Wine regions - FAQ

Questions and answers

What is an AVA?

An AVA is a geographical indication. It stands for American Viticultural Area and is the US equivalent of an appellation in France.

Unlike the French system, there are no regulations over grape varieties or yields. It is a defined area of production and the only restriction is that 85% of the grapes labelled with an AVA must come from that region.

What are the main sub-regions in Champagne?

The Montagne de Reims, the Cote des Blancs, the Marne Valley and a region 110km south of Epernay - the Aube.

Traditionally Pinot Noir is grown in the Montagne de Reims, Chardonnay in the Cotes des Blancs, and Pinot Meunier in the Marne Valley.

Which French wine region produces St-Joseph?

The northern Rhone is home to this Syrah-producing appellation. It also produces some whites from Marsanne, and a little Roussanne.

It is a large appellation, having expanded rapidly in the 1970s, '80s and '90s. By the mid 2000s, the appellation's vineyard area had reached close to 1000ha.

St Joseph sits on the west bank of the Rhone and many vineyards face east, meaning the vineyards don't have as many hours in the sun. As a result, the wines tend to be lighter and earlier drinking than some of the other northern Rhone appellations including Hermitage and Cornas.

Which country produces the most wine in the world?

Italy produces more hectolitres of wine than any other other country.

It overtook France to become the biggest producer in the world in 2007. In 2009, it accounted for 17.7% (47,699hl) of world production with France close behind with 17% (45, 558hl) and Spain in third position (35,166). Total world production in 2009 equalled 268, 733hl.

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