The Return of Great Wine Content

AppAMAppthumbGreat wine content doesn't die. It just gets re-platformed.

This is the case with much of the important reference content on Today, the recently launched Appellation America App (for the iPhone), provides mobile users with one of the best sources of appellation and grape variety descriptons in one place.

For those of you who do not recall the Appellation America website, it was among the most impressive online wine publishing ventures I'd ever conceived. I really got to know it when asked to come on board as the PR consultant. The idea was to flesh out the meaning, the history, the wines and, most important, the terroir of appellations in ALL 50 states, not just CA, OR and WA.

The first thing the publishers did was go out and bring together a remarkably talented gang of professional wine writers from across the country, pay them well, and ask them to cover specific appellations in depth. You had Tony Aspler, Dan Berger, Barbara Ensrud, Laurie Daniels. Alan Goldfarb, Ray & Eleanor Heald, Clark Smith and Lenn Thompson…to name but a few…all writing for one wine site.

One of the most important aspects about Appellation America (the web site) was that you would constantly be getting articles detailing the characteristics of wines in places like Missouri, Nova Scotia, the Carolinas and, yes, California. In the end, the idea was to provide a profile of every AVA that included the characteristics that each AVA's wines possessed.At one point, some the best, most useful and insightful wine writing was coming out of this website.

Like many noble ventures, it didn't work out in its original incarnation. However, what did survive is the remarkably good index of varietals and AVAs, each with spot on descriptions of the grape or the region. This is what is now available on the Appellation America App.

I recommend it highly to anyone that 1) likes to read about wine or 2) wants to have at their beck and call a description of 150 different grape varieties and 290 AVA descriptions.

The new Apellation America App is only $1.99 and a no brainer download for wine lovers and the trade. However, the Appellation America website and its treasure trove of content still lives, with new content being added on a fairly regular basis, though not as frequently as in the site's heyday. Much of the really great content is now subscription based, rather than free and supported by ads and wine sales as it had been in the past. You can get a taste of what's behind he subscription price by checking out its Editorial Features and the rest of the website. But to get everything Appellation America has to offer, you will need to subscribe.


6 Responses

  1. Taylor Eason - August 3, 2012

    I was also involved in this website and considered working for Roger Dial, the founder of Appellation America. I loved and continue to love the spirit behind the idea of appellations around the U.S. and what he and his son are striving for. Here’s hoping the app will catch on. Agreed, incredibly rich content!

  2. Jordan Kaye - August 3, 2012

    Great recommendation.

  3. pcb assembly uk - August 5, 2012

    Really cool post, highly informative and professionally written..Good Job

  4. Alan Goldfarb - August 6, 2012

    Once again Tom, after all these years, you continue to champion good quality wine journalism, of which — as we all know — there is a paucity. was a prescient idea but, as in most online endeavors, it failed to monetize itself. Alas, that.
    I loved writing for the site for 5 years (I was the first U.S. writer hired), and it was the best damned wine writing gig I’d ever had. (Please let;s not forget Tom Elkjer, a great writer, who left to, I think, go into the wine biz itself with his sister in Mendo; and also Michael Lasky, a damned fine editor (of which there is a paucity). Near the end, I wound up with a hi-falutin title of Senior Editor at, and then the site pulled the plug because of lack of revenue.
    But I’m still around, as well as the new iteration of Perhaps this time, it can figure out the quality-profit ratio. Or maybe not.

  5. Roger King - August 8, 2012

    Tom, thanks for covering this. The focus to regional diversity has never ended, maybe even brighter now as we work to encourage visitation to these appellations to experience that diversity in person. There is a very big continent out there in North American wine and way to little of it gets attention other than the predictable regions. Even in CA many get overlooked.
    At least having a single place reference, using all the fabulous descriptions and art that was accomplished
    during the day, is well worth finding this new application.
    PS we want to get back to ad supported and hopefully this will help!

  6. isabel marant sneakers - August 10, 2012

    This will really help me in completing my task easily and on time. Thanks for sharing. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.

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