American Wine AVAs: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts to Monticello, Virginia

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Martha's Vineyard
The Martha's Vineyard AVA is the most easternmost American AVA and is part of the Southeastern New England AVA . It encompasses 64,000 acres (almost 26,000 hectares) on Martha's Vineyard, an island just off the east coast of Massachusetts. Its maritime climate is quite affected by the Gulf Stream current. The island's winters are wetter and much warmer than nearby regions. The free-draining soils are sandy and gravelly. Popular red grapes include Syrah, Merlot, and Malbec. Popular whites are Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

McMinnville Oregon Vineyards

McMinnville Oregon Vineyards

The McMinnville AVA is located in the Coast Range Foothills of Yamhill County, entirely within the Willamette Valley AVA . It encompasses over 600 acres (240 hectares) of vineyards. The complex soil contains lava dating back to the creation of the Cascade Mountains and marine sedimentary loams and silts over a basalt base. Local rainfall is lower than its neighbors and the winds dry the grapes that remain longer on the vine. Popular grapes include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling.

Mesilla Valley
The Mesilla Valley AVA encompasses about 280,000 acres (over 1103,000 hectares) in New Mexico, and western Texas. Despite the large land area this AVA presently grows less than 100 acres (40 hectares) of wine grapes. Despite the word valley this region's elevation is over 3500 feet (1100 meters) The Rio Grande River and the mountains provide for alluvial soil, clays and loams. The summer days are hot but the nights are close to freezing. Popular grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

Middle Rio Grande Valley
The Middle Rio Grande Valley AVA encompasses about 280,000 acres (over 110,000 hectares) of central New Mexico. American winemaking started in the days of the Spanish missionaries but flooding and Prohibition pretty well ended the matter until recently. The altitude is almost a mile (about 1500 meters). Red grapes include Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Whites include Viognier.

Mimbres Valley
The Mimbres Valley AVA encompasses about 630,000 acres (over 257,000 hectares) in southwestern New Mexico but only about 2000 acres (800 hectares) are devoted to wine grapes. Most Mimbres Valley vineyards are planted at altitudes of 4000 to 6000 feet (1200 to 1800 meters), meaning that hot summer days are followed by cool summer nights. Annual rainfall is quite low. The alluvial soils are deep and rich. Popular grapes include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.

Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta AVA encompasses almost 4 million acres (over 1.5 million hectares) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Given the hot, muggy climate little wine is produced in this huge region.

The Monticello AVA encompasses about 800,000 acres (325,000 hectares) of central Virginia. It is named after Thomas Jefferson's estate, one of America's first vineyards planted with European (Vinifera) grapes. While the summers are warm, the winters are cold and spring frosts are common. Popular grape varieties grown include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier.

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