Vineyards on California's Malibu Coast are able to geographically label their products after the region won official recognition as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Fifty-two growers are included in the Malibu Coast AVA, according to Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards, one of the estates included in the group. The recognition follows a three-year process that concluded last Friday.

"This is a historic day because the formation of the Malibu Coast AVA finally allows wines from Malibu to identify a 'sense of place' on their labels,” Elliott Dolin, owner of Dolin Malibu Estate, said yesterday (21 July).

The Malibu Coast region is about 46 miles long and eight miles wide, comprised mainly of the Santa Monica Mountains with 198 acres of vines in production.

An AVA is a designated wine grape-growing region in the US that has been defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. In 2009, the Napa Valley region of Calistoga in California was also awarded American Viticultural Area status.