American Wine AVAs: Seneca Lake, New York to Swan Creek, North Carolina
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The Seneca Lake AVA
occupying about 200 thousand acres (approximately
83 thousand hectares) is one of the 11 Finger Lakes and as such is part of the
Finger Lakes AVA
It is the deepest of these lakes and never freezes.
The soil here is often silty, sandy, or loamy. Popular grape varieties include Riesling,
Gewürztraminer, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This AVA is known for its
often fine sparkling and dessert wines.
Seneca Lake New York Vineyards
The Shawnee Hills AVA
is measured in square miles or square kilometers but only
contains about 300 acres (1.2 square kilometers) in southern Illinois.
The soils are rich in limestone rich and free draining with a lot of sandstone that does a
fine job of absorbing the relatively heavy rainfall.
The vineyards are planted in a variety of French-American hybrids.
The Shenandoah Valley AVA
englobes about 2.4 million acres (almost
a million hectares) in Virginia and West Virginia but almost all its grapes come from
Virginia. Its best soils are rich in limestone. The local Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains
create a moderate climate, drier and warmer than its neighbors. Popular
grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
Snake River Valley
The Snake River Valley AVA
englobes about 5 million acres (some 2
million hectares) mostly in southwestern Idaho but also in southeastern Oregon.
It includes some of the highest vineyards in the United States, reaching altitudes of
2100 to 3400 feet (640 to over 1000 meters). The difference between day and night
temperatures is quite large but these vineyards require irrigation and the growing
season is short. The soils are often alluvial. Popular
grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
The Snipes Mountain AVA
is part of the Yakima Valley AVA
itself part of the Columbia Valley AVA
. This AVA occupies slightly
more than 4 thousand acres (about 1600 hectares) in southeastern Washington.
The best vineyards are planted at more than 750 feet (about 225 meters) above sea level.
The rocky soils were once river beds. Popular grape varieties include Muscat, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Noir.
The Sonoita AVA
occupies about 28 thousand acres (over 11 thousand hectares)
in southeastern Arizona. This valley basin's elevation is between 4000 and 5000 feet
(about 1200 to 1500 meters) and is considerably cooler than its surroundings.
The local, often alluvial soils are deep, rich in minerals, and drain well.
Popular grape varieties include Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc as well as
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Southeastern New England
The Southeastern New England AVA
occupies about 1.8 million acres
(about 750 thousand hectares) in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode
Island. including some islands. The Gulf Stream waters of the Atlantic Ocean moderate
the climate and lengthen the growing season.
Popular grape varieties include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay,
The Southern Oregon AVA
occupies over 2 million acres
(more than 8 thousand square miles). In general it is warmer and drier than other
Oregon wine regions. The soil is quite varied across this large region. Popular grape varieties include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Pinot Noir .
The Swan Creek AVA
occupies about 100 thousand acres
(approximately 40 thousand hectares) in northwestern North Carolina.
This AVA is sheltered by local mountain ranges. Its soil is loose and relatively
heavy in schist due to the mountains. Popular grape varieties include
Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier, Pinot Gris, and Riesling.
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
South Dakota Tennessee
Washington West Virginia
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