Establishment of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Viticultural Area, 66629-66637 [2011-27813]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Pinot Meunier (Meunier) * * * * * Piquepoul blanc (Picpoul) Prairie Star * * * * * Princess * * * * * Refosco (Mondeuse) * * * * * Reliance * * * * * Rkatsiteli (Rkatziteli) * * * * * Rondinella * * * * * Sabrevois * * * * * Sagrantino * * * * * St. Pepin St. Vincent * * * * * Sauvignon gris * * * * * Seyval blanc (Seyval) Shiraz (Syrah) * * * * * Trebbiano (Ugni blanc) * * * * * ˜ Valdepenas (Tempranillo) * * * * * Valiant Valvin Muscat * * * * * Vergennes Vermentino * * * * * Vignoles (Ravat 51) * * * * * White Riesling (Riesling) Wine King * * * * * Zinthiana Zweigelt DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 3. Section 4.92 is amended by removing the word ‘‘prime’’ or ‘‘Prime’’ wherever it appears, and by adding new paragraph (d) to read as follows: § 4.92 Alternative names permitted for temporary use. * * * * (d) Wines bottled prior to October 29, 2012. Alternative Name/Name Agwam—Agawam mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES * Signed: August 22, 2011. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: September 6, 2011. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2011–27812 Filed 10–26–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 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 having 27 CFR Part 9 distinguishing features as described in [Docket No. TTB–2010–0003; T.D. TTB–96; part 9 of the regulations and a name and Notice Nos. 105, 107, and 112] a delineated boundary as established in part 9 of the regulations. These RIN 1513–AB41 designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, Establishment of the Pine Mountainreputation, or other characteristic of a Cloverdale Peak Viticultural Area wine made from grapes grown in an area AGENCY: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and to its geographic origin. The Trade Bureau, Treasury. establishment of viticultural areas ACTION: Final rule; Treasury Decision. allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to SUMMARY: This document establishes the consumers and helps consumers to 4,570-acre ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale identify wines they may purchase. Peak’’ viticultural area in portions of Establishment of a viticultural area is Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, neither an approval nor an endorsement California. The Alcohol and Tobacco by TTB of the wine produced in that Tax and Trade Bureau designates area. viticultural areas to allow vintners to Requirements better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB identify wines they may purchase. regulations outlines the procedure for DATES: Effective date: November 28, proposing an American viticultural area 2011. and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grapeFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: growing region as a viticultural area. Elisabeth C. Kann, Regulations and Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G St., NW., prescribes standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of Room 200E, Washington, DC 20220; American viticultural areas. Such phone 202–453–1039, ext. 002. petitions must include the following: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: • Evidence that the area within the viticultural area boundary is nationally Background on Viticultural Areas or locally known by the viticultural area TTB Authority name specified in the petition; Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol • An explanation of the basis for Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 defining the boundary of the viticultural U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary area; of the Treasury to prescribe regulations • A narrative description of the for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, features of the viticultural area that and malt beverages. The FAA Act affect viticulture, such as climate, provides that these regulations should, geology, soils, physical features, and among other things, prohibit consumer elevation, that make it distinctive and deception and the use of misleading distinguish it from adjacent areas statements on labels, and ensure that outside the viticultural area boundary; labels provide the consumer with • A copy of the appropriate United adequate information as to the identity States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) and quality of the product. The Alcohol showing the location of the viticultural and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau area, with the boundary of the (TTB) administers the regulations viticultural area clearly drawn thereon; promulgated under the FAA Act. and Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR • A detailed narrative description of part 4) provides for the establishment of the viticultural area boundary based on definitive viticultural areas and the use USGS map markings. of their names as appellations of origin Pine Mountain-Mayacmas Petition on wine labels and in wine Sara Schorske of Compliance Service advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB of America prepared and submitted a regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth petition on her own behalf and on standards for the preparation, behalf of local wine industry members submission, and approval of petitions for the establishment or modification of to establish the 4,600-acre Pine American viticultural areas and lists the Mountain-Mayacmas American viticultural area in northern California. approved American viticultural areas. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ■ Jkt 226001 66629 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 66630 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Located approximately 90 miles north of San Francisco and 5 miles northnortheast of Cloverdale, the proposed viticultural area surrounds much of Pine Mountain, which rises to the east of U.S. 101 and the Russian River, to the north of that river’s Big Sulphur Creek tributary, and to the immediate west of the Mayacmas Mountains. Approximately two-thirds of the proposed viticultural area lies in the extreme southern portion of Mendocino County, with the remaining one-third located in the extreme northern portion of Sonoma County. According to the petition and the written boundary description, the proposed viticultural area is totally within the multicounty North Coast viticultural area (27 CFR 9.30) and overlaps the northernmost portions of the Alexander Valley viticultural area (27 CFR 9.53) and the Northern Sonoma viticultural area (27 CFR 9.70). The proposed area currently has 230 acres of commercial vineyards, the petition states, with another 150 acres under development. The petition states that the distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area include its mountainous soils, steep topography with high elevations, and a growing season climate that contrasts with the climate of the Alexander Valley floor below. Also, the petition notes that vineyards within the proposed viticultural area generally are smaller than the vineyards found on the Alexander Valley floor. The supporting evidence presented in the petition is summarized below. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Name Evidence According to the petition, the ‘‘Pine Mountain-Mayacmas’’ name combines the names of the major geographical features found within the proposed viticultural area and serves to locate the proposed area within northern California. As shown on the provided USGS maps, the proposed viticultural area surrounds Pine Mountain, a 3,000foot peak located on the western flank of the Mayacmas Mountains in northern Sonoma and southern Mendocino Counties. The northern portion of the 1998 USGS Asti, California, quadrangle map shows Pine Mountain rising to 3,000 feet in southern Mendocino County, near the Sonoma County line. Also, as shown on the Asti map, Pine Mountain Road climbs from the Cloverdale area and marks a portion of the proposed viticultural area’s southern boundary. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 The October 2000 edition of the California State Automobile Association’s Mendocino and Sonoma Coast road map shows the Mayacamas Mountains running north-northwest approximately from Mount St. Helena, and continuing through the Pine Mountain region to Lake Mendocino. A 1956 regional map produced by the State of California Division of Forestry, as provided with the petition, shows Pine Mountain located northeast of Cloverdale. The 1982 publication, ‘‘Cloverdale Then & Now—Being a History of Cloverdale, California, Its Environs, and Families,’’ refers to the Pine Mountain junction and the Pine Mountain toll road in discussing the early roads of the region (page 3). This publication also includes a 1942 picture of homesteaders Hubert and George Smith on Pine Mountain (page 6). A 1985 article in the Redwood Rancher, ‘‘The Early Wineries of the Cloverdale Area,’’ by William Cordtz, discusses the grape growing of Mrs. Emily Preston in the late 1800s. The article states that the Preston Winery ‘‘was on Pine Mountain immediately north of the present U.S. 101 bridge north of Cloverdale.’’ The petition also notes that the Pine Mountain Mineral Water Company bottled water from springs located on Pine Mountain for more than 50 years, until the mid-1900s. A copy of one of the company’s bottle labels included with the petition prominently displays the ‘‘Pine Mountain’’ name with a tall mountain in the background and springs in the foreground. As noted in the petition and as shown on USGS maps, the Mayacmas Mountain range covers portions of Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Lake Counties. The Mayacmas Mountain range separates Lake County from Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa Counties, and, the petition states, that range defines the northern side of the Alexander Valley. According to the petition, the mountains were named for the Mayacmas Indians. Although the name is sometimes spelled ‘‘Mayacamas’’ or ‘‘Maacama,’’ ‘‘Mayacmas’’ is the spelling used on USGS maps. Noting that the name ‘‘Pine Mountain’’ is commonly used throughout the United States, the petition states that the use of ‘‘Mayacmas’’ in the proposed viticultural area’s name acts as a geographic modifier that pinpoints the proposed viticultural area’s northern California location. The petitioners PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 believe that ‘‘California’’ is not an appropriate geographical modifier for the viticultural area’s name because there are other Pine Mountains in California. The USGS Geographical Names Information System (GNIS), for example, lists 21 additional ‘‘Pine Mountains’’ in California. The petition also notes that the Mayacmas Mountains ‘‘are closely associated with winegrowing’’ because the range is home to many vineyards and wineries. The Mayacmas range, the petition states, divides the grape growing regions of Ukiah and Clear Lake, and borders the Alexander Valley viticultural area as well as the Napa Valley (27 CFR 9.23) and Sonoma Valley (27 CFR 9.29) viticultural areas. The petition states that ‘‘Mayacmas is an ideal modifier’’ to distinguish the proposed viticultural area ‘‘from other places with similar names’’ and will ‘‘help consumers easily ascertain its general location.’’ Boundary Evidence According to the petition, the proposed 4,600-acre viticultural area encompasses those portions of Pine Mountain and the mountain’s lower slopes that are suitable for viticulture. The petition states that the boundary was drawn in consideration of the mountain’s varying steepness, water availability, and solar orientation. The petition notes that within the proposed viticultural area, vineyard development is generally limited to small, 5- to 20-acre plots of flat or gently sloping ground found within the proposed area’s mountainous terrain. Size-limiting factors for these mountain vineyard operations, the petition explains, include the need for tractor use and economical erosion control. The mountain vineyards’ patchwork arrangement, the petition continues, contrasts to the larger vineyards, some of 100 acres or more, found on the floor of the nearby Alexander Valley. The petition states that the south and southwest sides of Pine Mountain, which are included within the boundary line for the proposed viticultural area, have favorable growing season solar orientation as compared to the less sunny sides of the mountain outside the proposed boundary line, noting that successful viticulture depends partially on a favorable solar orientation to provide adequate growing season sunshine and heat accumulation. The below table summarizes the rationale for the proposed viticultural area boundary line as described in the petition: E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 66631 Sides of Pine Mountain in relationship to the proposed viticultural area Viticultural considerations North: Outside boundary line ................................................................... East: Outside boundary line ..................................................................... South and southwest at higher elevations: Inside boundary line ............ Inadequate sun and heat. Inadequate sun and heat. Some gentle slopes, good sun exposure and heat accumulation, and available water. Steep terrain and lack of water. South at lower elevations below Pine Mountain Road: Outside boundary line. West at higher elevations: Inside boundary line ...................................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES West at lower elevations: Outside boundary line ..................................... The history of grape-growing and winemaking in the Pine Mountain region goes back to the 19th century, according to the petition. The 1877 ‘‘Thompson Historical Atlas Map of Sonoma County’’ lists several grape growers with vineyards on or near Pine Mountain. The petition states that these included George Allen’s 2-acre vineyard on the slopes of Pine Mountain, J.G. Rains’ 10-acre vineyard, Clay Worth’s 6acre vineyard at the base of Pine Mountain, and Wellington Appleton, who owned 144 acres on the mountain’s western slopes. About 1910, the petition states, Steve Ratto developed a vineyard and winery at the 1,700-foot elevation of Pine Mountain, and that site is located inside the southwest portion of the boundary line of the proposed viticultural area. That winery site is shown on a 1956 State of California Division of Forestry map for the region that was included with the petition. The petition notes that remnants of the old winery building are still visible and that modern vineyards are on the site as well. The petition also describes the large vineyard and winery operation of Hartwell and Emily Preston. The Preston Ranch, dating back to 1869, came to include over 1,500 acres of land, with a 10-acre vineyard, an oak cooperage, and a large winery and wine cellar. An October 29, 1874, article in the Russian River Flag newspaper lauded Preston’s ‘‘Fruit and Wine Ranch,’’ and noted that it stretched from the eastern bank of the Russian River to the slopes of Pine Mountain. Reports from the time state that Preston harvested 40 tons of grapes from his vineyards in 1889. Much of the Preston winery’s output was used in the various patent medicines prescribed by Emily Preston, a well-known faith healer of the time. According to the USGS Cloverdale Quadrangle map and an additional map included with the petition, the former Preston vineyard lies approximately one mile outside of the western boundary line of the proposed viticultural area. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 Some gentle slopes, good sun exposure and heat accumulation, and available water. Steep terrain. Distinguishing Features Differences in topography, climate, and soils distinguish the proposed viticultural area from the surrounding areas, according to the petition. Topography The proposed viticultural area has a higher elevation and steeper terrain than the Alexander Valley to the southwest of the proposed viticultural area. Elevations within the proposed viticultural area begin at 1,600 feet and rise to the 3,000-foot summit of Pine Mountain. The terrain within the proposed viticultural area is generally steep and mountainous, with patches of flatter ground within this steep terrain allowing for the development of areas of small, 5- to 20-acre vineyards. In contrast, to the west and south, the Alexander Valley floor rises from about 260 feet in elevation at the Russian River and continues easterly and upward to the foothills of Pine Mountain and the Mayacmas Mountains. This flatter, lower terrain allows for the development of larger vineyards, some 100 acres or more, with different viticultural characteristics than those found in the small mountain vineyards. Areas to the north and east of the proposed viticultural area, while similar in elevation and steepness, lack the flatter patches of ground and water resources needed for vineyard development. Climate The distinctive growing season climatic factors of the proposed viticultural area include limited marine fog cover, abundant sunshine, mild diurnal temperature changes, significant wind, and heavy winter rainfall, according to the petition. Quoting local growers, the petition states that the cooler spring climate of Pine Mountain delays the start of vine growth by about 2 weeks, as compared to valley vineyards. The petition also notes that the proposed viticultural area’s growing season climate is cooler during the day, warmer at night, windier, and wetter than the surrounding lower elevation grape growing areas. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 In support of these conclusions, the petitioners gathered climatic data from six regional weather stations located within and in areas surrounding the proposed viticultural area. These were: Cloverdale (southwest of Pine Mountain at 333 feet), Hopland East (northnorthwest of Pine Mountain at 1,160 feet), Hopland West (northwest of Pine Mountain at 1,200 feet), Sanel Valley (north-northwest of Pine Mountain at 525 feet), Alexander Valley (at the Seghesio Vineyards valley weather station, south-southwest of Pine Mountain at 350 feet), and Pine Mountain (at the Seghesio Vineyards mountain weather station, within the proposed viticultural area boundary line at 2,600 feet in elevation). Fog: Despite the later start of the grape growing season at the higher elevations of the proposed viticultural area, the differing elevation-based fog patterns found on Pine Mountain allow grape growth within the proposed viticultural area to catch up with the earlier start of the valley vineyards, according to local growers. The petition states that the heavy fog that frequently blankets the surrounding valley floors fails to rise to the 1,600-foot minimum elevation of the proposed viticultural area boundary line. The petition describes the mountain as a sunny island floating above the fog, and the petition included pictorial documentation of this phenomenon. The petition states that the proposed viticultural area averages 3 to 4 hours more sunlight per day than the Alexander Valley during the growing season. While the valley remains blanketed under a heavy fog layer until late morning and then again later in the afternoon, the higher Pine Mountain elevations routinely bask in sunshine all day long. The extra sunlight and resulting longer daily period of warmth found on the higher slopes of Pine Mountain allow grapes to develop quickly and mature around the same time as those grown in valley floor vineyards. Temperatures: During the growing season, daytime high temperatures within the proposed viticultural area are E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 66632 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations consistently cooler, and overnight temperatures are consistently warmer, than those found on the Alexander Valley floor, according to the petition. The petition includes temperature data gathered by local grape grower John Copeland, who gathered hourly Region and elevation High temperature (°F) Low temperature (°F) 74 84 60 49 Pine Mountain (2,200 feet) ...................................................................... Valley floor (225 feet) .............................................................................. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES The petition states that nights are warmer on the slopes of Pine Mountain mainly because cool night mountain air, being heavier than warm air, drains off the mountain into the valley below. This downward nocturnal air flow leaves the slopes of Pine Mountain relatively warmer as compared to the cooler valley. In addition, the petition explains that the marine inversion, a summer coastal phenomenon, results from a layer of cool, heavy, and moist marine air and fog that slips beneath the layer of warmer air. This cool, foggy air blankets the Alexander Valley floor and does not mix with the lighter, warm air above it on the mountain slopes. This phenomenon, the petition continues, inverts the normal mountainous air temperature pattern of cooler temperatures above and warmer temperatures below. Wind: The proposed viticultural area climate includes stronger and more frequent winds than those found in the valley below, the petition explains. The petition states that local growers report that Pine Mountain vineyards are naturally free of mildew, a vineyard malady commonly found in areas with more stagnant air. Precipitation: The petition notes that the proposed viticultural area receives 30 to 60 percent more rainfall than the valley below. Southern storms often stall over Pine Mountain and the Mayacmas range, dropping more rain than in other areas. Pine Mountain also receives some upper elevation-based snow, something not encountered on the Alexander Valley floor below, the petition explains. Soils According to the petition, the mountain soils within the proposed viticultural area are significantly different from the alluvial valley soils found at lower elevations outside the proposed area. The petition documents these differences using United States Department of Agriculture online soil maps for Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 differences between the proposed area and the lower valley floor. The average temperature differences between the higher elevations on Pine Mountain and the lower elevations on the Alexander Valley floor are shown in the table below: temperature readings at several sites within the proposed viticultural area prior to planting his vineyards there. The petitioners combined Mr. Copeland’s data and that of the valley weather stations noted above to document the diurnal temperature However, as the petition notes, the two county soil maps use different soils names since the two counties’ soil surveys were conducted years apart using different name protocols. Specifically, the Sonoma County Soil Survey shows that the portion of the proposed viticultural area that lies within that county falls within the Los Gatos-Hennecke-Maymen association, with the Los Gatos soils series the predominant soil type. The Mendocino County Soil Survey, however, shows that the portion of the proposed viticultural area within that county falls within the Maymen-Estel-Snook association. To show that the soils within the proposed viticultural area are generally the same in each county, the petition also provides descriptions of the physical characteristics of the proposed viticultural area soils. The petition describes the parent materials of the proposed viticultural area soils as fractured shale and weathered sandstone. The petition notes that soils within the proposed viticultural area are mountainous types, which are generally steep, shallow to moderately deep, and very well to excessively well-drained. Also, these mountain soils include large amounts of sand and gravel. Pine Mountain soils are generally less than 3 feet in depth, the petition continues, with more than half at depths of 12 inches or less. In contrast, soils found on the Alexander Valley floor and in other lower elevation areas outside the proposed viticultural area are deeper, less well-drained alluvial soils. Overlap With Established Viticultural Areas The Sonoma County portion of the proposed viticultural area lies almost entirely within the northern portion of the established Alexander Valley viticultural area, which, in turn, lies within the northern portion of the established Northern Sonoma viticultural area. The Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas both lie totally within the North Coast PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Diurnal temperature variation (in °F) 14 35 viticultural area. While located in whole or in part within these existing viticultural areas, the petitioners believe that the proposed viticultural area is distinguishable from those viticultural areas. For example, the petition states that the 76,034-acre Alexander Valley viticultural area largely consists of lower elevation valley floor along the Russian River, with vineyards located below 600 feet, while the proposed viticultural area largely consists of mountainous terrain located above 1,600 feet. Further, as noted above, the petition includes climatic data documenting the differing valley and mountain growing season temperatures, wind, and fog patterns found in this region. In addition, the petition notes that the 349,833-acre Northern Sonoma viticultural area extends 40 miles south from the Mendocino-Sonoma County line to the southernmost reaches of the Russian River Valley viticultural area (27 CFR 9.66) southwest of Sebastopol. In addition to the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley viticultural areas, the large Northern Sonoma viticultural area includes the Knights Valley (27 CFR 9.76), Chalk Hill (27 CFR 9.52), Green Valley of Russian River Valley (27 CFR 9.57), and Dry Creek Valley (27 CFR 9.64) viticultural areas with their differing microclimates and terrains. According to the petition, the diversity within the Northern Sonoma viticultural area as a whole stands in contrast to the uniform climate and terrain found within the proposed viticultural area. The established North Coast viticultural area lies north and northwest of San Francisco, and includes all of Sonoma County and portions of Mendocino, Napa, Lake, Solano, and Marin Counties. This very large viticultural area’s distinguishing features include its distinctive coastal climate and topography. Although the proposed viticultural area has a somewhat similar climate, the petition notes, the proposed viticultural area is small, is limited to higher elevations, E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations and is less foggy than the general North Coast viticultural area climate. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Relationship to Existing Viticultural Areas Alexander Valley Viticultural Area The original Treasury Decision, T.D. ATF–187, establishing the more than 60,000-acre Alexander Valley viticultural area, was published in the Federal Register (49 FR 42719) on October 24, 1984. In the discussion of geographical features, T.D. ATF–187 relied on the geographical features of the valley floor and specifically excluded the mountainous area to the east, primarily because these areas were determined to have geographical features different from those in the established viticultural area. T.D. ATF– 187 stated that the mountainous area has an average rainfall of 30 to 70 inches, temperatures of 54 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit, and a frost-free season of 230 to 270 days, but that the valley floor has an average rainfall of 25 to 50 inches, temperatures of 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and a frost-free season of 240 to 260 days. Regarding soils, T.D. ATF–187 stated that the mountainous area to the east is characterized primarily by the Goulding-ToomesGuenoc and Henneke-Maymen associations, but the valley floor is characterized by the Yolo-CortinaPleasanton association. TTB notes that the temperature and frost-free season data concerning the valley and the mountainous areas, though different, are not so different as to be considered significantly different. The area within the Alexander Valley viticultural area that also overlaps the proposed viticultural area was added in Treasury Decision (T.D.) ATF–233, published in the Federal Register (51 FR 30352) on August 26, 1986. In discussing the proposal to add approximately 1,536 acres to the existing Alexander Valley viticultural area ‘‘at elevations between 1,600 feet and 2,400 feet above sea level on Pine Mountain,’’ T.D. ATF–233 recognized that ‘‘the land in the area shares similar geological history, topographical features, soils, and climatic conditions as adjoining land within the previously established boundary of the [Alexander Valley] viticultural area.’’ However, the petition provides more detailed evidence regarding the geographical features that distinguish the entire proposed viticultural area (including the overlap area) from the greater portion of the Alexander Valley viticultural area. That evidence details the significant differences between the areas in comparable night and day VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 temperatures, rainfall, and soils. The petitioner also included evidence that the proposed viticultural area climate includes stronger and more frequent winds than those found in the valley below. Northern Sonoma Viticultural Area The Alexander Valley viticultural area is entirely within the Northern Sonoma viticultural area, and the area of overlap created by the proposed viticultural area is the same with respect to both the Northern Sonoma and the Alexander Valley viticultural areas. In addition, TTB notes that the name recognition for the Northern Sonoma viticultural area does not extend into the portion of the proposed viticultural area that is outside the boundary line for the Alexander Valley viticultural area. Historically, the outer boundaries of four viticultural areas (Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Knights Valley) have been used to define the boundary of the Northern Sonoma viticultural area. T.D. ATF–204, published in the Federal Register (50 FR 20560) on May 17 1985, established the Northern Sonoma viticultural area and includes the following statement: ‘‘ * * * Six approved viticultural areas are located entirely within the Northern Sonoma viticultural area as follows: Chalk Hill, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Green Valley [subsequently renamed Green Valley of Russian River Valley], Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Knights Valley. The Sonoma County Green Valley and Chalk Hill areas are each entirely within the Russian River Valley area. The boundaries of the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Knights Valley areas all fit perfectly together dividing northern Sonoma County into four large areas. The Northern Sonoma area uses all of the outer boundaries of these four areas with the exception of an area southwest of the Dry Creek Valley area and west of the Russian River Valley * * * ’’ TTB also notes that the Northern Sonoma viticultural area boundary has been adjusted twice to keep it coterminous with the outer boundaries of the four viticultural areas mentioned in T.D. ATF–204 (see T.D. ATF–233, published in the Federal Register on August 26, 1986, 51 FR 30352, and T.D. ATF–300, published in the Federal Register on August 9, 1990, 55 FR 32400). North Coast Viticultural Area In addition to what was previously stated in this document concerning the North Coast viticultural area, TTB notes that this viticultural area, which was established by T.D. ATF–145 (published in the Federal Register at 48 FR 42973 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 66633 on September 21, 1983), encompasses approximately 40 established viticultural areas, as well as the proposed viticultural area, in northern California. In the ‘‘Geographical Features’’ portion of the preamble, T.D. ATF–145 states that climate is the major factor in distinguishing the North Coast viticultural area from surrounding areas, that all the areas within the North Coast viticultural area receive marine air, and that most of them also receive fog. T.D. ATF–145 also states that ‘‘[d]ue to the enormous size of the North Coast, variations exist in climatic features such as temperature, rainfall and fog intrusion.’’ The proposed viticultural area exhibits the basic geographical feature of the North Coast viticultural area: Marine air that results in greater amounts of rain. However, the geographical features of the proposed viticultural area are much more uniform in than those of the North Coast viticultural area. In this regard, T.D. ATF–145 specifically notes that ‘‘approval of this viticultural area does not preclude approval of additional areas, either wholly contained with the North Coast, or partially overlapping the North Coast’’ and that ‘‘smaller viticultural areas tend to be more uniform in their geographical and climatic characteristics * * *.’’ Notices of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received In Notice No. 105, published in the Federal Register (75 FR 29686) on May 27, 2010, TTB described the petitioners’ rationale for the proposed establishment of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas viticultural area and requested comments on the proposal on or before July 26, 2010. TTB specifically invited comments regarding: (1) Whether the petition contains sufficient evidence regarding the distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area; (2) whether the evidence submitted warrants the establishment of the proposed viticultural area within the existing North Coast viticultural area and portions of the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas; (3) whether the approval of the proposed viticultural area with the overlap with the Alexander Valley viticultural area is appropriate and/or whether the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas should be curtailed to avoid the overlap or expanded to encompass the new area; and (4) the appropriateness of the proposed ‘‘Pine Mountain-Mayacmas’’ name, including its spelling, viticultural significance, and potential conflicts with currently used brand names. E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 66634 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES On July 16, 2010, TTB received a letter request from attorney Richard Mendelson on behalf of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a wine industry trade association, which requested a 45-day extension of the comment period for Notice No. 105 to allow the NVV to complete and thoroughly vet its comments on the proposed viticultural area. In response to that request, on July 26, 2010, TTB published in the Federal Register (75 FR 43446) Notice No. 107 to extend the comment period for Notice No. 105 to September 9, 2010. Comments Received in Response to Notice No. 105 During the course of the original and extended comment period on Notice No. 105, TTB received and posted 85 comments from 70 groups and individuals. Commenters included 36 industry members and 34 non-industry individuals. Of the commenters, 52 supported and 18 opposed the establishment of the Pine MountainMayacmas viticultural area with the proposed name and boundary line. The comments in opposition to the proposal as published raised three issues that could warrant a change in the regulatory text proposed in Notice No. 105: (1) The appropriateness of the proposed Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name; (2) the viticultural significance of a suggested modified name for the proposed viticultural area; and (3) the inclusion of additional acreage within the boundary of the viticultural area. With regard to the appropriateness of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name, some commenters questioned the ‘‘Mayacmas’’ portion of the name because it is associated with the four counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino in northern California rather than only the area within the proposed viticultural area boundary. TTB notes that ‘‘Mayacmas’’ refers to the Mayacmas Range, which is the mountain range that extends generally north from San Pablo Bay and divides the Napa Valley viticultural area from the Sonoma Valley viticultural area. The Mayacmas Range is a significant landform for both valleys. The following comments in response to Notice No. 105 stated opposition to the Pine MountainMayacmas name: Nos. 41, 43, 44, 45, 48, 50, 53, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63, 65, 76, 78, 79, 81, and 82 (comments 45 and 78 were submitted by the same commenter). In response to comments opposing the ‘‘Mayacmas’’ modifier, the ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ geographical modifier was proposed in comment 62 by Barry Hoffner, a representative for the Pine Mountain vineyard owners. In comment VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 62, Mr. Hoffner describes the Pine Mountain growers as a unified group of 13 vineyard owners along the SonomaMendocino boundary line, northeast of the town of Cloverdale. In comment 62, Mr. Hoffner explains that when opposition to the ‘‘Mayacmas’’ portion of the proposed ‘‘Pine MountainMayacmas’’ name was expressed in some comments, the growers decided, after careful consideration and meetings with other industry groups, to propose to change the name of the proposed viticultural area to ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak.’’ Cloverdale Peak is a mountain landform that adjoins Pine Mountain and has similar elevations. Comment 62 emphasizes that the combination of the ‘‘Pine Mountain’’ and ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ names more accurately describes the geographical location of the proposed viticultural area and would effectively address the industry opposition relating to its name. Comment 68, submitted by Sara Schorske of Compliance Service of America (and the originator of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas viticultural area petition), expresses support for the ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ name change proposed in comment 62 and states that it would provide better information for consumers by providing a more unique and specific geographical indicator for ‘‘Pine Mountain.’’ Comment 68 also provides substantiating documentation for the change, which includes various references in the petition and its exhibits to Cloverdale and its historical and current association with Pine Mountain. Comment 68 further states that Pine Mountain and Cloverdale Peak are neighboring peaks in the same range and that a portion of the Cloverdale Peak landform is already included within the proposed boundary line. According to comment 68, Cloverdale Peak is identified on the Highland Springs USGS quadrangle map. Cloverdale Peak Road extends from Hopland to the western slope of Cloverdale Peak, and the http:// www.trails.com Web site identifies Cloverdale Peak as a hiking and recreational destination. In addition, as noted in comment 70, submitted by the NVV, Cloverdale Peak Road begins near the center of the proposed viticultural area and runs northward through the area. A number of commenters subsequently supported the use of the ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ name instead of ‘‘Mayacmas.’’ Comments submitted in response to Notice No. 105 that specifically supported the name change to ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ were as follows: Nos. 61, 62, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, and 80. The PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 comments supporting the proposed name change were submitted by individuals, vineyard and winery owners, industry association groups, and United States Congressman Mike Thompson. The NVV (comments 64 and 70) also endorsed the modified ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak’’ name. Comments from other industry groups include the Pine Mountain growers (comments 46 and 62) and the Mount Veeder Appellation Council (comments 63 and 72), each of which submitted a second comment supporting the proposed name change to ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.’’ The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission (comment 61) and the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission (comment 71) supported the original Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name, and the Lake County Winegrape Commission (comment 59) and the Spring Mountain District Association (comment 76) opposed the original Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name. None of these four industry groups commented on the proposed name change to Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak. The comments supporting a modification of the name of the viticultural area also gave rise to the companion issue of the viticultural significance of the modified name. The following comments support the viticultural significance of the full ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ name because it better describes the location of the proposed viticultural area and reduces the likelihood of consumer confusion as compared to the originally proposed ‘‘Mayacmas’’ name: Nos. 61, 62, 68, 70, 71, 75, 77, and 80. Finally, two commenters proposed altering the boundary line proposed in Notice No. 105. After expressing support for the ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak’’ name change, comment 68 also proposes expanding the northwest portion of the boundary line to include more of the Cloverdale Peak landform and altering the boundary line to pass through the summit of Cloverdale Peak; this expansion would add 500 acres to the proposed viticultural area. According to comment 68, the elevations in the proposed 500-acre expansion area that includes the summit of Cloverdale Peak are consistent with the originally proposed Pine MountainMayacmas viticultural area: The Pine Mountain area has elevations between 1,600 and 3,000 feet, and the Cloverdale Peak area is located between 1,800 and 3,000 feet, with a 2,400-foot elevation low point between the two mountain landforms. The comment also suggests that similar climatic factors exist in both E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES areas because the elevations of the two regions are similar. Comment 68 further claims that the soils in the proposed Cloverdale Peak expansion area are generally the same as in the Pine Mountain area, with a less than 2 percent addition of other soils, and that both mountain landforms have upland soils naturally occurring under brush or forest cover. TTB notes that comment 68 did not include any supporting documents or data relating to the geographical features of the proposed expansion area and their similarity to the distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area. Comment 68 also states that there are currently no vineyards or wineries located within the proposed 500-acre expansion of the proposed viticultural area. An additional boundary line change was proposed in response to Notice No. 105. A commenter proposed in comments 58 and 67 that an additional 40 acres along the southwestern portion of the proposed viticultural area be included within the boundary line to include his vineyards, although no name or geographical features evidence was submitted in support of this proposed boundary line modification. In addition, the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission made TTB aware in comment 71 that the proposed boundary line in Notice No. 105 created a small overlap with the Mendocino viticultural area at the western portion of the proposed viticultural area. Determination To Re-Open Public Comment Period and Notice No. 112 TTB reviewed all comments received in response to Notice No. 105 with reference to the original petition materials. Because of the potential impact on label holders if TTB adopted any of the changes proposed in the comments, TTB determined that it was appropriate to re-open the comment period on Notice No. 105 for the purpose of obtaining further public comment on the three issues outlined above that were raised in response to Notice No. 105 and that affected the original proposal before taking any further regulatory action on this matter. In Notice No. 112, published in the Federal Register (75 FR 78944) on December 17, 2010, TTB specifically invited comments on the use of ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ as a geographical name in conjunction with ‘‘Pine Mountain’’ to form the ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak’’ viticultural area name. TTB also invited comments on the viticultural significance of the full ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ name and on the viticultural significance of ‘‘Pine VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 Mountain-Cloverdale,’’ ‘‘Cloverdale Peak,’’ and ‘‘Cloverdale’’ standing alone. In addition, TTB invited comments on whether the boundary line should be expanded as suggested in the comments posted in response to Notice No. 105. The comment period for Notice No. 112 closed on February 15, 2011. Comments Received in Response to Notice No. 112 TTB received five comments in response to Notice No. 112, all of which support changing the name of the proposed viticultural area to ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.’’ Two comments, Nos. 88 and 89, also specifically comment on the viticultural significance of the entire name ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ as opposed to ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale,’’ which the commenters state could be confusing or misleading for consumers because the city of Cloverdale is outside the boundary line of the proposed viticultural area. In addition, three comments support the 500-acre expansion of the proposed viticultural area to include the summit of Cloverdale Peak. The commenters’ reasons for supporting this proposed expansion include the area’s viticultural distinctiveness and local name recognition (comment 86) and the avoidance of potential consumer confusion (comments 87 and 89). TTB Analysis TTB carefully considered the comments received in response to Notice Nos. 105 and 112 and reviewed all petition evidence and subsequent documentation received in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed viticultural area. TTB agrees with the public comments that the ‘‘Mayacmas’’ portion of the proposed name could be misleading or confusing for consumers due to the length of the Mayacmas Range, which extends beyond the Pine Mountain region, and TTB therefore believes that ‘‘Mayacmas’’ is an inappropriate name for this viticultural area. After reviewing the public comments as well as the evidence provided in support of the alternate ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ name, TTB agrees that the proposed ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ name is appropriate for the viticultural area because it more accurately and specifically describes the location of the viticultural area. TTB notes that the proposed modified ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak’’ name received significant public support, and the modified name was not opposed by any commenters during the original and reopened comment periods. