Expansion of the Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area, 81846-81849 [2010-32873]

Download as PDF 81846 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Rules and Regulations § 418.3335 What types of unearned income do we count? * * * * * (b) For claims filed before January 1, 2010, and redeterminations that are effective before January 1, 2010, we also count in-kind support and maintenance as unearned income. In-kind support and maintenance is any food and shelter given to you or that you receive because someone else pays for it. § 418.3345 [Removed] 5. Remove § 418.3345. ■ 6. Revise § 418.3350 to read as follows: ■ § 418.3350 What types of unearned income do we not count? (a) For claims filed on or after January 1, 2010 and redeterminations that are effective on or after January 1, 2010, we do not count as income in-kind support and maintenance. (b) While we must know the source and amount of all of your unearned income, we do not count all of it to determine your eligibility for the subsidy. We apply to your unearned income the exclusions in § 418.3350(c) in the order listed. However, we do not reduce your unearned income below zero, and we do not apply any unused unearned income exclusion to earned income except for the $20 per month exclusion described in § 416.1124(c)(12) of this chapter. For purposes of determining eligibility for a subsidy and whether you should receive a full or partial subsidy, we treat the $20 per month exclusion as a $240 per year exclusion. (c) We do not count as income the unearned income described in § 416.1124(b) and (c) of this chapter, except for paragraph (c)(13). (d) We do not count as income any dividends or interest earned on resources you or your spouse owns. ■ 7. Amend § 418.3405 to revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES § 418.3405 count? What types of resources do we (a) We count liquid resources. Liquid resources are cash, financial accounts, and other financial instruments that can be converted to cash within 20 workdays, excluding certain nonworkdays as explained in § 416.120(d) of this chapter. Examples of resources that are ordinarily liquid include: stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, promissory notes, mortgages, life insurance policies (for claims filed before January 1, 2010, and redeterminations that are effective before January 1, 2010), financial institution accounts (including savings, VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:32 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 checking, and time deposits, also known as certificates of deposit), retirement accounts (such as individual retirement accounts or 401(k) accounts), revocable trusts, funds in an irrevocable trust if the trust beneficiary can direct the use of the funds, and similar items. We will presume that these types of resources can be converted to cash within 20 workdays and are countable as resources for subsidy determinations. However, if you establish that a particular resource cannot be converted to cash within 20 workdays, we will not count it as a resource. * * * * * ■ 8. Amend § 418.3425 to revise paragraph (f) to read as follows: § 418.3425 What resources do we exclude from counting? * * * * * (f) For claims filed on or after January 1, 2010, and redeterminations that are effective on or after January 1, 2010, life insurance owned by an individual (and spouse, if any). * * * * * [FR Doc. 2010–32848 Filed 12–28–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB–2010–0001; T.D. TTB–88; Re: Notice No. 103] RIN 1513–AB31 Expansion of the Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury. ACTION: Final rule; Treasury decision. AGENCY: This Treasury decision expands the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, California, by 18,790 acres. We designate viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. DATES: Effective Date: January 28, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth C. Kann, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20220; telephone 202–453–2002. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act requires that these regulations, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels, and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the regulations promulgated under the FAA Act. Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) allows the establishment of definitive viticultural areas and the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) contains the list of approved viticultural areas. Definition Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region distinguishable by geographical features, the boundaries of which have been recognized and defined in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographical origin. The establishment of viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of a viticultural area is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area. Requirements Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations outlines the procedure for proposing an American viticultural area and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grapegrowing region as a viticultural area. Section 9.3(b) of the TTB regulations requires the petition to include— • Evidence that the proposed viticultural area is locally and/or nationally known by the name specified in the petition; • Historical or current evidence that supports setting the boundary of the proposed viticultural area as the petition specifies; E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Rules and Regulations • Evidence relating to the geographical features, such as climate, soils, elevation, and physical features that distinguish the proposed viticultural area from surrounding areas; • A description of the specific boundary of the proposed viticultural area, based on features found on United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps; and • A copy of the appropriate USGS map(s) with the proposed viticultural area’s boundary prominently marked. Santa Maria Valley Expansion Petition srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES Background On August 5, 1981, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), our predecessor agency, published T.D. ATF–89 in the Federal Register at 46 FR 39811 (August 5, 1981), establishing the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area (27 CFR 9.28) on 97,483 acres in southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, largely within the Central Coast viticultural area (27 CFR 9.75). A small portion of the existing Santa Maria Valley viticultural area lies outside of the Central Coast area’s boundary within the Los Padres National Forest where no grape-growing takes place. In the Geographical Evidence section, T.D. ATF–89 stated that prevailing ocean winds blow west to east, into and