American Wine AVAs: Ohio River Valley to Ozark Mountain

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Ohio River Valley
The Ohio River Valley AVA is the second-largest AVA covering over 16 million acres (well over 6 million hectares) along the Ohio River in the states of Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. To its south is a humid subtropical climate; to the north a humid continental climate providing for an interesting mix. While most of the vineyards are planted in hybrids Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Riesling also grow here. Many critics say that the region is simply too large to be useful as an indication of wine typicity.

Old Mission Peninsula Michigan Vineyards

Old Mission Peninsula Michigan Vineyards

Old Mission Peninsula
The Old Mission Peninsula AVA englobes the entire narrow peninsula whose name it carries for a bit less than 20 thousand acres (almost 8000 hectares). The glacial soil has granite or limestone bedrock, covered with clay-rich subsoils and free-draining topsoils composed of gravel, sand, and loam. Lake Michigan helps make the climate acceptable for viticulture, protecting the few vineyards from winter cold, spring frost, and summer heat. Popular grape varieties include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

Outer Coastal Plain
The Outer Coastal Plain AVA encompasses about 2.2 million acres (over 900 thousand hectares) of southeastern New Jersey. Both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream moderate temperatures here. The well-drained soils are sandy or loamy. Popular grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling.

Ozark Highlands
The Ozark Highlands AVA occupies 1.2 million acres (almost 520 thousand hectares) of southern Missouri, contained within the Ozark Mountain AVA . Italian immigrants started cultivating grapevines in the Nineteenth Century. The rivers create alluvial floodplains and valleys whose soils are composed of loam over clay. Popular grape varieties include Muscat and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ozark Mountain
The Ozark Mountain AVA occupies 3.5 million acres (almost 1.5 million hectares) in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. Given its huge size, it is difficult to generalize except to say that the climate is continental, sometimes moderated by its hills and rivers, and the soils include sandstone, loam, limestone, and clay.

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