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USA wine classification


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Each state has its own appellation of origin; in addition ‘American wine’ or ‘vin de table’ is blended wine from one area or more; multi-state appellation is wine from two or three neighbouring states (the percentage from each must be shown on the label); for State and County appellation at least 75% must come from the designated area. ‘Approved viticultural areas’ must have defined boundaries, specific characteristics, and a proven reputation for quality; 85% of the grapes used must come from the defined area; when an individual vineyard is named, 95% of the grapes must have been grown there.

For tax purposes a table wine must be between 10 and 14% alcohol; stronger wines are classified as dessert wines, even if dry; dessert wines between 17 and 21% alcohol are classified by alcoholic strength, not sweetness.

US wines may be sold by a generic classification (e.g. Chablis or Loire); such names are prohibited from export to the EU.

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