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 66635 TTB declines to accept the proposed boundary line change to include the summit of Cloverdale Peak within the proposed Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area. Although some comments assert that the inclusion of the Cloverdale Peak summit within the viticultural area will reduce the likelihood of consumer confusion relating to the location of the proposed ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ viticultural area, TTB notes the following: • As noted in comment 68, a portion of the Cloverdale Peak landform is already included within the boundary line proposed in the petition, so the ‘‘Cloverdale Peak’’ geographical name accurately identifies the location of the proposed viticultural area; • The contention that the proposed expansion area shares the same distinguishing features as the petitioned-for area is contrary to statements in the petition that areas to the north and west of the proposed boundary line are unsuitable for viticulture due to steep terrain or inadequate sun and heat; • None of the comments supporting the proposed expansion contain sufficient supporting evidence or data to establish that the proposed expansion area shares the same distinguishing features as the originally petitioned-for viticultural area; and • As conceded in comment 68, there are currently no vineyards or wineries located within the proposed expansion area, with the result that the area cannot be considered a ‘‘grape-growing region,’’ which is part of the definition of an American viticultural area in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i). TTB further notes that the expansion of the boundary line in this way would be incompatible with the ‘‘area in which viticulture exists’’ principle contained in 27 CFR 9.12(a)(1), which was adopted subsequent to the filing of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas petition (see T.D. TTB–90, published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 3489 on January 20, 2011). Thus, for the above reasons, TTB concludes that the boundary line proposed in Notice No. 105 should not be altered to add the proposed 500-acre Cloverdale Peak summit expansion area. TTB does not believe that it would be appropriate to adjust the proposed boundary line in response to comments 58 and 67. Those comments requested a boundary line change to include one person’s vineyards, which are located southwest of the proposed boundary line. This additional acreage has elevations below 1,600 feet and as low as 1,200 feet. Such lower elevations are E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 66636 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES not consistent with the proposed viticultural area’s elevations, which are above 1,600 feet. TTB notes that the proposed viticultural area’s distinguishing features are largely based upon its high elevation and mountainous topography, and the commenter did not present any evidence in support of his contention that the same distinguishing features in the viticultural area exist in the proposed expansion area. As noted above, the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission pointed out in comment 71 that the proposed boundary line in Notice No. 105 created a small overlap with the Mendocino viticultural area in the western region of the proposed viticultural area. TTB believes that this overlap, which involves approximately 30 acres, was inadvertent and should not be included within the boundary line in question. Finally, TTB adds that it specifically solicited comments in Notice No. 105 regarding whether the petition contained sufficient evidence to warrant the establishment of the proposed viticultural area within the existing North Coast viticultural area and portions of the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas. TTB also invited comments about whether the approval of the proposed viticultural area with the overlap with the Alexander Valley viticultural area is appropriate and/or whether the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas should be curtailed to avoid the overlap or expanded to encompass the new area. Although some supporting comments state that the proposed viticultural area is sufficiently distinct from the floor of the Alexander Valley to warrant the creation of a new viticultural area and concur with the evidence presented in the petition, TTB notes that no comments oppose the inclusion of part of the proposed Pine MountainCloverdale Peak viticultural area within the Alexander Valley viticultural area. In addition, no comments specifically address the partial overlap of the proposed viticultural area with the Northern Sonoma viticultural area and the inclusion of the proposed viticultural area within the North Coast viticultural area. TTB Findings After careful review of the petition and the comments received in response to Notice Nos. 105 and 112, TTB finds that the evidence submitted supports the establishment of the proposed viticultural area, subject to the following VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 alterations to the proposal in Notice No. 105: • The name of the viticultural area should be ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak,’’ as was proposed by the petitioners in response to comments to Notice No. 105; and • The boundary line for the viticultural area should be modified to avoid the inadvertent overlap with the Mendocino viticultural area that was created by the boundary line proposed in Notice No. 105. With regard to the partial overlap between the proposed viticultural area and the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas, as stated above, the evidence set forth in the petition shows that there are detailed, significant differences between the topography, climate, and soils of the entire proposed viticultural area (including the overlap area) and such features of the greater portion of the Alexander Valley viticultural area. This evidence raises concerns that there may be insufficient similarity between the distinguishing features of the overlap area and distinguishing features of the rest of the Alexander Valley viticultural area. However, considering the possible alternatives, the strength of the evidence presented in support of the similarity of the distinguishing features within the proposed viticultural area, and the fact that the overlap area was specifically added to the Alexander Valley viticultural area by T.D. ATF–233, TTB believes that the establishment of the proposed viticultural area as described above is the best alternative for achieving the objectives of establishing viticultural areas set forth in the definition paragraph earlier in this document. TTB has further determined that only the full name of the viticultural area, ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak,’’ is viticulturally significant as a result of the establishment of this new viticultural area because ‘‘Pine Mountain’’ is a commonly used geographic name for multiple locations within the United States, and, as noted in the comments to Notice No. 105, the names of ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale’’ or ‘‘Cloverdale’’ alone are geographically inaccurate and could cause consumers to erroneously associate the viticultural area with the nearby city of Cloverdale, which is not within the proposed boundary line. Accordingly, under the authority of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and part 4 of the TTB regulations, TTB establishes the ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak’’ viticultural area in Mendocino County and Sonoma County, California, effective 30 days PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 from the date of publication 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 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. With the establishment of this viticultural area, its name, ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak,’’ is recognized as a name of viticultural significance under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3). The text of the new regulation clarifies this point. Once this final rule becomes effective, wine bottlers using ‘‘Pine MountainCloverdale Peak’’ in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, will have to ensure that the product is eligible to use ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ as an appellation of origin. The establishment of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area will not affect the boundary line of any existing viticultural areas, and any wineries using Alexander Valley, Northern Sonoma, or North Coast as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within a portion of the Pine MountainCloverdale Peak viticultural area that overlaps one of those viticultural areas will not be affected by the establishment of this new viticultural area. 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 being 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). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with the viticultural area name or other viticulturally significant term and that name or term appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the viticultural area name or other term of viticultural significance appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations would have to obtain approval of a new label. 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 TTB certifies 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 Elisabeth C. Kann of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice. List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9 Wine. The Regulatory Amendment For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB amends title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205. Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.220 to read as follows: ■ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES § 9.220 Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, ‘‘Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak’’ is a term of viticultural significance. (b) Approved maps. The three United States Geological Survey 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Pine MountainCloverdale Peak viticultural area are titled: (1) Asti Quadrangle—California, 1998; VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:05 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 226001 (2) Cloverdale Quadrangle— California, 1960, photoinspected 1975; and (3) Highland Springs Quadrangle— California, 1959, photorevised 1978. (c) Boundary. The Pine MountainCloverdale Peak viticultural area is located in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, California. The boundary of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area is as described below: (1) The beginning point is on the Asti map at the intersection of Pine Mountain Road and the SonomaMendocino County line, section 35, T12N, R10W. From the beginning point, proceed southwesterly on Pine Mountain Road to its intersection with a light duty road known locally as Green Road, section 33, T12N, R10W; then (2) Proceed northerly on Green Road approximately 500 feet to its first intersection with the 1,600-foot contour line, section 33, T12N, R10W; then (3) Proceed northwesterly along the meandering 1,600-foot contour line, crossing onto the Cloverdale map in section 32, T12N, R10W, and continue to the contour line’s intersection with the eastern boundary line of section 31, T12N, R10W; then (4) Proceed straight north along the eastern boundary line of section 31, crossing the Sonoma-Mendocino line, to the boundary line’s intersection with the 1,600-foot contour line on the west side of Section 29, T12N, R10W; then (5) Proceed northeasterly along the meandering 1,600-foot contour line to its intersection with the intermittent Ash Creek, section 29, T12N, R10W; then (6) Proceed northeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto the Asti map, to the unnamed 2,769-foot peak located south of Salty Spring Creek, section 20, T12N, R10W; then (7) Continue northeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto the Highland Springs map, to the unnamed 2,792-foot peak in the northeast quadrant of section 21, T12N, R10W; then (8) Proceed east-southeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto the Asti map, to the unnamed 2,198-foot peak in section 23, T12N, R10W; and then (9) Proceed south-southeasterly in a straight line, returning to the beginning point. Signed: July 12, 2011. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: September 16, 2011. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2011–27813 Filed 10–26–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 66637 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 29 CFR Part 2570 RIN 1210–AB49 Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures; Employee Benefit Plans Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This document contains a final rule that supersedes the existing procedure governing the filing and processing of applications for administrative exemptions from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code), and the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA). The Secretary of Labor is authorized to grant exemptions from the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA, the Code, and FERSA and to establish an exemption procedure to provide for such relief. This final rule clarifies and consolidates the Department of Labor’s exemption procedures and provides the public with a more comprehensive description of the prohibited transaction exemption process. DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective December 27, 2011, and applies to all exemption applications filed on or after that date. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric A. Raps, Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N–5700, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693–8532. This is not a toll-free number. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: A. Background On August 30, 2010, the Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register (75 FR 53172) that would update the existing procedure governing the filing and processing of applications for administrative exemptions from the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA, the Code, and FERSA, and invited written comments from the public concerning its contents. These comments are available for review at http://www.regulations.gov and also under ‘‘Public Comments’’ on the ‘‘Laws & Regulations’’ page of the Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa. E:\FR\FM\27OCR1.SGM 27OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 208 (Thursday, October 27, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66629-66637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27813]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2010-0003; T.D. TTB-96; Notice Nos. 105, 107, and 112]
RIN 1513-AB41


