Grand Valley AVA
Colorado River running through the Grand Valley
|Type||American Viticultural Area|
|Years of wine industry||40 years|
|Heat units||3215 degree days|
|Precipitation (annual average)||9 inches annually|
|Total area||32,000 acres (12,950 ha)|
|Size of planted vineyards||600 acres|
|Grapes produced||Black Muscat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Ottonel, Orange Muscat, Pinot gris, Riesling, Sangiovese, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Viognier|
|No. of wineries||25|
The Grand Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Mesa County, Colorado, surrounding the cities of Grand Junction and Palisade. The AVA is defined as the irrigated agricultural area served by canals within the Grand Valley of the Colorado River.
The AVA encompasses 32,000 acres (13,000 ha). The terrain is varied, ranging from alluvial soils along the Colorado River to stony and loamy soils on mesas. Climate is high desert, subject to swings of temperature and wide diurnal variation. The AVA enjoys the most temperate climate within the state of Colorado, with the USDA cold hardiness zone ranging from 6 to 7. The eastern part of the AVA near the town of Palisade has consistent breezes that provide good air drainage, reducing the risk of frost. During the growing season, the valley has hot and dry days with lots of sunshine.
Viticulture began in the area in the late 19th century. State Governor George A. Crawford planted a 60 acres (24 ha) vineyard in the Grand Valley in 1890. Most of the Colorado grape production is from the Grand Valley AVA and hence many wineries are located there. Vineyards in the valley are planted at elevations as high as 4,700 feet (1,400 m) above sea level. However, the continental climate somewhat limits the varieties used in grape production and not all varieties produce adequate yields. Grape varieties planted within the AVA vary widely and average yields are relatively low at about 2.5 tons/acre. Wine styles range from dry white and red wines, to semi-sweet and dessert wines, and even icewine.
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- Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.137 Grand Valley." Archived 2009-09-07 at the Wayback Machine. Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Feb. 1, 2008.
- Wine Institute, The (2008). "American Viticultural Areas by State" Archived 2008-01-27 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved Feb. 1, 2008.
- Appellation America (2007). "Grand Valley (AVA): Appellation Description". Retrieved Feb. 1, 2008.
- USDA. "USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map""
- Colorado State University. "Colorado Grape Statistics"
- Colorado Wine. "Colorado Wine - Grand Valley AVA"
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