On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, the TTB approved the establishment of the Lamorinda AVA. The Lamorinda AVA is located in Contra Costa County, California, and includes part of the cities of Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. (California residents might recognize this area as part of the “East Bay.”) The new AVA is entirely contained within the San Francisco Bay Area AVA, which is itself entirely contained within the Central Coast AVA.
The new AVA covers a total area of nearly 30,000 acres, much of it encompassed by suburbia, but it is also home to 46 commercial vineyards with a total of 139 acres of vines. According to the original petition (filed on behalf of the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association in 2013), each individual vineyard is small – perhaps 5 acres or less – due to both the citified infrastructure and the hilly terrain. In addition to the established vineyards, there are three larger commercial vineyards at various stages of being planned or established in the area; these might soon add another 130 acres of commercial vineyards to the region. There are currently six wineries operating in the area.
According to the petition, the unique features of the Lamorinda AVA include its soil, topography, and climate:
- Topography: The terrain consists mainly of moderate-to-steep hills with narrow valleys. In contrast, areas further inland are much more rugged, and areas to the west are both flatter and at lower overall elevations.
- Soils: The soils of Lamorinda tend to be thin, with high levels of clay and sand. In contrast, soils in the surrounding areas tend have more sedimentary and volcanic elements.
- Climate: The Lamorinda area is, overall, warmer than the areas to the north, south, and west due to the presence of hills that block the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean. It is, however, cooler than the region located further inland, to its east.
Note: The name Lamorinda is a portmanteau from the names of the three cities that make up the region: Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda.
Welcome to the world, Lamorinda AVA!
For more information:
- The website of the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association
- Link to the original documents on the TTB website
Post authored by Jane A. Nickles…your blog administrator