Upper Mississippi River Valley AVA

The Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) officially became the world’s largest designated appellation on July 22nd. Encompassing 29,914 square miles along the Upper Mississippi River and its tributaries in northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois, southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin, the AVA unseats the 26,000-square-mile Ohio River Valley AVA.

Though the region is big, the wine industry there is small and growing. Tabor estimates there are about 50 wineries and maybe just 400 acres of vineyards. The Napa Valley’s way ahead there. Though only about 9 percent of the area is planted in vines, that still amounts to 45,000 acres.

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