The (AVAs) in Texas are designated wine growing regions with distinct characteristics that distinguish them from other areas. There are eight AVAs in Texas, each with its own unique terroir and climate. Here is a brief overview of each of the AVAs:
1. Mesilla Valley is a high-altitude American Viticultural Area that was established in 1985. It follows the Rio Grande River through both New Mexico and western Texas. The AVA was established in 1985, and viticulture dates back to the mid-17th century. However, the Valley currently has less than 50 acres of vineyards. As a result, wines produced in this region are rarely seen outside of Texas and New Mexico. The majority are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel.
2. Texas Davis Mountains: Situated in the western part of the state, the Texas Davis Mountains AVA is known for its high elevation and cooler climate, which is well-suited to growing certain grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The region is home to several small wineries and is known for producing high-quality red wines.
3. Escondido Valley: is an AVA in the western part of Texas. The "hidden" (Escondido) Valley, which spans 32,000 acres of the Trans-Pecos region in the state's westernmost corner, is a typical-sized Texan AVA. In the state, it was the fifth appellation to be introduced (in June 1992). Although there are no wineries here, the region is known for producing white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc.
4. Texas Hill Country: The AVA is the third largest in the United States, including 9 million acres (Nearly 15,000 Square Miles). The AVA stretches from just north of San Antonio to San Saba and from just west of Austin to Rocksprings and contains over 60 wineries and 1,000 acres of vineyards. The region is home to many wineries and is known for producing a range of red, white, and sparkling wines. The AVA is known for its rolling hills, warm climate, and well-draining soils, which are well-suited to growing several grape varieties.
5. Bell Mountain: Located in the Texas county of Gillespie. In November 1986, the Bell Mountain appellation was made official, making it the first AVA that was entirely in Texas. The Bell Mountain AVA is known for its hilly terrain and warm climate, which is well-suited to growing certain grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Syrah. The region is home to several small wineries and is known for producing high-quality red wines.
6. Texas High Plains: Situated in the western part of the state, The Texas High Plains is the second-largest AVA in Texas. It is in west Texas, mostly south of the Panhandle, and covers about 8 million acres. The Texas High Plains AVA is known for its high elevation, dry climate, and sandy clay loams, which are well-suited to growing certain grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc Gewürztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Montepulciano, Viognier and Tempranillo.
7. The Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA: Located in the Texas Hill Country town known as Fredericksburg, this viticultural region is situated in the Texas Hill Country and spans a total area of approximately 110 square miles. The region is home to many wineries and is known for producing a range of red, white, and sparkling wines. In the 1800s, German immigrants moved around Fredericksburg and settled there. These people were the first in the Texas Hill Country to grow grapes.
8. Texoma: Situated in the north-central part of the state is where 19th-century viticulturist Thomas Volney Munson discovered that grafting Vitis vinifera grapevines onto native American vine rootstock produced phylloxera-resistant vines. When the technique was introduced to France, which was experiencing its first phylloxera epidemic, it saved the European wine industry. It was in 2005 that the region was designated as an American Viticultural Area. Texoma AVA is well-suited to growing certain grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, with wineries taking a chance with Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.
Overall, the AVAs in Texas are diverse and offer a range of growing conditions that are well-suited to producing a variety of wine styles. Whether you are a wine enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of wine, there is something for everyone in Texas.
Article Written by: Austin Texas Wine Society