through the Santa Maria Valley. The winds create a climate where air temperatures are cooler in summer and winter, but warmer in fall, than the surrounding areas. In March 2006, Sara Schorske of Compliance Service of America, Inc., on behalf of a group of local winery and vineyard owners, submitted a petition proposing an expansion of the southern and western boundaries of the current Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. The petition presented evidence and documentation in recognition of the geographical name of the proposed southern expansion area and in support of the similarities of its climate, soils, terrain, and watershed with those of the original viticultural area. The petition also documented significant commercial viticulture to the south of the original southern boundary line. TTB returned the March 2006 petition to expand the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area with a letter urging the petitioner to delete the western expansion portion, about which sufficient evidence was not presented. Ms. Schorske then submitted the current petition, which requests only a southern expansion (consisting of 18,790 acres) of the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. The expansion VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:32 Dec 28, 2010 Jkt 223001 area lies in northern Santa Barbara County, according to the boundary description and USGS maps, and is entirely within the Central Coast viticultural area. The expansion area includes 9 vineyards, 255 acres of commercial viticulture, and 60 to 200 acres under viticultural development, according to the petition. Name Evidence The current petition explains that the original petition supporting the establishment of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area in 1981 documented the ‘‘Santa Maria Valley’’ name for the geographical area. Hence, T.D. ATF–89, in establishing the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area, determined that the most appropriate name for the geographical area was Santa Maria Valley. The current petition states that the southern expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area follows the watershed boundary line between the Santa Maria Valley to the north and the Los Alamos Valley to the south. The current petition relies on the Santa Maria River watershed for name recognition of the expansion area. Boundary Evidence The original southern boundary line of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area follows Foxen Canyon Road and Clark Avenue, at Sisquoc, for 4.2 miles inside the southern perimeter of the Santa Maria River watershed, according to the current boundary description and USGS maps. On the south side of the Santa Maria Valley watershed, the creeks drain northward to lower elevations, through the valley, and into the Santa Maria River, as shown on USGS maps. Computer-generated watershed maps show that the expansion of the southern boundary line conforms to the Santa Maria River watershed, according to the petition. The boundary line of the southern expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area, going clockwise, starts at the southeast corner of the current viticultural area boundary and travels in a straight line west-northwest, over the Solomon Hills to its intersection with U.S. Route 101, according to the boundary description and USGS maps. Following U.S. 101, the boundary line continues north to Clark Avenue in Orcutt, rejoining the original boundary line of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 81847 Distinguishing Features Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area as Established by T.D. ATF–89 TTB notes that in establishing the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area, T.D. ATF–89 cited terrain, soils, and climate as distinguishing features. Terrain: According to T.D. ATF–89, the boundary line of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area surrounds the Santa Maria Valley floor, adjacent canyons, and sloping terraces. Elevations vary from a low of 200 feet at the Santa Maria River to a high of 3,200 feet at Tepusquet Peak. As shown on the USGS Foxen Canyon map, a westward projection of the San Rafael Mountains, peaking at 1,801 feet in elevation, extends about 4 miles into the southeast portion of the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. According to USGS maps, the original southern boundary line varies from 600 to 1,000 feet in elevation. Vineyards within the original viticultural area were planted between elevations of 300 feet on the valley floor and 800 feet on the slopes of the rolling hillsides. Soils and Climate: According to T.D. ATF–89, the soils of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area are well drained and fertile, and range in texture from sandy loam to clay loam. The prevailing, cooling, marine-influenced ocean winds are also important to the viticultural area. Current Petition to Expand the Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area Terrain: The petition states that the geography of the southern expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area is similar to that inside the original southern boundary line. The valley lies along an east-southeast axis, and is about 16 miles long within the existing viticultural area and the expansion area (‘‘Locations of Weather Stations and Selected Vineyards and Wineries,’’ map, undated). In the southern expansion area, gently rolling hills give way to a more rugged terrain of canyons and steep slopes, as shown on USGS maps. Elevations in the southern expansion area vary between around 440 feet near Sisquoc to 1,360 feet at the southeast corner of the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area, and are similar to those in areas on or surrounding the Santa Maria Valley floor. The petition includes the table below, which shows the elevations of commercial vineyards in the southern portion of the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and in the southern expansion area. Elevations of vineyards within the southern portion of the original Santa Maria Valley E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 81848 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Rules and Regulations viticultural area range from 600 to 950 feet; likewise, those of vineyards in the southern expansion area range from 600 to 930 feet. Vineyard srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES Rancho Ontiveros ............................................................ Solomon Hills ................................................................... Good Child ....................................................................... Riverbench ....................................................................... Rancho Sisquoc ............................................................... Foxen ............................................................................... Addamo Estate ................................................................ Solomon Hills ................................................................... Casa Torres ..................................................................... Le Bon Climate ................................................................ Lucas Lewellan ................................................................ Foxen ............................................................................... Rancho Real .................................................................... Murphy ............................................................................. Climate: The petition explains that the Santa Maria Valley has a ‘‘maritime fringe’’ climate (‘‘The Climate of Southern California,’’ Harry P. Bailey, University of California Press, 1966). The maritime fringe climate derives from the Pacific Ocean, causing foggy and windy conditions in the Santa Maria Valley. In contrast, some other inland, high-elevation areas nearby have either less or no marine influence, according to the petition. The petition states that during the summer growing season, the marine air moves onshore, passing through lowelevation passes in the Coast Range, inland to the Santa Maria Valley. (T.D. ATF–89 describes the Santa Maria Valley as a ‘‘natural funnel-shaped’’ valley.) Temperatures are consistent throughout the gentle west-to-east rise in elevations in the Santa Maria Valley. The petition states that the cooling wind and fog encounter little resistance in any direction until they meet the Sierra Madre Mountains on the north side of the valley and the Solomon Hills on the south side, where the valley terminates. The boundary of the southern expansion extends to the Solomon Hills, where the cooling wind and fog encounter resistance, according to the petition. The petition includes a map that shows the broad, westerly opening between these mountains and hills and how they funnel cooling wind and fog in an east-southeast direction, into the valley. T.D. ATF–89 states that ‘‘* * * the prevailing winds from the ocean [cause] the valley to have a generally cooler summer, warmer fall, and cooler winter than surrounding areas.’’ The current petition provides data from two weather stations, one within the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and one within the expansion area. Both stations are VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:32 Dec 28, 2010 Approximate elevation in feet Location Jkt 223001 Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within Within the the the the the the the the the the the the the the AVA ...................................................................................... AVA ...................................................................................... AVA ...................................................................................... AVA ...................................................................................... AVA ...................................................................................... AVA ...................................................................................... proposed expansion ............................................................ proposed expansion ............................................................ proposed expansion ............................................................ proposed expansion ............................................................ proposed expansion ............................................................ proposed expansion ............................................................ proposed expansion ............................................................. proposed expansion ............................................................ nestled along foothills, slightly above the valley floor. A graph in the petition presents heat accumulation data recorded in 2004 at the two stations. The graph shows that growing season totals for 2004 in the original viticultural area and in the expansion area were both just below 3,000 growing degree days. As a measurement of heat accumulation during the growing season, 1 growing degree day accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day’s mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth (‘‘General Viticulture,’’ Albert J. Winkler, University of California Press, 1975, pages 61–64). Soils: According to the petition, the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area consists of a wide variety of soils, without a single dominant type. The petition provides a table listing the soil map units in the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and in the expansion area. The table is divided into four general areas. Three areas are within the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area: (1) Valley floor, (2) hills (the Solomon Hills), and (3) mountains (the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, northeast of the Santa Maria River). The fourth is the southern expansion area. As shown in the table, the soils are mainly sand, sandy loam, and loam on the valley floor, but are mixed sandy loam, clay loam, shaly loam, and silt loam on mountains. However, the soils in the expansion area are also found in the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. In both the expansion area and on hills in the original viticultural area, the soils are sand, sandy loam, clay loam, and shaly clay PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 650 700 750–800 950 600–750 720 760–840 640–840 720–800 600 700 800–900 650–930 750–880 loam, but are mostly loam and shaly loam. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received TTB published Notice No. 103 regarding the proposed expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area in the Federal Register at 75 FR 9827 (March 4, 2010). In that notice, TTB invited comments by May 3, 2010, from all interested persons. We solicited comments from interested members of the public on whether we should expand the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area as described above. We expressed particular interest in receiving comments concerning the similarity of the proposed expansion area to the current Santa Maria Valley viticultural area, the geographical features that distinguish the viticultural features of the proposed expansion area from the area beyond it to the south, and the use of the Santa Maria River watershed to justify the proposed expansion of the southern boundary line. We received two comments in response to the notice, both supporting the expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. An agricultural property appraiser