Being the largest viticultural area in America at 16 million total acres, the Ohio River Valley AVA actually spans four states: West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The history of wine making here goes back over 200 years to when The Kentucky Vineyard Society was first established in 1798. At one time, the Ohio River Valley was the largest wine producing region in North America. This all changed in the second half of the 19th century when the local manpower was depleted because of the Civil War, leaving few to work the vineyards. Subsequent years saw the vineyards ravaged by mildew diseases like oidium (powdery mildew). The ultimate blow to the region’s wine industry came in 1919 with national Prohibition. When the second wine revolution began in the early 1960’s, the historic Ohio River Valley region would rebound and vineyards again flourish with dozens of wineries dotting the banks of the gently meandering Ohio River. Wineries in all four states are producing quality wines from hybrids such as Baco Noir, Marechal Foch, Seyval Blanc and Vidal, along with vinifera varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Chardonnay.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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Ohio River Valley
BLUE BOOK PROFILES
Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Ohio River Valley AVA
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