The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has designated the “Dahlonega Plateau” as the newest viticultural area in the U.S., and the first with boundaries contained in the state of Georgia. The AVA’s name was derived from a long, narrow, northeast-southwest trending plateau in the northern foothills of the Georgia Piedmont.
This federal designation, which went into effect July 20, allows winemakers and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. Sections of wine growing regions with the same climate, soil, elevation and physical features are assigned an official AVA designation. A wine with an AVA label must have 85 percent of its grapes grown in that viticultural area.