Coming Soon to Washington: More AVAs

Posted in: Wine Region Profiles
By Robert Johnson, Editor
Jun 24, 2011 - 9:00 AM

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As Washington state's wine industry continues to grow and mature, don't be surprised if a number of new American Viticultural Areas are okayed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Insiders say that the next area likely to gain AVA status is Naches Heights, which is situated north of Yakima.

The application submitted to the TTB was quite clear in describing what makes the area unique--a must for AVA consideration.

Quoting from the application, the area is "a single, elevated Tieton andesite plateau landform that ends in andesite cliffs that descend into the valleys surrounding the plateau."

The AVA would encompass 13,254 acres, of which 40 currently are planted to winegrapes--including Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Albarino, Tempranillo and Syrah.

Public comments on the proposal are being accepted through July 25, and if all goes well, AVA status for Naches Heights could be granted in August.

Other proposed AVAs under consideration include:

  • Okanogan Valley
  • Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Basin

And there figure to be still more proposals as time goes on. After all, California's Monterey County--which you read about featured in yesterday's post, is home to nine AVAs.


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