American Viticultural Areas

A viticultural area for American wine is a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, a name, and a delineated boundary. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographic origin.

The establishment of viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase.

Texas has eight AVAs, although many vineyards exist outside the specified AVAs. For a wine to mention an AVA on the label, 85% of the volume of wine must come from grapes grown in that designated region.

Texas Hill Country

True to Texan tradition, this AVA is the second largest certified Viticultural Area in America. With well over 9 million acres in the heart of Texas, it is no wonder that other more specific AVAs, such as Bell Mountain and Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, have been identified as unique microclimates within this blanket AVA. The wines of this massive region, north of San Antonio and west of Austin, range from Bordeaux blends to Italian varietals, as well as cool-climate grapes. This is a quality wine producing region, and the wines have won numerous awards both at home and internationally.

Texas High Plains

The Texas High Plains is located west of Lubbock in the Panhandle at an elevation of 3,000–4,000 feet, and the climate of this appellation is very dry. The Texas High Plains AVA encompasses over 8 million acres and grows over 80% of Texas’ wine grapes.

Bell Mountain

Designated in 1986, it is the first established AVA in Texas, covering five square miles about 15 miles north of Fredericksburg within the Texas Hill Country.

Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country

This viticultural area covers about 110 square miles and is located in the Texas Hill Country.

Escondido Valley

This appellation established in 1992 covers 50 square miles in Pecos County in far West Texas, located near Fort Stockton.

Mesilla Valley

Located at the far western tip of the Texas border north and west of El Paso, this area is hot and dry with a long growing season.

Texas Davis Mountains

This west Texas appellation is cool and wet at an elevation ranging from 4,500 to 8,300 feet.

Texoma

Located in north-central Texas, this area contains approximately 3,650 square miles along the Texas-Oklahoma line.