Coordinates: 38°0′N 78°25′W / 38.000°N 78.417°W / 38.000; -78.417

Monticello AVA
Wine region
Type American Viticultural Area
Year established 1984[1]
Years of wine industry 30
Country USA
Part of Virginia
Growing season 211 days
Climate region Humid subtropical/maritime in highlands
Soil conditions Granite-based clay
Total area 800,000 acres (323,749 ha)[2]
Varietals produced Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, Muscat of Alexandria, Norton, Orange Muscat, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Sauvignon blanc, Seyval blanc, Syrah, Tannat, Touriga Nacional, Traminette, Vidal blanc, Viognier, Zinfandel[3]
No. of wineries 24

The Monticello AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the central Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is named for Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson, located near the center of the area. The Monticello AVA includes most of the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Orange, and Nelson. The area is nestled along the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and encompasses the small ridge known as the Southwest Mountains. There are approximately 30 varieties of grapes grown in the Monticello AVA. However, the most notable grapes grown in the area include Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Viognier. The hardiness zone is 7a except in some higher vineyards which are 6b.


The earliest recorded attempts at winemaking in the area occurred in the 1770s, when Thomas Jefferson provided financial support to Italian winemaker, Phillip Mazzei, who made a small quantity of wine from the native grapes, but without much success. Jefferson gave Mazzei significant acreage less than 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Monticello for the purpose of growing grapes. The area was planted in 1774. In 1776, with the advent of the Revolutionary war, Jefferson and George Washington dispatched Mazzei back to Italy to solicit war funding from the Duke of Tuscany. As was the practice at that time, Mazzei rented his home, in this instance to the Hessian cavalry officer Friedrich Adolf Riedesel, a prisoner of war who had been captured at Saratoga and was imprisoned in the Charlottesville barracks. Riedesel moved his entire staff up to Mazzei's home and turned their horses out to pasture in the infant vineyards. The vineyards were destroyed.


  1. ^ Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.48 Monticello." Archived 2012-02-12 at the Wayback Machine. Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2008.
  2. ^ Wine Institute, The (2008). "American Viticultural Areas by State". Retrieved Jan. 31, 2008.
  3. ^ Appellation America (2007). "Monticello (AVA): Appellation Description". Retrieved Jan. 30, 2008.

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