Virginia's American Viticultural Areas

Virginia is home to six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) plus a seventh that it shares with West Virginia. Viticultural areas are defined by the U.S. federal government's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations [Source: 27 CFR Part 9].

Any person may submit a petition to create a new AVA or change an existing one. At the time this article was written, there was one new multi-state AVA and one AVA change for Virginia pending at the TTB. The TTB maintains a current list of pending petitions. AVAs are used as an "appellation of origin" for designating the grape-growing area for grape wine.

If you see an AVA listed on a wine label, this is a statement that "not less than 85% of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes grown in the AVA" and that "the wine is fully finished (except for cellar treatment and/or blending which does not alter the class and type of the wine) in the state or one of the states where the viticultural area is located" [Source].

The Virginia AVAs are:

  • Middleburg Virginia
  • Monticello
  • North Fork of Roanoke
  • Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace
  • Rocky Knob
  • Virginia's Eastern Shore

Virginia and West Virginia share this AVA:

  • Shenandoah Valley