than 17,000 acres are actually under vine. Most planted varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay, with Syrah gaining ground and a decent amount of Riesling.
Walla Walla
Washington
AVA status in 1984. Just over 1200 acres under vine. Top varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay. Loess-derived soils.
Yakima Valley
Washington
Washington’s first appellation. Granted AVA status in 1983. 10,000 cares under vine. Over 40 wineries. Top varieties: Chardonnay is most planted, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah plantings on the rise. Silt loam soils.
Red Mountain
Washington
AVA status in 2001. 750 acres. 12 wineries. Best known for reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah.
Puget Sound
Washington
AVA status in 1995. Approximately 80 acres under vine. Over 35 wineries. Top varieties: Pinot Gris, Siegrrebe, and Pinot Noir.
Columbia Gorge
Washington
Approximately 300 acres under vine. Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris appear to be the best varieties.
Horse Heaven Hills
Washington
Grapes have been grown in this area since 1972. Jut over 6000 acres planted. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Some individual sites have a reputation for quality: Canoe Ridge, Alder Ridge, and Zephyr Ridge.
Wahluke Slope
Washington
Lies entirely within the Columbia Valley AVA. Approximately 5200 acres under vine. Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc. One of the driest and warmest areas in the state.
Rattlesnake Hills
Washington
Located southeast of Yakima. Approximately 1500 acres under vine. The first commercial vineyards were planted in 1968. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Riesling.