supports the expansion and states the boundaries are reasonably defined by geographic features. A Farm Advisor employed with the Cooperative Extension-San Luis Obispo County, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, supports the expansion based on similarities in temperature conditions within the existing Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and the expansion area. The Advisor included temperature data, an aerial picture of the area, and a 2008 and 2009 overview of the average growing degree days for E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / Rules and Regulations the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area that includes the expansion area. regulatory flexibility analysis is required. TTB Finding After careful review of the petition and the comments received, TTB finds that the evidence submitted supports the expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. Accordingly, under the authority of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and part 4 of our regulations, we expand the Santa Maria Valley American viticultural area in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, California, effective 30 days from the publication date of this document. Executive Order 12866 This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866. Therefore, it requires no regulatory assessment. Boundary Description See the narrative boundary description of the viticultural area in the regulatory text published at the end of this document. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with RULES For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we amend title 27 CFR, chapter 1, part 9, as follows: ■ PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205. Regulatory Flexibility Act We certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name is the result of a proprietor’s efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no Jkt 223001 The Regulatory Amendment 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Impact on Current Wine Labels The expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area will not affect currently approved wine labels. The approval of this expansion may allow additional vintners to use ‘‘Santa Maria Valley’’ as an appellation of origin on their wine labels. Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine’s true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with a viticultural area name or with a brand name that includes a viticultural area name or other term identified as viticulturally significant in part 9 of the TTB regulations, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name or other term, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(3). Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing a viticultural area name or other viticulturally significant term that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details. 18:32 Dec 28, 2010 List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9 Wine. ■ Maps The maps for determining the boundary of the viticultural area are listed below in the regulatory text. VerDate Mar<15>2010 Drafting Information N.A. Sutton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice. Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Section 9.28 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 9.28 Santa Maria Valley. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is ‘‘Santa Maria Valley’’. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, ‘‘Santa Maria Valley’’ is a term of viticultural significance. (b) Approved maps. The six United States Geological Survey maps used to determine the boundary of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area are titled: (1) Orcutt Quadrangle, CaliforniaSanta Barbara Co., 7.5 minute series, 1959, photorevised 1967 and 1974, photoinspected 1978; (2) Santa Maria Quadrangle, California, 7.5 minute series, 1959, photorevised 1982; (3) ‘‘San Luis Obispo’’, N.I. 10–3, series V 502, scale 1: 250,000; (4) ‘‘Santa Maria’’, N.I. 10–6, 9, series V 502, scale 1: 250,000; (5) Foxen Canyon Quadrangle, California-Santa Barbara Co., 7.5-minute series, 1995; and (6) Sisquoc Quadrangle, CaliforniaSanta Barbara Co., 7.5 minute series, 1959, photoinspected 1974. (c) Boundary. The Santa Maria Valley viticultural area is located in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, California. The boundary of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area is as follows: (1) Begin on the Orcutt quadrangle map at the intersection of U.S. Route 101 and Clark Avenue, section 18 north PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 81849 boundary line, T9N/R33W, then proceed generally north along U.S. Route 101 approximately 10 miles onto the Santa Maria quadrangle map to U.S. Route 101’s intersection with State Route 166 (east), T10N/R34W; then (2) Proceed generally northeast along State Route 166 (east) onto the San Luis Obispo N.I. 10–3 map to State Route 166’s intersection with the section line southwest of Chimney Canyon, T11N/ R32W; then (3) Proceed south in a straight line onto the Santa Maria N.I. 10–6 map to the 3,016-foot summit of Los Coches Mountain; then (4) Proceed southeast in a straight line onto the Foxen Canyon quadrangle map to the 2,822-foot summit of Bone Mountain, T9N/R32W; then (5) Proceed south-southwest in a straight line approximately 6 miles to the line’s intersection with secondary highways Foxen Canyon Road and Alisos Canyon Road and a marked 1,116-foot elevation point, T8N/R32W; then (6) Proceed west-northwest in a straight line approximately 6 miles onto the Sisquoc quadrangle map to the southeast corner of section 4, T8N/ R32W; then (7) Proceed west-northwest in a straight line approximately 6.2 miles, crossing over the Solomon Hills, to the line’s intersection with U.S. Route 101 and a private, unnamed light-duty road that meanders east into the Cat Canyon Oil Field, T9N/R33W; then (8) Proceed north 3.75 miles along U.S. Route 101 onto the Orcutt quadrangle map and return to the point of beginning. Signed: August 24, 2010. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: September 21, 2010. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2010–32873 Filed 12–28–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 72 [Docket No. OAG 117; AG Order No. 3239– 2010] RIN 1105–AB22 Office of the Attorney General; Applicability of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act Department of Justice. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: E:\FR\FM\29DER1.SGM 29DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 29, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 81846-81849]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32873]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2010-0001; T.D. TTB-88; Re: Notice No. 103]
RIN 1513-AB31


