If you are interested in new American Viticultural Areas, then this has been the week for you as the TTB created two new wine regions and amended a third.
But first the two new appellations:
Indiana Uplands is located in the Hoosier State along the Ohio River. Unlike the old Ohio River Valley AVA, this new region extends further north to Bloomington.
The next new appellation is in Oregon. The Elkton AVA is located within the currently existing Southern Oregon and Umpqua Valley regions. The area is located near the confluence of the Umpqua River and Elkton Creek.
As for the amended Ohio River Valley AVA, well, I haven’t gotten around to figure out what has changed, but am guessing that the Indiana Uplands portion of that map is out. But that is just a guess. You will have to check back sometime next week to find out for certain as well as to find out why these new appellations were designated.
While over time the focus has been on smaller and smaller wine regions, in 2004 the TTB went completely the other way, creating a super-AVA in the form of the Southern Oregon AVA. This region consists of the Umpqua, Rogue and Applegate Valleys and Red Hill Douglas County, Oregon AVAs as well as additional territory linking the regions together. The idea for the super-sized AVA was that of H. Earl Jones of Abacela and his son, associate professor of geography, Gregory V. Jones of Southern Oregon University. (editor’s note: See? I am not the only person with a degree in geography!) They evidence cited to justify the designation includes historical, cultural, climatic, geologic and geographical justifications for the creation of the viticultural area.
Historically, the region has been a wine producing area since the 1850s with modern viticulture restarting in the 1950s. From a cultural perspective, they cite the “physical and cultural” divisions of the state of which Southern Oregon is an example. The region is located south of Eugene to the California border largely within the Umpqua, Rogue, Applegate, Illinois and Bear Creek Valleys. The petition indicates that the soils in the area, while varied are older than those in the Willamette to the north or the coastal zones to the west and contain fewer silts from ancient oceans and lakes. The temperatures in the area are on average the warmest in the state which allows for the cultivation of warmer climate grapes as well as allowing for select microclimates that are perfect for colder acclimated varietals. Additionally, the elevations in the region are higher than the surrounds areas and it receives less rainfall.
The appellations is home to over fifty (50) wineries and produces wines from varietals including:
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Muscat Canelli
- Petit Verdot
- Petite Sirah
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot gris
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc