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American Viticultural Areas

California Wine Map showing AVAs

When a U.S. winery wants to tell you the geographic pedigree of its wine, it uses a tag on its label called an Appellation of Origin. Appellations are defined either by political boundaries, such as the name of a county, state or country, or by federally-recognized regions called American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

In order for a wine to be designated with an Appellation of Origin defined by a political boundary, such as a county name for example, federal law requires that 75 percent or more of grapes used to make the wine be from that appellation, and that the wine be fully finished within the state in which the county is located. A wine bearing “California” as an Appellation of Origin must, under state law, be made with 100% grapes that were grown and finished in the Golden State. A list of California’s 58 counties is here. More detailed requirements for appellation use are here.

If a wine is designated with the name of an American Viticultural Area (AVA), federal regulations require that 85 percent or more of the wine is derived from grapes grown within the boundaries of that TTB-established AVA and that the wine is fully finished within the state or one of the states in which the AVA is located. Certain states have stricter standards for use of the name of an Appellation/AVA on wine labels.

List of California AVAs

Unless otherwise indicated, all acreage estimates are from the Final Rules published in the Federal Register of the U.S. Government at the time of the AVA establishment.