American Wine AVAs: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts to Monticello, Virginia
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click to access American wine appellations (AVAs) by State:
New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota
Rhode Island South Carolina
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