Expansion of the Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area

AGENCY: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule; Treasury decision.

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SUMMARY: This Treasury decision expands the Santa Maria Valley 
viticultural area in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, 
California, by 18,790 acres. We designate viticultural areas to allow 
vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow 
consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

DATES: Effective Date: January 28, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth C. Kann, Regulations and 
Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G 
Street, NW., Washington, DC 20220; telephone 202-453-2002.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background on Viticultural Areas

TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 
27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe 
regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt 
beverages. The FAA Act requires that these regulations, among other 
things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading 
statements on labels, and ensure that labels provide the consumer with 
adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the 
regulations promulgated under the FAA Act.
    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) allows the 
establishment of definitive viticultural areas and the use of their 
names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine 
advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) contains 
the list of approved viticultural areas.

Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) 
defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-
growing region distinguishable by geographical features, the boundaries 
of which have been recognized and defined in part 9 of the regulations. 
These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given 
quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes 
grown in an area to its geographical origin. The establishment of 
viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the 
origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify 
wines they may purchase. Establishment of a viticultural area is 
neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in 
that area.

Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations outlines the procedure 
for proposing an American viticultural area and provides that any 
interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region 
as a viticultural area. Section 9.3(b) of the TTB regulations requires 
the petition to include--
     Evidence that the proposed viticultural area is locally 
and/or nationally known by the name specified in the petition;
     Historical or current evidence that supports setting the 
boundary of the proposed viticultural area as the petition specifies;

[[Page 81847]]

     Evidence relating to the geographical features, such as 
climate, soils, elevation, and physical features that distinguish the 
proposed viticultural area from surrounding areas;
     A description of the specific boundary of the proposed 
viticultural area, based on features found on United States Geological 
Survey (USGS) maps; and
     A copy of the appropriate USGS map(s) with the proposed 
viticultural area's boundary prominently marked.

Santa Maria Valley Expansion Petition

Background

    On August 5, 1981, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms 
(ATF), our predecessor agency, published T.D. ATF-89 in the Federal 
Register at 46 FR 39811 (August 5, 1981), establishing the Santa Maria 
Valley viticultural area (27 CFR 9.28) on 97,483 acres in southern San 
Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, largely within the 
Central Coast viticultural area (27 CFR 9.75). A small portion of the 
existing Santa Maria Valley viticultural area lies outside of the 
Central Coast area's boundary within the Los Padres National Forest 
where no grape-growing takes place. In the Geographical Evidence 
section, T.D. ATF-89 stated that prevailing ocean winds blow west to 
east, into and through the Santa Maria Valley. The winds create a 
climate where air temperatures are cooler in summer and winter, but 
warmer in fall, than the surrounding areas.
    In March 2006, Sara Schorske of Compliance Service of America, 
Inc., on behalf of a group of local winery and vineyard owners, 
submitted a petition proposing an expansion of the southern and western 
boundaries of the current Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. The 
petition presented evidence and documentation in recognition of the 
geographical name of the proposed southern expansion area and in 
support of the similarities of its climate, soils, terrain, and 
watershed with those of the original viticultural area. The petition 
also documented significant commercial viticulture to the south of the 
original southern boundary line. TTB returned the March 2006 petition 
to expand the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area with a letter urging 
the petitioner to delete the western expansion portion, about which 
sufficient evidence was not presented.
    Ms. Schorske then submitted the current petition, which requests 
only a southern expansion (consisting of 18,790 acres) of the original 
Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. The expansion area lies in 
northern Santa Barbara County, according to the boundary description 
and USGS maps, and is entirely within the Central Coast viticultural 
area. The expansion area includes 9 vineyards, 255 acres of commercial 
viticulture, and 60 to 200 acres under viticultural development, 
according to the petition.

