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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

california: appellations

Grapegrowing regions in the United States are called American Viticultural Areas or AVAs. Whether an AVA is as small as a single hillside or as large as the entire state of California, each area has a unique feature that differentiates it from other areas.

AVA boundaries can be based on criteria such as climate, soil and elevation. As these distinctions are identified, new AVAs are still being created. They are regulated by the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the federal agency that governs the U.S. alcohol and tobacco industries.



California's AVAs

Many of California's smaller AVAs are located within larger AVAs such as the North Coast and the Central Coast. Winemakers often use the smallest AVA they can,...

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