Ohio: Oldest Brand-New Appellation in America
July 24, 2009
The wine regions of Ohio have provided us with overwhelmingly convincing proof that their venerable status as world class players is well deserved. If your taste runs to classic vinifera wines of aromatic intensity and good acidity, I cannot name a region in the New or Old World which offers such varietal and stylistic diversity, whether you’re in search of a special collectible for your cellar or a jolly good drink that will amaze tonight’s guests.
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Formed thousands of years ago when glaciers carved out the Great Lakes and deposited a ridge of fertile soil ideal for the cultivation of vineyards, the Grand River Valley (AVA) benefits from a climate moderated by the thermal effects of Lake Erie to the north.
The Valley's contours promote the effective circulation of warmer air, reducing the threat of frost in the spring and extending the growing season so the grapes are able to ripen to perfection. This micro-climate characterized by warm, sunny days and cool nights, which makes it one of the best viticultural areas to be found, and also one of the smallest in Ohio. These gentle slopes also help carry away the rainwater from the vine roots, preserving the concentration of flavor, sugar and other quality attributes.
Within a span of 10 miles you can visit the best the region has to offer including the areas largest estate wineries as well as some of the most unique and boutique. Wines, of more European style, are focused to Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc. Other reds include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Hybrid and indigenous varietals are also found and flourish in this region.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Grand River Valley AVA
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