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Wine Regulations in the United States
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms established American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs, to define growing regions distinguished by geographical and terroir features.
There are over 140 AVAs in the United States, including Napa Valley in California, Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Finger Lakes in New York. AVAs can extend beyond state boundaries, like the Columbia Valley which extends from Washington into Oregon.
Unlike the French AOC, American AVA laws only establish growing area boundaries and do not govern which varietals can be grown or vineyard and winemaking practices.
U.S. wine regulations include the following:
If a wine label carries the name of an AVA, 85% of the grapes must come from that AVA.
If a wine label carries the name of a county, 75% of the grapes must come from that county.
If a wine label carries the name of a state, 75% of the grapes must come from that state.
Some states vary on this law, such as California, where 100% of the grapes must come from California to carry the state's name on the label.
When a wine label carries a vintage, 95% of the grapes must be grown during the stated year.
When a wine label carries the name of a grape variety, the wine must be made from at least 75% of that grape variety.
About the Author
Andrew Bowen is the CEO of ADBowen & Co. which operate a number of websites including Accept Direct, Claim King Accident Solicitors and WineInfoNet.com
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