Name Evidence

    The current petition explains that the original petition supporting 
the establishment of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area in 1981 
documented the ``Santa Maria Valley'' name for the geographical area. 
Hence, T.D. ATF-89, in establishing the Santa Maria Valley viticultural 
area, determined that the most appropriate name for the geographical 
area was Santa Maria Valley.
    The current petition states that the southern expansion of the 
Santa Maria Valley viticultural area follows the watershed boundary 
line between the Santa Maria Valley to the north and the Los Alamos 
Valley to the south. The current petition relies on the Santa Maria 
River watershed for name recognition of the expansion area.

Boundary Evidence

    The original southern boundary line of the Santa Maria Valley 
viticultural area follows Foxen Canyon Road and Clark Avenue, at 
Sisquoc, for 4.2 miles inside the southern perimeter of the Santa Maria 
River watershed, according to the current boundary description and USGS 
maps. On the south side of the Santa Maria Valley watershed, the creeks 
drain northward to lower elevations, through the valley, and into the 
Santa Maria River, as shown on USGS maps. Computer-generated watershed 
maps show that the expansion of the southern boundary line conforms to 
the Santa Maria River watershed, according to the petition.
    The boundary line of the southern expansion of the Santa Maria 
Valley viticultural area, going clockwise, starts at the southeast 
corner of the current viticultural area boundary and travels in a 
straight line west-northwest, over the Solomon Hills to its 
intersection with U.S. Route 101, according to the boundary description 
and USGS maps. Following U.S. 101, the boundary line continues north to 
Clark Avenue in Orcutt, rejoining the original boundary line of the 
Santa Maria Valley viticultural area.

Distinguishing Features

Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area as Established by T.D. ATF-89
    TTB notes that in establishing the Santa Maria Valley viticultural 
area, T.D. ATF-89 cited terrain, soils, and climate as distinguishing 
features.
    Terrain: According to T.D. ATF-89, the boundary line of the Santa 
Maria Valley viticultural area surrounds the Santa Maria Valley floor, 
adjacent canyons, and sloping terraces. Elevations vary from a low of 
200 feet at the Santa Maria River to a high of 3,200 feet at Tepusquet 
Peak. As shown on the USGS Foxen Canyon map, a westward projection of 
the San Rafael Mountains, peaking at 1,801 feet in elevation, extends 
about 4 miles into the southeast portion of the original Santa Maria 
Valley viticultural area. According to USGS maps, the original southern 
boundary line varies from 600 to 1,000 feet in elevation. Vineyards 
within the original viticultural area were planted between elevations 
of 300 feet on the valley floor and 800 feet on the slopes of the 
rolling hillsides.
    Soils and Climate: According to T.D. ATF-89, the soils of the Santa 
Maria Valley viticultural area are well drained and fertile, and range 
in texture from sandy loam to clay loam. The prevailing, cooling, 
marine-influenced ocean winds are also important to the viticultural 
area.
Current Petition to Expand the Santa Maria Valley Viticultural Area
    Terrain: The petition states that the geography of the southern 
expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area is similar to 
that inside the original southern boundary line. The valley lies along 
an east-southeast axis, and is about 16 miles long within the existing 
viticultural area and the expansion area (``Locations of Weather 
Stations and Selected Vineyards and Wineries,'' map, undated). In the 
southern expansion area, gently rolling hills give way to a more rugged 
terrain of canyons and steep slopes, as shown on USGS maps. Elevations 
in the southern expansion area vary between around 440 feet near 
Sisquoc to 1,360 feet at the southeast corner of the original Santa 
Maria Valley viticultural area, and are similar to those in areas on or 
surrounding the Santa Maria Valley floor.
    The petition includes the table below, which shows the elevations 
of commercial vineyards in the southern portion of the original Santa 
Maria Valley viticultural area and in the southern expansion area. 
Elevations of vineyards within the southern portion of the original 
Santa Maria Valley

[[Page 81848]]

