Four New California AVAs Established

Plus Downton Abbey wines are released.


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Four new California American Viticultural Area go into effect on November 1, 2013. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which was delayed by the government shutdown earlier this month, released its rulings on Ballard Canyon, Moon Mountain District Sonoma County, Big Valley District-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake County last week. In addition to recognizing the new AVAs, the organization also redefined the boundaries of the Red Hills Lake County AVA. The Ballard Canyon area, with 565 acres of planted vines, is Santa Barbara’s newest appellation, joining Happy Canyon and Sta. Rita Hills. Encompassing 11 wineries and 40 vineyards, the Moon Mountain District Sonoma County AVA takes in parts of the Sonoma Valley AVA. The creation of the Big Valley-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake County AVAs lies within the larger Clear Lake AVA.

Though Downton Abbey Season 4 doesn’t premiere in the United States until January 2014, the Downton Abbey Wine Collection Wines will be available for purchase beginning November 1, 2013. The wines, produced from grapes grown in Entre-Deux-Mers, are labeled Bordeaux Blanc and Claret. The Bordeaux Blanc is a 70-percent Muscadelle, 30-percent Semillon blend, while the Claret is comprised of 70 percent Merlot, 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Malbec. Both wines will retail for $15 a bottle.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders Brewing is expanding into the Kansas and Nebraska markets, effective December 1, 2013. Founders will enter the Kansas City, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; and Lincoln, Nebraska markets, offering all of its year-round and seasonal brews in both bottles and on draft. With the addition of Kansas and Nebraska, Founders Brewing is now available in 27 U.S. markets.

The Washington State Wine Commission unveiled a new national marketing campaign based around a free iPad app that seeks to educate users about the state’s wine industry. Titled “The Recommendeuer,” features the app includes a video series, extensive information on Washington State’s 13 wine appellations, wine and grape profiles, photos, maps, visitor information and other features. The Recommendeuer is aimed at wine buyers, sommeliers, journalists and other groups that influence wine-purchasing decisions.

Folio Fine Wine Partners has added Valpolicella producer Dal Forno Romano to its portfolio. Established in 1983, Dal Forno Romano produces wines from family-owned vineyards under Valpolicella Superiore DOC, Amarone della Valpolicella DOC and Vigne Seré Recioto designations, producing less than 60,000 bottles per year. 

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