Sunday, July 10, 2016

Willcox AVA- What Is It and Why Do We Care?

Willcox AVA- What Is It and Why Do We Care?
Callaghan Wines, Sonoita AVA
Kristine enjoys wines from
Sonoita Vineyards,
Sonoita AVA
    
     AVAs, American Viticultural Areas, are federally designated grape growing regions which have a definite boundary and geographic features in common. These specified regions can become helpful when looking for wines with certain characteristics. If you are unfamiliar with a wine, knowledge of the AVA will help you to choose a wine that will coincide with your palette.

     For example, in the Napa Valley AVA, Cabernet Sauvignon presents itself well. This is the result of years of trial and error in Napa. Eventually, Cabernet Sauvignon emerged as one of the best grape varietals to create one of the greatest wines in the world market. Now, everyone knows that they will get a full-bodied, high tannin wine, usually aged in oak, with an emphasis on lush fruit and berry flavors from Napa Valley.

     In Arizona, the only current AVA is Sonoita. Winemakers have been making efforts for years to have the Willcox area designated as an AVA. This year the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the government organization that regulates AVAs, proposed a Willcox AVA. The AVA itself would contain 526,000 acres primarily situated in Cochise County. If you find yourself very bored one day, here is a link that goes into much more detail about it: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-21/pdf/2016-01150.pdf.

     So great. I know what an AVA means now, but why do I care?

     Arizona is definitely making itself known as a wine destination. With three wine trails already in existence (Sonoita, Willcox and the Verde Valley), the addition of another AVA can only increase Arizona’s brand recognition and bring more tourists into our state. Being part of an AVA also lends another level of legitimacy to Arizona wine country. This air of legitimacy will make it a little easier for Arizona to emerge onto the national market.
   
     For Hoppin’ Grapes, we are really excited and look forward to continuing to drink some amazing Arizona wines!



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