“This place just reeks of crippled glory.”
– John Nichols, The Milagro Beanfield War
American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)
A viticultural area for American wine is a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features as described in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 27 CFR part 9 and a name and delineated boundary as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographic origin.
The establishment of viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase.
Any interested individual or group may petition for a new or modified AVA through the process outlined in 27 CFR Part 9 American Viticultural Areas. The main AVA petitioning elements include substantive documentation and evidence for the name usage, boundary line chosen, distinguishing features of the area, and a written boundary description with accompanying USGS maps.