viticultural area range from 600 to 950 feet; likewise, those of 
vineyards in the southern expansion area range from 600 to 930 feet.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Approximate
             Vineyard                     Location         elevation in
                                                               feet
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rancho Ontiveros..................  Within the AVA......             650
Solomon Hills.....................  Within the AVA......             700
Good Child........................  Within the AVA......         750-800
Riverbench........................  Within the AVA......             950
Rancho Sisquoc....................  Within the AVA......         600-750
Foxen.............................  Within the AVA......             720
Addamo Estate.....................  Within the proposed          760-840
                                     expansion.
Solomon Hills.....................  Within the proposed          640-840
                                     expansion.
Casa Torres.......................  Within the proposed          720-800
                                     expansion.
Le Bon Climate....................  Within the proposed              600
                                     expansion.
Lucas Lewellan....................  Within the proposed              700
                                     expansion.
Foxen.............................  Within the proposed          800-900
                                     expansion.
Rancho Real.......................  Within the proposed          650-930
                                     expansion.
Murphy............................  Within the proposed          750-880
                                     expansion.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Climate: The petition explains that the Santa Maria Valley has a 
``maritime fringe'' climate (``The Climate of Southern California,'' 
Harry P. Bailey, University of California Press, 1966). The maritime 
fringe climate derives from the Pacific Ocean, causing foggy and windy 
conditions in the Santa Maria Valley. In contrast, some other inland, 
high-elevation areas nearby have either less or no marine influence, 
according to the petition.
    The petition states that during the summer growing season, the 
marine air moves onshore, passing through low-elevation passes in the 
Coast Range, inland to the Santa Maria Valley. (T.D. ATF-89 describes 
the Santa Maria Valley as a ``natural funnel-shaped'' valley.) 
Temperatures are consistent throughout the gentle west-to-east rise in 
elevations in the Santa Maria Valley. The petition states that the 
cooling wind and fog encounter little resistance in any direction until 
they meet the Sierra Madre Mountains on the north side of the valley 
and the Solomon Hills on the south side, where the valley terminates. 
The boundary of the southern expansion extends to the Solomon Hills, 
where the cooling wind and fog encounter resistance, according to the 
petition.
    The petition includes a map that shows the broad, westerly opening 
between these mountains and hills and how they funnel cooling wind and 
fog in an east-southeast direction, into the valley. T.D. ATF-89 states 
that ``* * * the prevailing winds from the ocean [cause] the valley to 
have a generally cooler summer, warmer fall, and cooler winter than 
surrounding areas.''
    The current petition provides data from two weather stations, one 
within the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and one within 
the expansion area. Both stations are nestled along foothills, slightly 
above the valley floor. A graph in the petition presents heat 
accumulation data recorded in 2004 at the two stations. The graph shows 
that growing season totals for 2004 in the original viticultural area 
and in the expansion area were both just below 3,000 growing degree 
days.
    As a measurement of heat accumulation during the growing season, 1 
growing degree day accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day's 
mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required 
for grapevine growth (``General Viticulture,'' Albert J. Winkler, 
University of California Press, 1975, pages 61-64).
    Soils: According to the petition, the original Santa Maria Valley 
viticultural area consists of a wide variety of soils, without a single 
dominant type. The petition provides a table listing the soil map units 
in the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and in the 
expansion area. The table is divided into four general areas. Three 
areas are within the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural area: (1) 
Valley floor, (2) hills (the Solomon Hills), and (3) mountains (the 
foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, northeast of the Santa Maria 
River). The fourth is the southern expansion area.
    As shown in the table, the soils are mainly sand, sandy loam, and 
loam on the valley floor, but are mixed sandy loam, clay loam, shaly 
loam, and silt loam on mountains. However, the soils in the expansion 
area are also found in the original Santa Maria Valley viticultural 
area. In both the expansion area and on hills in the original 
viticultural area, the soils are sand, sandy loam, clay loam, and shaly 
clay loam, but are mostly loam and shaly loam.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received

    TTB published Notice No. 103 regarding the proposed expansion of 
the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area in the Federal Register at 75 
FR 9827 (March 4, 2010). In that notice, TTB invited comments by May 3, 
2010, from all interested persons. We solicited comments from 
interested members of the public on whether we should expand the Santa 
Maria Valley viticultural area as described above. We expressed 
particular interest in receiving comments concerning the similarity of 
the proposed expansion area to the current Santa Maria Valley 
viticultural area, the geographical features that distinguish the 
viticultural features of the proposed expansion area from the area 
beyond it to the south, and the use of the Santa Maria River watershed 
to justify the proposed expansion of the southern boundary line.
    We received two comments in response to the notice, both supporting 
the expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area. An 
agricultural property appraiser supports the expansion and states the 
boundaries are reasonably defined by geographic features. A Farm 
Advisor employed with the Cooperative Extension-San Luis Obispo County, 
University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, supports 
the expansion based on similarities in temperature conditions within 
the existing Santa Maria Valley viticultural area and the expansion 
area. The Advisor included temperature data, an aerial picture of the 
area, and a 2008 and 2009 overview of the average growing degree days 
for

[[Page 81849]]

the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area that includes the expansion 
area.

