American Wine AVAs: Rattlesnake Hills, Washington to Rocky Knob, Virginia

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Rattlesnake Hills
The Rattlesnake Hills AVA englobes almost 70 thousand acres (27 thousand hectares) in Washington State. It is contained within the Yakima Valley AVA, in turn is contained within the Columbia Valley AVA. Most grapes are planted at altitudes less than 2000 feet (about 600 meters) and benefit from moderate temperatures during the growing season due to the nearby Cascade Mountain Range Hills. Winter temperatures may be several degrees warmer than neighboring regions. Popular grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Riesling.

Rattlesnake Hills Washington Vineyards

Rattlesnake Hills Washington Vineyards

Red Hill Douglas County
The Red Hill Douglas County AVA occupies 5500 acres (about 2200 hectares in the county of the same name in southern Oregon. It is part of the Umpqua Valley AVA , itself contained in the Southern Oregon AVA . This AVA consists of a single vineyard, a rare but not unique occurrence. The well-drained volcanic soil is rich in iron and consists of silt, clay and loam. The altitude can attain 1300 feet (400 meters) above sea level, which increases the difference between day and night temperatures. Popular grape varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling.

Red Mountain
The Red Mountain AVA englobes almost 70 thousand acres (27 thousand hectares) in Washington State. It is at the eastern end of the Yakima Valley AVA, in turn is contained within the Columbia Valley AVA. It englobes only slightly more than 4000 acres (over 1600 hectares), but is home to some of Washington State's most prestigious wines. The local altitude varies from 500 to 1500 feet (about 150 to 450 meters) above sea level. This is the sunniest area in the Columbia Valley and the summer nights are cool. There is very little rain occuring during the growing season. The loam soils contain a lot of gravel and sand and the grapes are much smaller (up to 60%) than normal, which leads to tannic red wines with concentrated fruit flavors. The best-known grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and one of the wines got a rare 100 rating from Robert Parker back in 2002 and 2003. Other popular varieties include Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Sangiovese.

Ribbon Ridge
The Ribbon Ridge AVA occupies about 3300 acres (about 1300 hectares) in the the Chehalem Mountains AVA, itself part of the Willamette Valley AVA in northwestern Oregon. Its maximum altitude is less than 700 feet (about 200 meters) above sea level. The long growing season and high daily temperature variations make this a fine wine region. The well drained soils are sedimentary, silty clay loams. This is ideal Pinot Noir country. Other popular grapes include Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

Rogue Valley
The Rogue Valley AVA includes about 1100 acres (about 450 hectares) of vineyards even though the valley itself is about 70 miles long and 60 miles wide (about 110 by 100 kilometers). This AVA is included in the the Southern Oregon AVA . This AVA englobes mountain ranges, Rogue River. tributaries, and river valleys. The climate varies across the region and the growing season is fairly long. Popular grape varieties include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer in the cooler areas and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah in the warmer areas.

Rocky Knob
The Rocky Knob AVA encompasses about 9000 acres (about 3600 hectares) on the eastern slopes of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. This AVA is quite small and not well known. Its well-drained soil consists mostly of loam and gravel. It offers the hybrid Seyval Blanc white grape.

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