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Appellation America: Getting Beyond Wine Ranking to a Taste-of-Place

WEBWIRE, a leading internet wine portal, today announced the launch of its Discovery Tasting Program, which aims to explore the agricultural and environmental factors that come together to differentiate the more than 200 officially designated winegrowing regions in North America.

According to Appellation America’s Managing Editor, Adam Dial, the strength of the North American wine industry is found in the diversity of its winegrowing venues and the resulting wines.

“There are many factors that come together to create an identity for wine and wine making regions that simply cannot be calculated numerically,” said Dial. “It is the aim of the Discovery Tasting Program to explore each of these regions, with the depth and scope that they deserve.”

Currently available on are findings from Discovery Tastings held in Sonoma Green Valley, Dry Creek and Anderson Valley in California, as well as Hermann in Missouri and the Nova Scotia Appellation in Canada.

The Appellation Discovery tastings are not competitions, but rather discussion and notated descriptions about common and interesting taste themes in the wines. Wines are not scored or individually ranked. Well crafted wines which express the typicity of the region are grouped together under the designation Appellation Signature Wines. In short, it’s all about the place, not the individual wines.

The Appellation Discovery Program seeks to identify threads of regional commonality and to pinpoint terroir based and regional stylistic signatures in the wines of each appellation, if such commonality exists, or is developing. The Discovery Process is centered on highly structured blind tastings, organized by AppellationAmerica’s regional correspondents and undertaken by leading winemakers of each region.

Appellation America’s Dial maintains that such a process of evaluation, where numbers are exchanged for words, allows for a much more thorough appreciation of wine.

“Our approach is to systematically explore for the taste of place and to make those discoveries an integral part of the public image and appreciation of each appellation,” says Adam Dial.

About Appellation America is an online wine portal covering all wine regions in North America. Its mission is to work with the industry in each region to identify and develop distinct appellation identities, and then to build appellation consciousness in the broader wine consuming culture.

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