Establishment of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Viticultural 
Area

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

ACTION: Final rule; Treasury Decision.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document establishes the 4,570-acre ``Pine Mountain-
Cloverdale Peak'' viticultural area in portions of Mendocino and Sonoma 
Counties, California. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 
designates 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: November 28, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth C. Kann, Regulations and 
Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G St., 
NW., Room 200E, Washington, DC 20220; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 002.

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 provides that these regulations should, 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) provides for 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) sets 
forth standards for the preparation, submission, and approval of 
petitions for the establishment or modification of American 
viticultural areas and lists the approved American 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 having distinguishing features as described in part 9 of 
the regulations and a name and a delineated boundary as established 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 
geographic 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 9.12 of the TTB regulations prescribes 
standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of 
American viticultural areas. Such petitions must include the following:
     Evidence that the area within the viticultural area 
boundary is nationally or locally known by the viticultural area name 
specified in the petition;
     An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of 
the viticultural area;
     A narrative description of the features of the 
viticultural area that affect viticulture, such as climate, geology, 
soils, physical features, and elevation, that make it distinctive and 
distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the viticultural area 
boundary;
     A copy of the appropriate United States Geological Survey 
(USGS) map(s) showing the location of the viticultural area, with the 
boundary of the viticultural area clearly drawn thereon; and
     A detailed narrative description of the viticultural area 
boundary based on USGS map markings.

Pine Mountain-Mayacmas Petition

    Sara Schorske of Compliance Service of America prepared and 
submitted a petition on her own behalf and on behalf of local wine 
industry members to establish the 4,600-acre Pine Mountain-Mayacmas 
American viticultural area in northern California.

[[Page 66630]]

Located approximately 90 miles north of San Francisco and 5 miles 
north-northeast of Cloverdale, the proposed viticultural area surrounds 
much of Pine Mountain, which rises to the east of U.S. 101 and the 
Russian River, to the north of that river's Big Sulphur Creek 
tributary, and to the immediate west of the Mayacmas Mountains. 
Approximately two-thirds of the proposed viticultural area lies in the 
extreme southern portion of Mendocino County, with the remaining one-
third located in the extreme northern portion of Sonoma County.
    According to the petition and the written boundary description, the 
proposed viticultural area is totally within the multicounty North 
Coast viticultural area (27 CFR 9.30) and overlaps the northernmost 
portions of the Alexander Valley viticultural area (27 CFR 9.53) and 
the Northern Sonoma viticultural area (27 CFR 9.70). The proposed area 
currently has 230 acres of commercial vineyards, the petition states, 
with another 150 acres under development.
    The petition states that the distinguishing features of the 
proposed viticultural area include its mountainous soils, steep 
topography with high elevations, and a growing season climate that 
contrasts with the climate of the Alexander Valley floor below. Also, 
the petition notes that vineyards within the proposed viticultural area 
generally are smaller than the vineyards found on the Alexander Valley 
floor.
    The supporting evidence presented in the petition is summarized 
below.

Name Evidence

    According to the petition, the ``Pine Mountain-Mayacmas'' name 
combines the names of the major geographical features found within the 
proposed viticultural area and serves to locate the proposed area 
within northern California. As shown on the provided USGS maps, the 
proposed viticultural area surrounds Pine Mountain, a 3,000-foot peak 
located on the western flank of the Mayacmas Mountains in northern 
Sonoma and southern Mendocino Counties.
    The northern portion of the 1998 USGS Asti, California, quadrangle 
map shows Pine Mountain rising to 3,000 feet in southern Mendocino 
County, near the Sonoma County line. Also, as shown on the Asti map, 
Pine Mountain Road climbs from the Cloverdale area and marks a portion 
of the proposed viticultural area's southern boundary.
    The October 2000 edition of the California State Automobile 
Association's Mendocino and Sonoma Coast road map shows the Mayacamas 
Mountains running north-northwest approximately from Mount St. Helena, 
and continuing through the Pine Mountain region to Lake Mendocino. A 
1956 regional map produced by the State of California Division of 
Forestry, as provided with the petition, shows Pine Mountain located 
northeast of Cloverdale.
    The 1982 publication, ``Cloverdale Then & Now--Being a History of 
Cloverdale, California, Its Environs, and Families,'' refers to the 
Pine Mountain junction and the Pine Mountain toll road in discussing 
the early roads of the region (page 3). This publication also includes 
a 1942 picture of homesteaders Hubert and George Smith on Pine Mountain 
(page 6). A 1985 article in the Redwood Rancher, ``The Early Wineries 
of the Cloverdale Area,'' by William Cordtz, discusses the grape 
growing of Mrs. Emily Preston in the late 1800s. The article states 
that the Preston Winery ``was on Pine Mountain immediately north of the 
present U.S. 101 bridge north of Cloverdale.''
    The petition also notes that the Pine Mountain Mineral Water 
Company bottled water from springs located on Pine Mountain for more 
than 50 years, until the mid-1900s. A copy of one of the company's 
bottle labels included with the petition prominently displays the 
``Pine Mountain'' name with a tall mountain in the background and 
springs in the foreground.
    As noted in the petition and as shown on USGS maps, the Mayacmas 
Mountain range covers portions of Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Lake 
Counties. The Mayacmas Mountain range separates Lake County from 
Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa Counties, and, the petition states, that 
range defines the northern side of the Alexander Valley. According to 
the petition, the mountains were named for the Mayacmas Indians. 
Although the name is sometimes spelled ``Mayacamas'' or ``Maacama,'' 
``Mayacmas'' is the spelling used on USGS maps.
    Noting that the name ``Pine Mountain'' is commonly used throughout 
the United States, the petition states that the use of ``Mayacmas'' in 
the proposed viticultural area's name acts as a geographic modifier 
that pinpoints the proposed viticultural area's northern California 
location. The petitioners believe that ``California'' is not an 
appropriate geographical modifier for the viticultural area's name 
because there are other Pine Mountains in California. The USGS 
Geographical Names Information System (GNIS), for example, lists 21 
additional ``Pine Mountains'' in California.
    The petition also notes that the Mayacmas Mountains ``are closely 
associated with winegrowing'' because the range is home to many 
vineyards and wineries. The Mayacmas range, the petition states, 
divides the grape growing regions of Ukiah and Clear Lake, and borders 
the Alexander Valley viticultural area as well as the Napa Valley (27 
CFR 9.23) and Sonoma Valley (27 CFR 9.29) viticultural areas. The 
petition states that ``Mayacmas is an ideal modifier'' to distinguish 
the proposed viticultural area ``from other places with similar names'' 
and will ``help consumers easily ascertain its general location.''

Boundary Evidence

    According to the petition, the proposed 4,600-acre viticultural 
area encompasses those portions of Pine Mountain and the mountain's 
lower slopes that are suitable for viticulture. The petition states 
that the boundary was drawn in consideration of the mountain's varying 
steepness, water availability, and solar orientation.
    The petition notes that within the proposed viticultural area, 
vineyard development is generally limited to small, 5- to 20-acre plots 
of flat or gently sloping ground found within the proposed area's 
mountainous terrain. Size-limiting factors for these mountain vineyard 
operations, the petition explains, include the need for tractor use and 
economical erosion control. The mountain vineyards' patchwork 
arrangement, the petition continues, contrasts to the larger vineyards, 
some of 100 acres or more, found on the floor of the nearby Alexander 
Valley.
    The petition states that the south and southwest sides of Pine 
Mountain, which are included within the boundary line for the proposed 
viticultural area, have favorable growing season solar orientation as 
compared to the less sunny sides of the mountain outside the proposed 
boundary line, noting that successful viticulture depends partially on 
a favorable solar orientation to provide adequate growing season 
sunshine and heat accumulation. The below table summarizes the 
rationale for the proposed viticultural area boundary line as described 
in the petition:

[[Page 66631]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Sides of Pine Mountain in relationship
   to the proposed viticultural area       Viticultural considerations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
North: Outside boundary line...........  Inadequate sun and heat.
East: Outside boundary line............  Inadequate sun and heat.
South and southwest at higher            Some gentle slopes, good sun
 elevations: Inside boundary line.        exposure and heat
                                          accumulation, and available
                                          water.
South at lower elevations below Pine     Steep terrain and lack of
 Mountain Road: Outside boundary line.    water.
West at higher elevations: Inside        Some gentle slopes, good sun
 boundary line.                           exposure and heat
                                          accumulation, and available
                                          water.
West at lower elevations: Outside        Steep terrain.
 boundary line.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The history of grape-growing and winemaking in the Pine Mountain 
region goes back to the 19th century, according to the petition. The 
1877 ``Thompson Historical Atlas Map of Sonoma County'' lists several 
grape growers with vineyards on or near Pine Mountain. The petition 
states that these included George Allen's 2-acre vineyard on the slopes 
of Pine Mountain, J.G. Rains' 10-acre vineyard, Clay Worth's 6-acre 
vineyard at the base of Pine Mountain, and Wellington Appleton, who 
owned 144 acres on the mountain's western slopes.
    About 1910, the petition states, Steve Ratto developed a vineyard 
and winery at the 1,700-foot elevation of Pine Mountain, and that site 
is located inside the southwest portion of the boundary line of the 
proposed viticultural area. That winery site is shown on a 1956 State 
of California Division of Forestry map for the region that was included 
with the petition. The petition notes that remnants of the old winery 
building are still visible and that modern vineyards are on the site as 
well.
    The petition also describes the large vineyard and winery operation 
of Hartwell and Emily Preston. The Preston Ranch, dating back to 1869, 
came to include over 1,500 acres of land, with a 10-acre vineyard, an 
oak cooperage, and a large winery and wine cellar. An October 29, 1874, 
article in the Russian River Flag newspaper lauded Preston's ``Fruit 
and Wine Ranch,'' and noted that it stretched from the eastern bank of 
the Russian River to the slopes of Pine Mountain. Reports from the time 
state that Preston harvested 40 tons of grapes from his vineyards in 
1889. Much of the Preston winery's output was used in the various 
patent medicines prescribed by Emily Preston, a well-known faith healer 
of the time. According to the USGS Cloverdale Quadrangle map and an 
additional map included with the petition, the former Preston vineyard 
lies approximately one mile outside of the western boundary line of the 
proposed viticultural area.

