Abbreviation for "American Viticultural Area" (in some sources also "Approved Viticultural Area"), the appellation system commonly used in the USA. It was actually introduced at the insistence of Californian grape growers in particular. The classification system developed in California in the 1940s according to climatic zones had not proved to be effective. From 1970 onwards, all US states were examined with regard to their geographical characteristics by the BATF (now TTB = Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) on behalf of the US federal government. This was, for example, the suitability of certain regions for a certain grape variety. Then, in 1978, some geographical areas were classified for the first time, thus creating the conditions for a system of origin according to the French Appellation d'Origine Protégée. The first systems, which were still very inconsistent, were oriented towards political state or county borders.