In the heart of the Missouri wine country along the Missouri River lies a 15 square mile plot of land which came to be known as the first officially recognized appellation in all of North America. The town of Augusta was approved as an AVA based largely on its long historical relationship with wine. However, there is also an ecological basis for this viticultural area, which is sheltered by a series of hills that protect the vineyards from the extreme weather conditions which affect other parts of the state. With less than ten wineries in the region, winemakers work closely with other nearby appellations to promote quality products and develop a state wine culture and tourism industry. In Augusta winemaking, history and traditions outweigh global market trends, and intimate family owned wineries remain true to their heritage. Augusta vintners continue to make the indigenous Norton/Cynthiana varietal their trademark product, and prefer hybrid varieties, such as Chambourcin and Seyval Blanc, over Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In these parts, the ecological horse is in front of the marketing cart.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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The Talented Mr. Chambourcin. Your attributes are undeniable, but your background is clouded in mystery.
is the Regional Correspondent for Augusta.