TTB Finding

    After careful review of the petition and the comments received, TTB 
finds that the evidence submitted supports the expansion of the Santa 
Maria Valley viticultural area. Accordingly, under the authority of the 
Federal Alcohol Administration Act and part 4 of our regulations, we 
expand the Santa Maria Valley American viticultural area in Santa 
Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, California, effective 30 days 
from the publication date of this document.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative boundary description of the viticultural area in 
the regulatory text published at the end of this document.

Maps

    The maps for determining the boundary of the viticultural area are 
listed below in the regulatory text.

Impact on Current Wine Labels

    The expansion of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area will not 
affect currently approved wine labels. The approval of this expansion 
may allow additional vintners to use ``Santa Maria Valley'' as an 
appellation of origin on their wine labels. Part 4 of the TTB 
regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or 
implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a 
wine to be labeled with a viticultural area name or with a brand name 
that includes a viticultural area name or other term identified as 
viticulturally significant in part 9 of the TTB regulations, at least 
85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the 
area represented by that name or other term, and the wine must meet the 
other conditions listed in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(3). Different rules apply if 
a wine has a brand name containing a viticultural area name or other 
viticulturally significant term that was used as a brand name on a 
label approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this regulation will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This 
regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other 
administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a 
viticultural area name is the result of a proprietor's efforts and 
consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory 
flexibility analysis is required.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by 
Executive Order 12866. Therefore, it requires no regulatory assessment.

Drafting Information

    N.A. Sutton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this 
notice.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

The Regulatory Amendment

0
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we amend title 27 CFR, 
chapter 1, part 9, as follows:

PART 9--AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS

0
1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205.

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

0
2. Section 9.28 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  9.28  Santa Maria Valley.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Santa Maria Valley''. For purposes of part 4 of this 
chapter, ``Santa Maria Valley'' is a term of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The six United States Geological Survey maps 
used to determine the boundary of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural 
area are titled:
    (1) Orcutt Quadrangle, California-Santa Barbara Co., 7.5 minute 
series, 1959, photorevised 1967 and 1974, photoinspected 1978;
    (2) Santa Maria Quadrangle, California, 7.5 minute series, 1959, 
photorevised 1982;
    (3) ``San Luis Obispo'', N.I. 10-3, series V 502, scale 1: 250,000;
    (4) ``Santa Maria'', N.I. 10-6, 9, series V 502, scale 1: 250,000;
    (5) Foxen Canyon Quadrangle, California-Santa Barbara Co., 7.5-
minute series, 1995; and
    (6) Sisquoc Quadrangle, California-Santa Barbara Co., 7.5 minute 
series, 1959, photoinspected 1974.
    (c) Boundary. The Santa Maria Valley viticultural area is located 
in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, California. The boundary 
of the Santa Maria Valley viticultural area is as follows:
    (1) Begin on the Orcutt quadrangle map at the intersection of U.S. 
Route 101 and Clark Avenue, section 18 north boundary line, T9N/R33W, 
then proceed generally north along U.S. Route 101 approximately 10 
miles onto the Santa Maria quadrangle map to U.S. Route 101's 
intersection with State Route 166 (east), T10N/R34W; then
    (2) Proceed generally northeast along State Route 166 (east) onto 
the San Luis Obispo N.I. 10-3 map to State Route 166's intersection 
with the section line southwest of Chimney Canyon, T11N/R32W; then
    (3) Proceed south in a straight line onto the Santa Maria N.I. 10-6 
map to the 3,016-foot summit of Los Coches Mountain; then
    (4) Proceed southeast in a straight line onto the Foxen Canyon 
quadrangle map to the 2,822-foot summit of Bone Mountain, T9N/R32W; 
then
    (5) Proceed south-southwest in a straight line approximately 6 
miles to the line's intersection with secondary highways Foxen Canyon 
Road and Alisos Canyon Road and a marked 1,116-foot elevation point, 
T8N/R32W; then
    (6) Proceed west-northwest in a straight line approximately 6 miles 
onto the Sisquoc quadrangle map to the southeast corner of section 4, 
T8N/R32W; then
    (7) Proceed west-northwest in a straight line approximately 6.2 
miles, crossing over the Solomon Hills, to the line's intersection with 
U.S. Route 101 and a private, unnamed light-duty road that meanders 
east into the Cat Canyon Oil Field, T9N/R33W; then
    (8) Proceed north 3.75 miles along U.S. Route 101 onto the Orcutt 
quadrangle map and return to the point of beginning.

    Signed: August 24, 2010.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
    Approved: September 21, 2010.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2010-32873 Filed 12-28-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P