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Covering the Appellations of North Amreica is the mission.

America (Country Appellation)

Taking Focus on Appellation

Appellation America has entered its second decade on the web. Much has changed since the start, but the core focus remains characterizing the unique flavor profiles of North America’s appellations and the natural influences and human cultural forces which influence them.

by Clark Smith
December 9, 2013

Appellation America's focus remains characterizing the natural influences of soil, temperature, latitude, altitude and human cultural forces on the unique flavor profiles of North America’s appellations. We understand that through objective evaluation of wines of these appellations, finding the recurring characteristics that typify such place is primary.

This amazing site, which contains thousands of articles and videos exploring the 300+ AVA's in North America and the grapes they grow, is as complete a reference as one could wish. The creation of 30,000 pages of content on North American wines of appellation was motivated by a sense of service and a passion for a story needing telling. Probably we were nuts. But it was done. The site now offers the most complete reference to the wine regions across the U.S. and Canada. Nobody else even comes close.

Tasting wines as we do on the Best-Of-Appellation panel, grouped by appellations the judges know, has utterly transformed my appreciation of regional diversity of American wines. Varietals by themselves tell us almost nothing about what style and typical flavors to expect. By focusing on articulating the unique attributes of North American AVAs and political designations (counties, states and provinces), Appellation America is leading the wine world into a future where site of origin will be the compelling focus of New World wine appreciation.

Is AppellationAmerica.com complete and current? Yes. We maintain a current index of all Appellations in the U.S. and Canada, each with its own webpage detailing:

Grapes Grown in the appellation

Wines produced

Wineries based in the region

Other wineries sourcing fruit from the region

Other overlapping appellations

Is every detail up to date? Of course not. With some 500 wineries per year coming on line, the staff keeps up the fight to remain current. We do our best to track North America’s whirlwind growth with the assistance of thousands of wineries whose task it is to keep their individual wine lists current. Close to 6,000 winery wine lists can be accessed but each list is not necessarily a current release.

It is a great privilege for me to investigate the wines of our diverse appellations, to chronicle their distinctive flavor characteristics and surprising wine quality achievements from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Iowa; Alabama to the Snake River Valley; Virginia to Oregon and New Mexico to the Finger Lakes. For each of these unique appellations, the region’s best examples are compiled into “Blue Book” of regional wine style profiles together with wine recommendations for the region’s best examples.

Appellation America has moved back from a subscription basis to a free site as was first offered. Our gamble, still being played out, is that the public would respond by using the site so hotels, restaurants and other destination tourism advertisers will be interested in purchasing ads to support our modest operating costs. Due to archaic laws, the vast majority of North American wines cannot be legally shipped across State lines without undue licensing expense. On the other hand, high quality wines now exist in every State and Province. Wherever you travel in North America, we map the wineries, fill you in on local varieties, and tout our favorites. Let us be your guide to local excellence.

READER FEEDBACK: To post your comments on this story, click here

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Reader Feedback

Reader Comments... [3]

Roger King
Appellation America, Napa
Within the scope of developing Postmodern Winemaking you have tasted through the depths of North America, knowing these regions well and players inside.

Andrew Morris , Winemaker
Briceland Vineyards, Southern Humboldt County
I think that Appellation America has done an amazing service to the North American wine world. I hope that people continue to use the site as a resource and that advertisers support the site by stepping up and buying small ads.

Jim Moss , owner
JSM Consulting, United States
Maps would help. Breakdowns in elevation and aspect. Typical yields.

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