Distinguishing Features

    Differences in topography, climate, and soils distinguish the 
proposed viticultural area from the surrounding areas, according to the 
petition.
Topography
    The proposed viticultural area has a higher elevation and steeper 
terrain than the Alexander Valley to the southwest of the proposed 
viticultural area. Elevations within the proposed viticultural area 
begin at 1,600 feet and rise to the 3,000-foot summit of Pine Mountain. 
The terrain within the proposed viticultural area is generally steep 
and mountainous, with patches of flatter ground within this steep 
terrain allowing for the development of areas of small, 5- to 20-acre 
vineyards.
    In contrast, to the west and south, the Alexander Valley floor 
rises from about 260 feet in elevation at the Russian River and 
continues easterly and upward to the foothills of Pine Mountain and the 
Mayacmas Mountains. This flatter, lower terrain allows for the 
development of larger vineyards, some 100 acres or more, with different 
viticultural characteristics than those found in the small mountain 
vineyards. Areas to the north and east of the proposed viticultural 
area, while similar in elevation and steepness, lack the flatter 
patches of ground and water resources needed for vineyard development.
Climate
    The distinctive growing season climatic factors of the proposed 
viticultural area include limited marine fog cover, abundant sunshine, 
mild diurnal temperature changes, significant wind, and heavy winter 
rainfall, according to the petition. Quoting local growers, the 
petition states that the cooler spring climate of Pine Mountain delays 
the start of vine growth by about 2 weeks, as compared to valley 
vineyards. The petition also notes that the proposed viticultural 
area's growing season climate is cooler during the day, warmer at 
night, windier, and wetter than the surrounding lower elevation grape 
growing areas.
    In support of these conclusions, the petitioners gathered climatic 
data from six regional weather stations located within and in areas 
surrounding the proposed viticultural area. These were: Cloverdale 
(southwest of Pine Mountain at 333 feet), Hopland East (north-northwest 
of Pine Mountain at 1,160 feet), Hopland West (northwest of Pine 
Mountain at 1,200 feet), Sanel Valley (north-northwest of Pine Mountain 
at 525 feet), Alexander Valley (at the Seghesio Vineyards valley 
weather station, south-southwest of Pine Mountain at 350 feet), and 
Pine Mountain (at the Seghesio Vineyards mountain weather station, 
within the proposed viticultural area boundary line at 2,600 feet in 
elevation).
    Fog: Despite the later start of the grape growing season at the 
higher elevations of the proposed viticultural area, the differing 
elevation-based fog patterns found on Pine Mountain allow grape growth 
within the proposed viticultural area to catch up with the earlier 
start of the valley vineyards, according to local growers. The petition 
states that the heavy fog that frequently blankets the surrounding 
valley floors fails to rise to the 1,600-foot minimum elevation of the 
proposed viticultural area boundary line. The petition describes the 
mountain as a sunny island floating above the fog, and the petition 
included pictorial documentation of this phenomenon.
    The petition states that the proposed viticultural area averages 3 
to 4 hours more sunlight per day than the Alexander Valley during the 
growing season. While the valley remains blanketed under a heavy fog 
layer until late morning and then again later in the afternoon, the 
higher Pine Mountain elevations routinely bask in sunshine all day 
long. The extra sunlight and resulting longer daily period of warmth 
found on the higher slopes of Pine Mountain allow grapes to develop 
quickly and mature around the same time as those grown in valley floor 
vineyards.
    Temperatures: During the growing season, daytime high temperatures 
within the proposed viticultural area are

[[Page 66632]]

consistently cooler, and overnight temperatures are consistently 
warmer, than those found on the Alexander Valley floor, according to 
the petition. The petition includes temperature data gathered by local 
grape grower John Copeland, who gathered hourly temperature readings at 
several sites within the proposed viticultural area prior to planting 
his vineyards there. The petitioners combined Mr. Copeland's data and 
that of the valley weather stations noted above to document the diurnal 
temperature differences between the proposed area and the lower valley 
floor. The average temperature differences between the higher 
elevations on Pine Mountain and the lower elevations on the Alexander 
Valley floor are shown in the table below:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             Diurnal temperature
             Region and elevation                 High temperature       Low temperature        variation (in
                                                      ([deg]F)              ([deg]F)               [deg]F)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pine Mountain (2,200 feet)....................                    74                    60                    14
Valley floor (225 feet).......................                    84                    49                    35
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The petition states that nights are warmer on the slopes of Pine 
Mountain mainly because cool night mountain air, being heavier than 
warm air, drains off the mountain into the valley below. This downward 
nocturnal air flow leaves the slopes of Pine Mountain relatively warmer 
as compared to the cooler valley. In addition, the petition explains 
that the marine inversion, a summer coastal phenomenon, results from a 
layer of cool, heavy, and moist marine air and fog that slips beneath 
the layer of warmer air. This cool, foggy air blankets the Alexander 
Valley floor and does not mix with the lighter, warm air above it on 
the mountain slopes. This phenomenon, the petition continues, inverts 
the normal mountainous air temperature pattern of cooler temperatures 
above and warmer temperatures below.
    Wind: The proposed viticultural area climate includes stronger and 
more frequent winds than those found in the valley below, the petition 
explains. The petition states that local growers report that Pine 
Mountain vineyards are naturally free of mildew, a vineyard malady 
commonly found in areas with more stagnant air.
    Precipitation: The petition notes that the proposed viticultural 
area receives 30 to 60 percent more rainfall than the valley below. 
Southern storms often stall over Pine Mountain and the Mayacmas range, 
dropping more rain than in other areas. Pine Mountain also receives 
some upper elevation-based snow, something not encountered on the 
Alexander Valley floor below, the petition explains.
Soils
    According to the petition, the mountain soils within the proposed 
viticultural area are significantly different from the alluvial valley 
soils found at lower elevations outside the proposed area. The petition 
documents these differences using United States Department of 
Agriculture online soil maps for Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.
    However, as the petition notes, the two county soil maps use 
different soils names since the two counties' soil surveys were 
conducted years apart using different name protocols. Specifically, the 
Sonoma County Soil Survey shows that the portion of the proposed 
viticultural area that lies within that county falls within the Los 
Gatos-Hennecke-Maymen association, with the Los Gatos soils series the 
predominant soil type. The Mendocino County Soil Survey, however, shows 
that the portion of the proposed viticultural area within that county 
falls within the Maymen-Estel-Snook association.
    To show that the soils within the proposed viticultural area are 
generally the same in each county, the petition also provides 
descriptions of the physical characteristics of the proposed 
viticultural area soils. The petition describes the parent materials of 
the proposed viticultural area soils as fractured shale and weathered 
sandstone. The petition notes that soils within the proposed 
viticultural area are mountainous types, which are generally steep, 
shallow to moderately deep, and very well to excessively well-drained. 
Also, these mountain soils include large amounts of sand and gravel. 
Pine Mountain soils are generally less than 3 feet in depth, the 
petition continues, with more than half at depths of 12 inches or less. 
In contrast, soils found on the Alexander Valley floor and in other 
lower elevation areas outside the proposed viticultural area are 
deeper, less well-drained alluvial soils.

Overlap With Established Viticultural Areas

    The Sonoma County portion of the proposed viticultural area lies 
almost entirely within the northern portion of the established 
Alexander Valley viticultural area, which, in turn, lies within the 
northern portion of the established Northern Sonoma viticultural area. 
The Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas both lie 
totally within the North Coast viticultural area. While located in 
whole or in part within these existing viticultural areas, the 
petitioners believe that the proposed viticultural area is 
distinguishable from those viticultural areas.
    For example, the petition states that the 76,034-acre Alexander 
Valley viticultural area largely consists of lower elevation valley 
floor along the Russian River, with vineyards located below 600 feet, 
while the proposed viticultural area largely consists of mountainous 
terrain located above 1,600 feet. Further, as noted above, the petition 
includes climatic data documenting the differing valley and mountain 
growing season temperatures, wind, and fog patterns found in this 
region.
    In addition, the petition notes that the 349,833-acre Northern 
Sonoma viticultural area extends 40 miles south from the Mendocino-
Sonoma County line to the southernmost reaches of the Russian River 
Valley viticultural area (27 CFR 9.66) southwest of Sebastopol. In 
addition to the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley viticultural 
areas, the large Northern Sonoma viticultural area includes the Knights 
Valley (27 CFR 9.76), Chalk Hill (27 CFR 9.52), Green Valley of Russian 
River Valley (27 CFR 9.57), and Dry Creek Valley (27 CFR 9.64) 
viticultural areas with their differing microclimates and terrains. 
According to the petition, the diversity within the Northern Sonoma 
viticultural area as a whole stands in contrast to the uniform climate 
and terrain found within the proposed viticultural area.
    The established North Coast viticultural area lies north and 
northwest of San Francisco, and includes all of Sonoma County and 
portions of Mendocino, Napa, Lake, Solano, and Marin Counties. This 
very large viticultural area's distinguishing features include its 
distinctive coastal climate and topography. Although the proposed 
viticultural area has a somewhat similar climate, the petition notes, 
the proposed viticultural area is small, is limited to higher 
elevations,

[[Page 66633]]

and is less foggy than the general North Coast viticultural area 
climate.

Relationship to Existing Viticultural Areas

Alexander Valley Viticultural Area
    The original Treasury Decision, T.D. ATF-187, establishing the more 
than 60,000-acre Alexander Valley viticultural area, was published in 
the Federal Register (49 FR 42719) on October 24, 1984. In the 
discussion of geographical features, T.D. ATF-187 relied on the 
geographical features of the valley floor and specifically excluded the 
mountainous area to the east, primarily because these areas were 
determined to have geographical features different from those in the 
established viticultural area. T.D. ATF-187 stated that the mountainous 
area has an average rainfall of 30 to 70 inches, temperatures of 54 to 
58 degrees Fahrenheit, and a frost-free season of 230 to 270 days, but 
that the valley floor has an average rainfall of 25 to 50 inches, 
temperatures of 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and a frost-free season of 
240 to 260 days. Regarding soils, T.D. ATF-187 stated that the 
mountainous area to the east is characterized primarily by the 
Goulding-Toomes-Guenoc and Henneke-Maymen associations, but the valley 
floor is characterized by the Yolo-Cortina-Pleasanton association. TTB 
notes that the temperature and frost-free season data concerning the 
valley and the mountainous areas, though different, are not so 
different as to be considered significantly different.
    The area within the Alexander Valley viticultural area that also 
overlaps the proposed viticultural area was added in Treasury Decision 
(T.D.) ATF-233, published in the Federal Register (51 FR 30352) on 
August 26, 1986. In discussing the proposal to add approximately 1,536 
acres to the existing Alexander Valley viticultural area ``at 
elevations between 1,600 feet and 2,400 feet above sea level on Pine 
Mountain,'' T.D. ATF-233 recognized that ``the land in the area shares 
similar geological history, topographical features, soils, and climatic 
conditions as adjoining land within the previously established boundary 
of the [Alexander Valley] viticultural area.''
    However, the petition provides more detailed evidence regarding the 
geographical features that distinguish the entire proposed viticultural 
area (including the overlap area) from the greater portion of the 
Alexander Valley viticultural area. That evidence details the 
significant differences between the areas in comparable night and day 
temperatures, rainfall, and soils. The petitioner also included 
evidence that the proposed viticultural area climate includes stronger 
and more frequent winds than those found in the valley below.
Northern Sonoma Viticultural Area
    The Alexander Valley viticultural area is entirely within the 
Northern Sonoma viticultural area, and the area of overlap created by 
the proposed viticultural area is the same with respect to both the 
Northern Sonoma and the Alexander Valley viticultural areas. In 
addition, TTB notes that the name recognition for the Northern Sonoma 
viticultural area does not extend into the portion of the proposed 
viticultural area that is outside the boundary line for the Alexander 
Valley viticultural area. Historically, the outer boundaries of four 
viticultural areas (Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River 
Valley, and Knights Valley) have been used to define the boundary of 
the Northern Sonoma viticultural area.
    T.D. ATF-204, published in the Federal Register (50 FR 20560) on 
May 17 1985, established the Northern Sonoma viticultural area and 
includes the following statement:

    `` * * * Six approved viticultural areas are located entirely 
within the Northern Sonoma viticultural area as follows: Chalk Hill, 
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Green Valley [subsequently renamed 
Green Valley of Russian River Valley], Dry Creek Valley, Russian 
River Valley, and Knights Valley.
    The Sonoma County Green Valley and Chalk Hill areas are each 
entirely within the Russian River Valley area. The boundaries of the 
Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and 
Knights Valley areas all fit perfectly together dividing northern 
Sonoma County into four large areas. The Northern Sonoma area uses 
all of the outer boundaries of these four areas with the exception 
of an area southwest of the Dry Creek Valley area and west of the 
Russian River Valley * * * ''

    TTB also notes that the Northern Sonoma viticultural area boundary 
has been adjusted twice to keep it coterminous with the outer 
boundaries of the four viticultural areas mentioned in T.D. ATF-204 
(see T.D. ATF-233, published in the Federal Register on August 26, 
1986, 51 FR 30352, and T.D. ATF-300, published in the Federal Register 
on August 9, 1990, 55 FR 32400).
North Coast Viticultural Area
    In addition to what was previously stated in this document 
concerning the North Coast viticultural area, TTB notes that this 
viticultural area, which was established by T.D. ATF-145 (published in 
the Federal Register at 48 FR 42973 on September 21, 1983), encompasses 
approximately 40 established viticultural areas, as well as the 
proposed viticultural area, in northern California. In the 
``Geographical Features'' portion of the preamble, T.D. ATF-145 states 
that climate is the major factor in distinguishing the North Coast 
viticultural area from surrounding areas, that all the areas within the 
North Coast viticultural area receive marine air, and that most of them 
also receive fog. T.D. ATF-145 also states that ``[d]ue to the enormous 
size of the North Coast, variations exist in climatic features such as 
temperature, rainfall and fog intrusion.''
    The proposed viticultural area exhibits the basic geographical 
feature of the North Coast viticultural area: Marine air that results 
in greater amounts of rain. However, the geographical features of the 
proposed viticultural area are much more uniform in than those of the 
North Coast viticultural area. In this regard, T.D. ATF-145 
specifically notes that ``approval of this viticultural area does not 
preclude approval of additional areas, either wholly contained with the 
North Coast, or partially overlapping the North Coast'' and that 
``smaller viticultural areas tend to be more uniform in their 
geographical and climatic characteristics * * *.''

Notices of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received

    In Notice No. 105, published in the Federal Register (75 FR 29686) 
on May 27, 2010, TTB described the petitioners' rationale for the 
proposed establishment of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas viticultural area 
and requested comments on the proposal on or before July 26, 2010. TTB 
specifically invited comments regarding: (1) Whether the petition 
contains sufficient evidence regarding the distinguishing features of 
the proposed viticultural area; (2) whether the evidence submitted 
warrants the establishment of the proposed viticultural area within the 
existing North Coast viticultural area and portions of the Alexander 
Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas; (3) whether the approval 
of the proposed viticultural area with the overlap with the Alexander 
Valley viticultural area is appropriate and/or whether the Alexander 
Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas should be curtailed to 
avoid the overlap or expanded to encompass the new area; and (4) the 
appropriateness of the proposed ``Pine Mountain-Mayacmas'' name, 
including its spelling, viticultural significance, and potential 
conflicts with currently used brand names.

[[Page 66634]]

    On July 16, 2010, TTB received a letter request from attorney 
Richard Mendelson on behalf of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a wine 
industry trade association, which requested a 45-day extension of the 
comment period for Notice No. 105 to allow the NVV to complete and 
thoroughly vet its comments on the proposed viticultural area. In 
response to that request, on July 26, 2010, TTB published in the 
Federal Register (75 FR 43446) Notice No. 107 to extend the comment 
period for Notice No. 105 to September 9, 2010.

Comments Received in Response to Notice No. 105

    During the course of the original and extended comment period on 
Notice No. 105, TTB received and posted 85 comments from 70 groups and 
individuals. Commenters included 36 industry members and 34 non-
industry individuals. Of the commenters, 52 supported and 18 opposed 
the establishment of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas viticultural area with 
the proposed name and boundary line. The comments in opposition to the 
proposal as published raised three issues that could warrant a change 
in the regulatory text proposed in Notice No. 105: (1) The 
appropriateness of the proposed Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name; (2) the 
viticultural significance of a suggested modified name for the proposed 
viticultural area; and (3) the inclusion of additional acreage within 
the boundary of the viticultural area.
    With regard to the appropriateness of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas 
name, some commenters questioned the ``Mayacmas'' portion of the name 
because it is associated with the four counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, 
and Mendocino in northern California rather than only the area within 
the proposed viticultural area boundary. TTB notes that ``Mayacmas'' 
refers to the Mayacmas Range, which is the mountain range that extends 
generally north from San Pablo Bay and divides the Napa Valley 
viticultural area from the Sonoma Valley viticultural area. The 
Mayacmas Range is a significant landform for both valleys. The 
following comments in response to Notice No. 105 stated opposition to 
the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name: Nos. 41, 43, 44, 45, 48, 50, 53, 55, 
56, 57, 59, 60, 63, 65, 76, 78, 79, 81, and 82 (comments 45 and 78 were 
submitted by the same commenter).
    In response to comments opposing the ``Mayacmas'' modifier, the 
``Cloverdale Peak'' geographical modifier was proposed in comment 62 by 
Barry Hoffner, a representative for the Pine Mountain vineyard owners. 
In comment 62, Mr. Hoffner describes the Pine Mountain growers as a 
unified group of 13 vineyard owners along the Sonoma-Mendocino boundary 
line, northeast of the town of Cloverdale. In comment 62, Mr. Hoffner 
explains that when opposition to the ``Mayacmas'' portion of the 
proposed ``Pine Mountain-Mayacmas'' name was expressed in some 
comments, the growers decided, after careful consideration and meetings 
with other industry groups, to propose to change the name of the 
proposed viticultural area to ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.'' 
Cloverdale Peak is a mountain landform that adjoins Pine Mountain and 
has similar elevations. Comment 62 emphasizes that the combination of 
the ``Pine Mountain'' and ``Cloverdale Peak'' names more accurately 
describes the geographical location of the proposed viticultural area 
and would effectively address the industry opposition relating to its 
name.
    Comment 68, submitted by Sara Schorske of Compliance Service of 
America (and the originator of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas viticultural 
area petition), expresses support for the ``Cloverdale Peak'' name 
change proposed in comment 62 and states that it would provide better 
information for consumers by providing a more unique and specific 
geographical indicator for ``Pine Mountain.'' Comment 68 also provides 
substantiating documentation for the change, which includes various 
references in the petition and its exhibits to Cloverdale and its 
historical and current association with Pine Mountain. Comment 68 
further states that Pine Mountain and Cloverdale Peak are neighboring 
peaks in the same range and that a portion of the Cloverdale Peak 
landform is already included within the proposed boundary line.
    According to comment 68, Cloverdale Peak is identified on the 
Highland Springs USGS quadrangle map. Cloverdale Peak Road extends from 
Hopland to the western slope of Cloverdale Peak, and the http://www.trails.com Web site identifies Cloverdale Peak as a hiking and 
recreational destination. In addition, as noted in comment 70, 
submitted by the NVV, Cloverdale Peak Road begins near the center of 
the proposed viticultural area and runs northward through the area.
    A number of commenters subsequently supported the use of the 
``Cloverdale Peak'' name instead of ``Mayacmas.'' Comments submitted in 
response to Notice No. 105 that specifically supported the name change 
to ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' were as follows: Nos. 61, 62, 68, 
69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, and 80. The comments supporting the 
proposed name change were submitted by individuals, vineyard and winery 
owners, industry association groups, and United States Congressman Mike 
Thompson.
    The NVV (comments 64 and 70) also endorsed the modified ``Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' name. Comments from other industry groups 
include the Pine Mountain growers (comments 46 and 62) and the Mount 
Veeder Appellation Council (comments 63 and 72), each of which 
submitted a second comment supporting the proposed name change to 
``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.'' The Sonoma County Winegrape 
Commission (comment 61) and the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission 
(comment 71) supported the original Pine Mountain-Mayacmas name, and 
the Lake County Winegrape Commission (comment 59) and the Spring 
Mountain District Association (comment 76) opposed the original Pine 
Mountain-Mayacmas name. None of these four industry groups commented on 
the proposed name change to Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.
    The comments supporting a modification of the name of the 
viticultural area also gave rise to the companion issue of the 
viticultural significance of the modified name. The following comments 
support the viticultural significance of the full ``Pine Mountain-
Cloverdale Peak'' name because it better describes the location of the 
proposed viticultural area and reduces the likelihood of consumer 
confusion as compared to the originally proposed ``Mayacmas'' name: 
Nos. 61, 62, 68, 70, 71, 75, 77, and 80.
    Finally, two commenters proposed altering the boundary line 
proposed in Notice No. 105. After expressing support for the ``Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' name change, comment 68 also proposes 
expanding the northwest portion of the boundary line to include more of 
the Cloverdale Peak landform and altering the boundary line to pass 
through the summit of Cloverdale Peak; this expansion would add 500 
acres to the proposed viticultural area.
    According to comment 68, the elevations in the proposed 500-acre 
expansion area that includes the summit of Cloverdale Peak are 
consistent with the originally proposed Pine Mountain-Mayacmas 
viticultural area: The Pine Mountain area has elevations between 1,600 
and 3,000 feet, and the Cloverdale Peak area is located between 1,800 
and 3,000 feet, with a 2,400-foot elevation low point between the two 
mountain landforms. The comment also suggests that similar climatic 
factors exist in both

[[Page 66635]]

areas because the elevations of the two regions are similar. Comment 68 
further claims that the soils in the proposed Cloverdale Peak expansion 
area are generally the same as in the Pine Mountain area, with a less 
than 2 percent addition of other soils, and that both mountain 
landforms have upland soils naturally occurring under brush or forest 
cover. TTB notes that comment 68 did not include any supporting 
documents or data relating to the geographical features of the proposed 
expansion area and their similarity to the distinguishing features of 
the proposed viticultural area. Comment 68 also states that there are 
currently no vineyards or wineries located within the proposed 500-acre 
expansion of the proposed viticultural area.
    An additional boundary line change was proposed in response to 
Notice No. 105. A commenter proposed in comments 58 and 67 that an 
additional 40 acres along the southwestern portion of the proposed 
viticultural area be included within the boundary line to include his 
vineyards, although no name or geographical features evidence was 
submitted in support of this proposed boundary line modification.
    In addition, the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission made TTB 
aware in comment 71 that the proposed boundary line in Notice No. 105 
created a small overlap with the Mendocino viticultural area at the 
western portion of the proposed viticultural area.

Determination To Re-Open Public Comment Period and Notice No. 112

    TTB reviewed all comments received in response to Notice No. 105 
with reference to the original petition materials. Because of the 
potential impact on label holders if TTB adopted any of the changes 
proposed in the comments, TTB determined that it was appropriate to re-
open the comment period on Notice No. 105 for the purpose of obtaining 
further public comment on the three issues outlined above that were 
raised in response to Notice No. 105 and that affected the original 
proposal before taking any further regulatory action on this matter.
    In Notice No. 112, published in the Federal Register (75 FR 78944) 
on December 17, 2010, TTB specifically invited comments on the use of 
``Cloverdale Peak'' as a geographical name in conjunction with ``Pine 
Mountain'' to form the ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' viticultural 
area name. TTB also invited comments on the viticultural significance 
of the full ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' name and on the 
viticultural significance of ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale,'' ``Cloverdale 
Peak,'' and ``Cloverdale'' standing alone. In addition, TTB invited 
comments on whether the boundary line should be expanded as suggested 
in the comments posted in response to Notice No. 105. The comment 
period for Notice No. 112 closed on February 15, 2011.

