We have been receiving frequent inquiries from importers whom are trying to understand all the nitty-gritties of Californian wine so as to make the highest return on their investment. As a result of this, we have gone all the way to create a series of post that will answer all questions we have been asked about Californian wine appellations.

californian wine appellations

Californian Wine Appellation: Frequently Asked Questions

Just like most other nations of the world, understanding wine labeling laws in the United States, is quite a daunting task. We will like to begin with some of these laws here, especially those that bother on Californian Wine Appellation. Wine Appellation: What does it mean in the United States?

An appellation is basically the name of the area of a certain region where wine grapes are grown, and can be used on the labels of wine. Appellation name attached to the label of wine by the producer, allows consumers to ascertain the quality of the wine they are buying. As countries’ wine laws differ, so do their systems for appellations. For instance, two factors are considered in defining the appellation of wines: viticultural and geographic political boundaries. Geographic appellation could be the state where grapes used in the making of the wine are produced. California for instance is a very common appellation used on wine labels. Other than a state, counties can also be used as a geographic appellation. Sonoma and Napa are the most popular counties. Cali Beverage Group specializes in exporting Californian wines to India from all appellations within the state of California.

Viticultural appellations are defined by the boundaries of the region where wine grapes are grown. Typical examples in California include:

  • Napa Valley: A region in Napa County where quality grapes are grown
  • North Coast: An area in California than encompasses Sonoma and Napa counties
  • Carneros: A region with blossoming agriculture that includes part of Napa and Sonoma Counties

Otherwise known as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), Viticultural Appellations can be compared with France’s AOCs or DOCs in Italy.

It is important to note that American AVA is never the same as geographic appellation. This is why it is important to have sound knowledge of both entities. In subsequent FAQs, we will thoroughly break down AVA.

Do appellations have anything to do with marketing?

It depends on the angle you are coming from. Appellations on wine labels are supposed to provide a consumer with information about the wine. Napa Valley for instance is a very well-known wine appellation. No region in the entire United States grows varieties of Bordelaise grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot like the Napa Valley. Some of the United States’ most prized wines come from this area. However, Pinot Noir does not do well there.

Also, Alexander Valley which shares boundary with Napa Valley, and close to Sonoma County, produces the same kind of wine grapes as Napa Valley. Even though the two regions grapes are very similar, Napa Valley is more popular. When there is little knowledge of wines from California among consumers, there will be differences in marketing value.

I do hope that you found all that was shared here very insightful. In subsequent articles, I will get straight to the business of the day; quality and market values of some appellations.