American Wine AVAs: Alexandria Lakes, Minnesota to Augusta, Missouri

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Alexandria Lakes
The Alexandria Lakes AVA encompasses 10,880 acres (4400 hectares) in central Minnesota. At present this AVA has only a single winery, Carlos Creek. The area has unique geographical features due to extensive glaciation. Grape varieties include arieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Applegate Valley Oregon Vineyards

Applegate Valley Oregon Vineyards

The Altus AVA is entirely contained within the Arkansas Mountain AVA, just south of the Boston Mountains in western Arkansas. Altus is known as the 'Wine Capital' of Arkansas. Here you will find warm, dry summers and cold winters, both tempered by the local topography. The nearby mountain ranges protect the vines from cold northern winds in winter, and the local river and canal systems gently cool the area down in summer. The most important vine varieties in Altus are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Applegate Valley
The Applegate Valley AVA is a small part of the Rogue Valley AVA itself contained within the Southern Oregon AVA. The surrounding mountains moderate its climate. The alluvial soils are deep and drain rapidly and in the summer the days are warm and the nights are cool. Popular grape varieties include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Syrah, Tempranillo, and Zinfandel.

Arkansas Mountain AVA
The Arkansas Mountain , one of the largest AVAs, is located in the Ozark Mountains of western Arkansas and englobes the Altus AVA described above. The hot, dry summers are followed by cold winters, somewhat tempered by the nearby mountain ranges. The most important vine varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, plus local grapes that are unfamiliar to outsiders. This AVA is rarely used.

The Augusta AVA is a mere 15 square miles (39 square kilometesrs) in central-eastern Missouri about 30 miles (50km) west of downtown Saint Louis. This was the first official AVA in the United States, granted status in 1980 some one hundred years after the first vineyards were planted by German immigrants. Before prohibition Augusta was one of the most prolific American wine-producing regions. The soils are largely alluvial, mixing silty loams of great depth with highly fertile loess and outcrops of sandstone. The river valley provides frost protection in the spring and autumn. The main grape variety is Norton (also known as Cynthiana), the state grape of Missouri. Other hybrids including Seyval Blanc and Vidal are grown here but Vinifera varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are found in very small quantities.

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