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What’s an AVA?

by David on January 4, 2011

It’s important! When I buy wine, one of the first things I look for on the label is where the grapes were grown, which, in America, is the AVA or appellation. It’s the number one influence on wine character. Heck, in most of Europe, wine is named and sold in terms of location, not variety! It turns out that […]


Napa Valley AVA

by David on June 25, 2009

Napa Valley is a strange and wonderful place, perhaps in equal parts. In an area about 1/8 of the size of Bordeaux, we are able to grow a great number of different grape varieties with remarkable success. For the wonderful array of Napa Valley wines we enjoy today, we owe our thanks to Mother Nature […]


Rutherford AVA

by David on June 20, 2009

According to Andre Tchelistcheff, the man many of us think of as the father of the post- repeal Napa Valley wine renaissance, “Cabernets need a touch of that Rutherford dust.” It’s hard to pin down the illusive, dusty character he referred to, and today’s Rutherford Dust Society says “What we now fondly refer to as […]


Oakville AVA

by David on June 20, 2009

The Oakville AVA is home to some of the most famous names in Napa Valley – Robert Mondavi, Harlan, Rudd, Opus One and Screaming Eagle are well-known producers, there, and To Kalon and Martha’s Vineyard grow some of the most sought-after grapes in California. History The history of research and innovation in the region, which […]


NVWR® 63 – The Napa Valley AVA

by David on April 1, 2008

Did you know that Napa Valley produces just 4% of California’s wine? And yet, in such a small area, we enjoy an amazing diversity of soils and a climate that allows us to produce a number of different varieties of outstanding quality. Sit back and enjoy a glass of Napa Valley wine while Nancy Hawks […]



by David on June 19, 2007

Fresh apple, pear and citrus–crisp with maybe some minerality? Or big, round, buttery and oaky? What goes on here? What is Chardonnay’s true identity? It seems to be all of the above. It’s quite a malleable variety that some say has little varietal distinction to call its own, yet it’s a beautiful showcase for terroir […]


NVWR® 15 – What is an AVA?

by David on June 5, 2006

We hear about appellations, districts and AVA’s all the time, but the term AVA is the only one that tells you a region has been recognized by the federal government as one of distinction. Nancy Hawks Miller, our Director of Education will tell you about some of the requirements and what American Viticultural Areas mean […]