Comments Received in Response to Notice No. 112

    TTB received five comments in response to Notice No. 112, all of 
which support changing the name of the proposed viticultural area to 
``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.'' Two comments, Nos. 88 and 89, also 
specifically comment on the viticultural significance of the entire 
name ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' as opposed to ``Pine Mountain-
Cloverdale,'' which the commenters state could be confusing or 
misleading for consumers because the city of Cloverdale is outside the 
boundary line of the proposed viticultural area. In addition, three 
comments support the 500-acre expansion of the proposed viticultural 
area to include the summit of Cloverdale Peak. The commenters' reasons 
for supporting this proposed expansion include the area's viticultural 
distinctiveness and local name recognition (comment 86) and the 
avoidance of potential consumer confusion (comments 87 and 89).

TTB Analysis

    TTB carefully considered the comments received in response to 
Notice Nos. 105 and 112 and reviewed all petition evidence and 
subsequent documentation received in support of, or in opposition to, 
the proposed viticultural area.
    TTB agrees with the public comments that the ``Mayacmas'' portion 
of the proposed name could be misleading or confusing for consumers due 
to the length of the Mayacmas Range, which extends beyond the Pine 
Mountain region, and TTB therefore believes that ``Mayacmas'' is an 
inappropriate name for this viticultural area. After reviewing the 
public comments as well as the evidence provided in support of the 
alternate ``Cloverdale Peak'' name, TTB agrees that the proposed ``Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' name is appropriate for the viticultural 
area because it more accurately and specifically describes the location 
of the viticultural area. TTB notes that the proposed modified ``Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' name received significant public support, 
and the modified name was not opposed by any commenters during the 
original and re-opened comment periods.
    TTB declines to accept the proposed boundary line change to include 
the summit of Cloverdale Peak within the proposed Pine Mountain-
Cloverdale Peak viticultural area. Although some comments assert that 
the inclusion of the Cloverdale Peak summit within the viticultural 
area will reduce the likelihood of consumer confusion relating to the 
location of the proposed ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' viticultural 
area, TTB notes the following:
     As noted in comment 68, a portion of the Cloverdale Peak 
landform is already included within the boundary line proposed in the 
petition, so the ``Cloverdale Peak'' geographical name accurately 
identifies the location of the proposed viticultural area;
     The contention that the proposed expansion area shares the 
same distinguishing features as the petitioned-for area is contrary to 
statements in the petition that areas to the north and west of the 
proposed boundary line are unsuitable for viticulture due to steep 
terrain or inadequate sun and heat;
     None of the comments supporting the proposed expansion 
contain sufficient supporting evidence or data to establish that the 
proposed expansion area shares the same distinguishing features as the 
originally petitioned-for viticultural area; and
     As conceded in comment 68, there are currently no 
vineyards or wineries located within the proposed expansion area, with 
the result that the area cannot be considered a ``grape-growing 
region,'' which is part of the definition of an American viticultural 
area in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i). TTB further notes that the expansion of 
the boundary line in this way would be incompatible with the ``area in 
which viticulture exists'' principle contained in 27 CFR 9.12(a)(1), 
which was adopted subsequent to the filing of the Pine Mountain-
Mayacmas petition (see T.D. TTB-90, published in the Federal Register 
at 76 FR 3489 on January 20, 2011).
    Thus, for the above reasons, TTB concludes that the boundary line 
proposed in Notice No. 105 should not be altered to add the proposed 
500-acre Cloverdale Peak summit expansion area.
    TTB does not believe that it would be appropriate to adjust the 
proposed boundary line in response to comments 58 and 67. Those 
comments requested a boundary line change to include one person's 
vineyards, which are located southwest of the proposed boundary line. 
This additional acreage has elevations below 1,600 feet and as low as 
1,200 feet. Such lower elevations are

[[Page 66636]]

not consistent with the proposed viticultural area's elevations, which 
are above 1,600 feet. TTB notes that the proposed viticultural area's 
distinguishing features are largely based upon its high elevation and 
mountainous topography, and the commenter did not present any evidence 
in support of his contention that the same distinguishing features in 
the viticultural area exist in the proposed expansion area.
    As noted above, the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission pointed 
out in comment 71 that the proposed boundary line in Notice No. 105 
created a small overlap with the Mendocino viticultural area in the 
western region of the proposed viticultural area. TTB believes that 
this overlap, which involves approximately 30 acres, was inadvertent 
and should not be included within the boundary line in question.
    Finally, TTB adds that it specifically solicited comments in Notice 
No. 105 regarding whether the petition contained sufficient evidence to 
warrant the establishment of the proposed viticultural area within the 
existing North Coast viticultural area and portions of the Alexander 
Valley and Northern Sonoma viticultural areas. TTB also invited 
comments about whether the approval of the proposed viticultural area 
with the overlap with the Alexander Valley viticultural area is 
appropriate and/or whether the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma 
viticultural areas should be curtailed to avoid the overlap or expanded 
to encompass the new area.
    Although some supporting comments state that the proposed 
viticultural area is sufficiently distinct from the floor of the 
Alexander Valley to warrant the creation of a new viticultural area and 
concur with the evidence presented in the petition, TTB notes that no 
comments oppose the inclusion of part of the proposed Pine Mountain-
Cloverdale Peak viticultural area within the Alexander Valley 
viticultural area. In addition, no comments specifically address the 
partial overlap of the proposed viticultural area with the Northern 
Sonoma viticultural area and the inclusion of the proposed viticultural 
area within the North Coast viticultural area.

TTB Findings

    After careful review of the petition and the comments received in 
response to Notice Nos. 105 and 112, TTB finds that the evidence 
submitted supports the establishment of the proposed viticultural area, 
subject to the following alterations to the proposal in Notice No. 105:
     The name of the viticultural area should be ``Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak,'' as was proposed by the petitioners in 
response to comments to Notice No. 105; and
     The boundary line for the viticultural area should be 
modified to avoid the inadvertent overlap with the Mendocino 
viticultural area that was created by the boundary line proposed in 
Notice No. 105.
    With regard to the partial overlap between the proposed 
viticultural area and the Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma 
viticultural areas, as stated above, the evidence set forth in the 
petition shows that there are detailed, significant differences between 
the topography, climate, and soils of the entire proposed viticultural 
area (including the overlap area) and such features of the greater 
portion of the Alexander Valley viticultural area. This evidence raises 
concerns that there may be insufficient similarity between the 
distinguishing features of the overlap area and distinguishing features 
of the rest of the Alexander Valley viticultural area. However, 
considering the possible alternatives, the strength of the evidence 
presented in support of the similarity of the distinguishing features 
within the proposed viticultural area, and the fact that the overlap 
area was specifically added to the Alexander Valley viticultural area 
by T.D. ATF-233, TTB believes that the establishment of the proposed 
viticultural area as described above is the best alternative for 
achieving the objectives of establishing viticultural areas set forth 
in the definition paragraph earlier in this document.
    TTB has further determined that only the full name of the 
viticultural area, ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak,'' is viticulturally 
significant as a result of the establishment of this new viticultural 
area because ``Pine Mountain'' is a commonly used geographic name for 
multiple locations within the United States, and, as noted in the 
comments to Notice No. 105, the names of ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale'' 
or ``Cloverdale'' alone are geographically inaccurate and could cause 
consumers to erroneously associate the viticultural area with the 
nearby city of Cloverdale, which is not within the proposed boundary 
line.
    Accordingly, under the authority of the Federal Alcohol 
Administration Act and part 4 of the TTB regulations, TTB establishes 
the ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' viticultural area in Mendocino 
County and Sonoma County, California, effective 30 days from the date 
of publication 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

    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. With the establishment of this viticultural area, its 
name, ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak,'' is recognized as a name of 
viticultural significance under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3). The text of the new 
regulation clarifies this point.
    Once this final rule becomes effective, wine bottlers using ``Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' in a brand name, including a trademark, or 
in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, will have to 
ensure that the product is eligible to use ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale 
Peak'' as an appellation of origin. The establishment of the Pine 
Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area will not affect the boundary 
line of any existing viticultural areas, and any wineries using 
Alexander Valley, Northern Sonoma, or North Coast as an appellation of 
origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within a 
portion of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area that 
overlaps one of those viticultural areas will not be affected by the 
establishment of this new viticultural area.
    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 being 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). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with the 
viticultural area name or other viticulturally significant term and 
that name or term appears in the brand name, then the label is not in 
compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain 
approval of a new label. Similarly, if the viticultural area name or 
other term of viticultural significance appears in another reference on 
the label in a misleading manner, the bottler

[[Page 66637]]

would have to obtain approval of a new label.
    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

    TTB certifies 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

    Elisabeth C. Kann of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted 
this notice.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

The Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB amends title 27, 
chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, 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. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.220 to read as follows:


Sec.  9.220  Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak''. For purposes of part 4 of 
this chapter, ``Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak'' is a term of 
viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The three United States Geological Survey 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Asti Quadrangle--California, 1998;
    (2) Cloverdale Quadrangle--California, 1960, photoinspected 1975; 
and
    (3) Highland Springs Quadrangle--California, 1959, photorevised 
1978.
    (c) Boundary. The Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area 
is located in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, California. The boundary 
of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak viticultural area is as described 
below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Asti map at the intersection of 
Pine Mountain Road and the Sonoma-Mendocino County line, section 35, 
T12N, R10W. From the beginning point, proceed southwesterly on Pine 
Mountain Road to its intersection with a light duty road known locally 
as Green Road, section 33, T12N, R10W; then
    (2) Proceed northerly on Green Road approximately 500 feet to its 
first intersection with the 1,600-foot contour line, section 33, T12N, 
R10W; then
    (3) Proceed northwesterly along the meandering 1,600-foot contour 
line, crossing onto the Cloverdale map in section 32, T12N, R10W, and 
continue to the contour line's intersection with the eastern boundary 
line of section 31, T12N, R10W; then
    (4) Proceed straight north along the eastern boundary line of 
section 31, crossing the Sonoma-Mendocino line, to the boundary line's 
intersection with the 1,600-foot contour line on the west side of 
Section 29, T12N, R10W; then
    (5) Proceed northeasterly along the meandering 1,600-foot contour 
line to its intersection with the intermittent Ash Creek, section 29, 
T12N, R10W; then
    (6) Proceed northeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto the 
Asti map, to the unnamed 2,769-foot peak located south of Salty Spring 
Creek, section 20, T12N, R10W; then
    (7) Continue northeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto the 
Highland Springs map, to the unnamed 2,792-foot peak in the northeast 
quadrant of section 21, T12N, R10W; then
    (8) Proceed east-southeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto 
the Asti map, to the unnamed 2,198-foot peak in section 23, T12N, R10W; 
and then
    (9) Proceed south-southeasterly in a straight line, returning to 
the beginning point.

    Signed: July 12, 2011.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
    Approved: September 16, 2011.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2011-27813 Filed 10-26-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P