Leona Valley AVA
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Leona Valley AVA has been recognized as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in southern California. On October 29, 2008 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced the publication of Treasury Decision, TTB-71 establishing the 13.4-square-mile (35 km2) Leona Valley American Viticulture Area in northeastern Los Angeles County, California.
Leona Valley is a long, narrow valley in the northeastern corner of Los Angeles County, about 50 miles (80 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean and north of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This valley is separated from the Pacific Ocean by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south and the Los Padres National Forest to the west. Portal Ridge on the northeast divides Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley. The proposed AVA includes the valley known as Leona Valley plus the adjacent hillsides along the edges of the valley floor as well as projecting and isolated hills. This results in a total of 8,600 acres (35 km2) for the proposed viticulture area.
Leona Valley is currently home to several growers. They are growing Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Petite Verdot, Pinot noir, Syrah, and Malbec covering the French, Rhône, and Burgundy regions of grape varieties. Many grape varietals thrive thanks to the regions soil and balanced temperatures.
The first wineries in California were established in and around the Leona Valley. Once flourishing, Prohibition shut them all down. When federal regulators came to break up the wine barrels so they could no longer be used, it was said the creeks ran red. Many old-timers in the wine industry from Napa and Sonoma still remember and speak of the Leona Valley for its outstanding wines from the pre-prohibition days, from the History of the Antelope Valley 1978. Many of the vineyards planted so long ago are still growing and producing usable grapes, that will one day go into wine production in the region, through Leona Valley Winery and other vineyards.
- TTB Recogniation [www.ttb.gov/press/fy08/press-release-leona-valley.pdf]
- Leona Valley Winery