World's Largest Wine Appellation

This is just stupid…If this is such a great place to make and grow why isnt there further distinction…just seems ridiculously large.

“Covering 48,142km sq (4.8m ha or 29,914 square miles) over four states, the AVA averages 193km (120 miles) from east to west, 362km (225 miles) from north to south.”

“The AVA is more than double the size of Wales (20,779km sq), and fifty times greater than Bordeaux (100,000ha or 1000km sq).”" onclick=";return false;

If a tree falls in a forest…

It takes an appellation that big to fulfill the potential of baco noir.

The incompetence of Decanter really reaches new heights every day. They are comparing apples and oranges. They say that this AVA has 4 million hectares… but that’s total surface, mainly rivers and cities and rocks and grass! There are probably just a few hundred hectares of vineyards (I’ve seen that there were 160 hectares in northeast Iowa in 2005) scattered around that huge surface, whereas the 100,000 hectares in Bordeaux are under vines! The world’s largest single appellation is the La Mancha DO in Spain - almost 200,000 hectares of vineyards.

The entire AVA system in the US is a joke. All it is is guarantor of where the grapes were grown nothing more. There is no requirements for: permitted grape varieties, yields, alcohol levels, viticultural and vinification practices. There are over 100 AVA’s in California alone.
Who has ever heard the likes of
Clement Hills 85,000 acres
Benmore Valley 1400 acres
Trinity Lakes 96,000 acres

TTF regulations
To be labeled as originating from an AVA grapes must be 85% from the AVA.

There are a few that make sense and after the phyloxera replanting like Naps valley but still does not take into account any climateor temperature variations with in the county. Smaller AVA’s in Napa have some use. But at the end of the day it is more a marketing concept than quality one.

With that being said I don’t belive the EU QWSPR program is that great either hamstringing producers who may want to do a few things outside the AV, DO, DOC, take your pick. Is testing/tasting of the wine a good thing. Is tossing out wines from Didier Dagenau becasue they are too good and do not have typicity of the AC a good thing.

So there are rules some good some bad but what are you going to do.

For those who want to know more

Don’t all those states have the same area code or something?

Mark, I think you are being too harsh. The brand new Haw River AVA in my neck of the woods in NC guarantees that the vines are planted in old tobacco fields.


We have a few ava’s in PA, one is 1.2 million acres. doh!! rolleyes
We have a bunch of growers we buy from who used to be tobacco farmers.

Technically speaking, the area from eastern Washington through to Montana, and up several hundred miles into Canada could be considered one AVA, although it has been broken up quite a bit.

Sarah…they have the same genetic code.