Two more AVAs approved

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  • Sunday 1 January 2012

Two new American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) have been approved.

Naches Heights

Image: Naches Heights

Naches Heights, located on a volcanic plateau west of Yakima town, will become Washington state's 12th AVA in January.

The area is dominated by two organic and biodynamic growers, Naches Heights Vineyard and Wilridge Winery & Vineyard.

Paul Beveridge of Wilridge Winery & Vineyard told Decanter.com that both he and Cline intended to use the Naches Heights AVA name on their labels and were looking at marketing options to promote the region.

'While the large Columbia Valley AVA is characterised by river valleys shaped by the ancient Missoula floods, Naches Heights is located above on a million year old Andesite lava flow from the Cascade Mountains that was never inundated by the floods,' he said.

On November 28, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak (PM-CP) became Sonoma’s 14th AVA. PM-CP, in northeastern Sonoma County and portions of Mendocino County, is currently planted with 230 acres with another 150 in development, and contains land owned by Coppola, Seghesio, and Benziger.

In addition, the Russian River Valley AVA has been expanded by more than 14,000 acres.

The Russian River Valley Winegrowers initially opposed the expansion, but later withdrew. Winemakers Merry Edwards and Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan argued the change would dilute the integrity of the region which had previously been twice expanded.

E&J Gallo had petitioned the governing TTB for the change in 2006, arguing that 'the expansion area shares with the original AVA the same coastal fog intrusion, climate, topography, soil and growing conditions,' according to Gallo's Jim Collins.

As previously reported, Napa Valley's 11,000-acre Coombsville became its 16th AVA in December 2011.

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