Lodi Loads On Seven New AVAs

The relatively new California appellation shows signs of maturity.

The Federal government announced on July 17 that seven new American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within the existing Lodi appellation have been approved: Alta Mesa, Borden Ranch, Clements Hills, Cosumnes River, Jahant, Mokelumne River and Sloughhouse.

Lodi vintners and growers had been pushing for the new AVAs for years. Mark Chandler, executive director of the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, said that most wineries will use the new designations on their front labels beginning with the 2006 vintage, "but with Lodi attached to it with a hyphen. We'll continue to promote the Lodi umbrella appellation, not the individual AVAs."

It was only ten years ago that Lodi, then widely perceived as a vast, hot area in the Central Valley, was approved as an appellation. Since then, the area has burgeoned and now has 52 wineries, with scores from outside the AVA using its grapes. "This is a sign of the maturing of our wine district," said Chandler.

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