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What is an AVA?


An American Viticultural Area (AVA) is the United States’s official designation of wine-growing regions. AVAs are delimited by geography; sections of wine growing regions with the same climate, soil, elevation and physical features are assigned an official AVA designation. As of October 2012, there were 206 AVAs in total. The first AVA was Augusta AVA, established on June 20, 1980. The largest, spanning four states with 29,900 square miles, is Upper Mississippi AVA; the smallest, with only 62 acres, is Cole Ranch AVA.
The AVA is used on wine labels to indicate region of origin. To be eligible to use a specific AVA designation, 85% of the grapes used in the wine must be grown in the AVA itself. Wines can possess several different designations, ranging from general (North Coast AVA) to specific (Napa Valley AVA).

 

AVA's close to the Eastern Shore of Maryland

 

Virginia's Eastern Shore AVA

Outer Coastal Plain AVA

Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA

Lancaster Valley AVA

Linganore AVA

Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA

 

Benefits of establishing an Eastern Shore of Maryland AVA
•    Establish a strong brand identity for eastern shore wines
•    Bring Eastern shore wines into the spotlight for a larger, non-local audience
•    Prove that the Eastern shore presents unique growing conditions for wines

Potential issues and challenges
•    Long and involved process
•    Requires proof of unique growing conditions

Sources and Information

TTB manual for petitioners

Directory of all laws regarding AVA’s by TTB

Definition/info regarding AVA’s

Map of all current AVA's