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April 08, 2009


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How is it all about Benjamins?

Mike Duffy

AVAs exist to distinguish areas, so that wineries in that AVA can charge a differential (higher) price for their wines, or sell more of it, relative to wines from less-reputable AVAs or "generic" varietals.

I'm not going to argue whether AVAs do, in fact, reflect any reliable difference in one area over another. But a Russian River Pinot is perceived as being superior to one from the "Sonoma Coast", and can certainly cost more.

Green Valley is not as recognizable as Russian River (although the AVAs abut one another), and so it was interesting to see the name change from "Green Valley" to "Green Valley of the Russian River Valley" to gain some lustre by association.

It's all about the Benjamins (a name change to allow them to sell more).

Doug Cook

Hey Mike,

Good post - it's hard to keep up with all the AVAs.

Might I note that you can always find an up-to-date list of the AVAs on Able Grape, with the query:


Official lists from the TTB (either directly from their site, or from the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations) are usually among the top results. You can filter by "Official Body" to show only official sources, or by "Reference" to look up the term "AVA" in reference sources (e.g. the Oxford Companion), or even by "Press" to see what people are writing about AVAs (this very post should show up there within a few days).

Comments, suggestions always welcome - I'd like to make Able Grape the best possible tool for our community.

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