There’s a new AVA in town!!
Officially established on September 8, 2015, the Squaw Valley-Miramonte AVA is located in California’s San Joaquin Valley and snuggled safely into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
But before we move on, let me clarify a few things that this AVA is NOT:
- Despite the name Squaw Valley, this is NOT the famous ski resort, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics (The ski resort of the same name is actually located about 300 miles away, near Lake Tahoe).
- Despite the fact that the AVA is indeed located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, this new AVA is NOT part of the Sierra Foothills AVA. The southern end of the Sierra Foothills AVA is actually about 50 miles – and at least two counties – away. (Keep in mind that the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is over 400 miles long.)
So now we can turn to a few things that are indeed true concerning this new AVA:
- The new viticultural area covers approximately 44,690 acres in Fresno County, California. The area is mostly rural and located in the foothills about 40 miles to the east of the city of Fresno.
The AVA is located along the highway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks. (Sequoia Sequoia National Forest is the home of the giant Sequoias, considered to be among the largest trees, and the largest living organisms, on earth).
- The area currently has 2 wineries and 3 commercial vineyards totaling about 7.5 acres, including Sierra Peaks Winery , Riffelhoff Winery, Buttercup Vineyards, and Purgatory Vineyards. The region grows mostly warm weather varieties.
- The topography of the AVA varies from the gentle rolling hills of the lower elevations to steep and rugged hillsides covered with boulders and oak woodlands as on travels east.
- Elevations range from 1,600 to 3,500 feet with slope angles measuring from 15 to 40 percent, which generally requires all vineyard work – including harvesting – to be done by hand.
- Other distinguishing features of the AVA include cooler daytime temperatures and warmer nighttime temperatures than the surrounding San Joaquin Valley, and significantly more rainfall than the surrounding valley (but less than the forest to the north).
You can catch the full details – straight from the TTB – just click to read the document concerning the: Establishment of the Squaw Valley-Miramonte Viticultural Area
Welcome to the world, Squaw Valley-Miramonte AVA!