United States Maps/Q&As

Wine laws are more flexible than European standards in regards to regulations on what viticultural and winemaking practice are allowed in each wine region. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) defines and approves applications for regions to become American Viticultural Areas. This system was established in 1978 with the Augusta AVA in Missouri designated as the first recognized AVA on June 20, 1980.[9] A sizable portion of American wine laws relate to wine labelling practices and include the stipulations that
Varietal Content
If the grape is listed on the label, the wine must be composed of at least 75% of that grape varietal. If a vintage years is referenced, 95% has to be from that year.

Origon of the Grapes
1) if an AVA name appears on the label that at least 75% of grapes used to produce the wine must come from that AVA.

2) In addition to AVAs, every American state and county can produce wine and label it under their state/county wide appellation provided at least 75% of the grapes come from that area.

3) The state of California and Texas have wine laws increasing the requirement to 100% and 85% (75% all others), respectively, for use of a state-wide appellation on the wine label.

The state of Oregon has increased the restriction for grape variety to 90%, with exception of Cabernet Sauvignon which under Oregon wine laws can have a minimum 75%.

USA is 4th in production in the world and 33rd in consumption of wine

CA – 4 gallons of wine per person per year
USA – 2 gallons of wine per person per year

Top 4 wine producing states by volume
1. California
2. Washingtnon
3. New York – North fork of Long Island – a lot of plantin of vinifera grapes – Merlot
4. Oregon

Flash Cards for General USA Questions
Name the top 4 wine producing states in the USA.

1. California 2. Washington 3. New York 4. Oregon

Who regulate the US wine industry?
Treasury department

Name the 1st AVA.
Augusta, Missouri

Name 3 AVAs of Washington.
Columbia Valley* Columbia Gorge* Horse Heaven Hills Red Mountain Walla Walla Valley* Yakima Valley Puget Sound * = Area that crosses into Oregon as well

Name the state where winemaking started in the USA.
New York State.

What are the AVA laws
-if label says CA or County, must be 75%
– if label names an AVA area must be 85% grapes
-if label says estate AVA must be 100%
– if label says vintage must be 95%
– The varietal named only has to be 75%

Which red and white wines won the 1976 Paris Tasting
1973 Chateaux Montelena Chardonnay
1973 Stags Leap Cabernet

Who is considered the Father of CA wine and which winery did he found?
Count Agoston Harazsthy in 1857 founded Buena Vista Winery

What does AVA stand for and who admnisters it?
American Viticultural Area, the largest AVA is in CA, controlled by the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) a division of BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Priot to 2002 – BATF
Guidelines finalized in 1978 became mandatory in 1983. Defined as “delimited grape growing area”.

There are 96 AVAs in California & 91 in remaining 49 states (7/10/06)

Five General Wine Growing Areas
North Coast
Central Coast
Sierra Foothills
Central Valley

Flash Cards for General California Questions
Which general region in CA produces 85% of all California wine?
Central Valley

4According to the Meritage Association, what is the highest percent that a single varietal can make up in a Meritage blend?

Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties are part of which area?
North Coast

Which AVA is sandwiched between the Mayacamas and Vaca mountains?
Napa Valley

What’s the main ecological factor of Napa Valley?
the cool wind and fog that is sucked in from San Pablo Bay during the afternoon, cooling the vines.

Carneros is kept cool by what two ecological factors?
Proximity to the ocean and SF bay.

Where is Russian River Valley (county and region)? What is it’s noted varietals?
Sonoma County, North Coast. Pinot and Chardonnay

48 Where is Alexander Valley (county and region)? What is it’s noted varietal?
Sonoma County, North Coast. Cabernet

49 Where is Dry Creek Valley (county and region)? What is its noted varietals?
Sonoma County, North Coast. Cabernet and Syrah

Where is Yountville (county and region)? What is it’s noted varietal?
Napa County, North Coast. Cabernet

Where is Oakville (county and region)? What is it’s noted varietal?
Napa County, North Coast. Bordeaux varietals

Where is Rutherford (county and region)? What is it’s noted varietal?
Napa County, North Coast. Cabernet

Where is Anderson Valley (county and region)? What is it’s noted varietals?
Mendocino County, North Coast. Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurz

Where is McDowell Valley(county and region)? What is it’s noted varietals?
Mendocino County, North Coast. Rhone varietals

Where is Clear Lake AVA (county and region)?
Lake County, North Coast

Where is Lodi AVA (county and region)?
Central Valley, North Coast

Which area produces 75% of all California wines?
Central Valley, California North Coast

Where is E&J Gallo located?
Central Valley, California North Coast

59 Which larger AVA is Monterey Bay AVA located?
San Francisco bay area AVA

60 Which larger AVA is Arroyo Seco AVA located? Which county is it located?
Central South Coast AVA, Monterey County

Which larger appellation is Paso Robles AVA under? Which county is is located?
Central South Coast AVA, San Luis Obispo County

Which wine is Paso Robles AVA famous for making?

