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Verde Valley joins other wine-making elites with new American Viticultural Area designation

grapes

The U.S. Treasury Department has named Arizona’s Verde Valley an American Viticultural Area, or AVA. The designation comes after a six year study on well-known wine-producing regions.

The Verde Valley’s $56 million wine industry now shares the same status as famed wine-producing areas including Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. According to the Treasury Department, an AVA is a “grape-growing region with geographic or climatic features distinguishing it from surrounding areas and affect how grapes are grown.”

There are 260 established AVAs in the United States. Arizona has three: The Verde Valley, Wilcox and Sonoita Valley.

This is the second time in recent months that Verde Valley wins have been in the national spotlight. In August, it was named a “Top Ten Winegrowing Region” in the USA Today Readers’ Choice poll.