The Rhone Rangers are gaining attention making syrah in which AVA?
Paso Robles AVA

Which larger appellation is Edna Valley AVA under? Which county is it located?
Central South Coast AVA, San Luis Obispo County

What wine is Edna Valley AVA famous for making?
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

What Napa AVA is best for cool climate grapes?

What 2 CA AVAs are considered the coolest?
Santa Barbara
Anderson Valley

What is Meritage
A made up word…merit and heritage
White or red Bordeaux grape varietals
Red –  Cab Sauv, cab franc, merlot, petit verdot
White – Sauv Blanc, Semillion,

Zinfandel – California grape?
   Primitivo – Itallian not likely
Crljenak Kastlanski – Croatia more likely


The 5 general wine-growing areas in CA
(for full AVA list see: 
North Coast
 – Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake County, Marin & Solano Counties
Central Coast
 – Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo (Paso Robles is there) , Santa Barbara
Sierra Foothills
 – Amador, El Dorado and Calaveras counties
Central Valley
 – Lodi, etc.
South Coast
 – Temecula, the South Coast, Cucamonga Valley,  etc.

The 4 counties of CA’s North Coast

Napa County
First planting in 1838 by George Yount
Over 39K acres under vine
Wine range of climaes and meso-climates

Pope Valley
Howell Mt – Cab & Zin
Stags Leap –
Diamond Mt – Cab Sauv
St Helena
Spring Mt
Wild Horse Valley
Mt Veeder
Atlas Peak
Chiles Valley
Oak Knoll
Los Carneros – drastically different, overlaps Somona and Napa; Chard & Pinot Noir are great
Calistoga (pending) – great Cab Sauv

Sonoma Valley
First vinifera vineyards planted near Sonoma in 1838 by Agoston Haraszthy (Buena Vista Winery)
Six fertile valleys – maritime influence
Larger area than Napa Valley with a greater range of meso-climates
Very diverse climates – cool to moderate
Russian River – sparkling wine, pinot noir
Alexander Vallei – Cab Sauv

Alexander Valley
Russian River Valley
Knights Valley
Dry Creek Valley
Knights Valley
Chalk Hill
Rockpile – big time Zin
Green Valley of Russian River Valley – Chard
Sonoma Coast
Los Caneros
Bennett Valley
Sonoma Valley
Sonoma Mt
Norther Somona

Mendocino & Lake County AVAs
Wine Range of meso-climates
Historically jug wine varieties planted in warmest areas
Cooler climate with an active sparkling wine industry
Best vineyards sites on the fork of the Navarro and Mendocino rivers

Anderson Valley
Cole Ranch
Dos Rios
Potter Valley
Redwood Valley
McDowell Valley
Mendocino Ridge
Benmore Valley
Yorkville Highlands
Clear Lake
Guenoc Valley
Red Hills Lake County


The counties included in the Central Coast area
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
San Benito
San Luis Obispo
Paso Robles

San Francisco Bay Area AVAs
Cool coastal climate vs. hot inland
Wide range of varieties and wine styles

San Francisco Bay
Livermore Valley
Santa Cruz Mountains
Ben Lomond Mountain
Santa Clara Valley
San Ysidro District
Mount Eden Vineyards – ageable wines

Monterey County
Cool climate vs. hot inland regions
Wine range of varieties and wine styles

Mount Harlan
Cienega Valley
Ume Kiln Valley
San Benito
Carmel Valley – Cab Sauv
Santa Lucia Highlands
Arroyo Secco
San Lucas
San Antonio

San Louis Obispo County AVAs
Paso Robles
   One of CAs oldest growing regions
Considerable expansion over the last ten years
No marine influence – hot climate
Suitable for red varieties
Zinfandel and Rhone varietals
Edna Valley
   South of Paso Robles
Marine influence – cool climate
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Santa Barbara County
Cool coastal climate
Series of east-west valleys
Longest growing season in CA
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot
This is where you can ght Pinot Noir at 14.5% alcohol – too much!

Santa Ynez Valley
Santa Rita Hills
Santa Maria Valley

Sierra Foothils AVAs
(Amador, El Dorado & Calaveras countries)
CA Shenandoah Valley
Dunnigan Hills
El Dorado
Fair Play
North Yuba
Highway 49 on western side of the Sierra Mountains there are 47 wineries

Central Valley AVAs
Lodi AVAs
Conumnes River
Alta Mesa
Mokelumne River
Borden Ranch