Proposed Establishment of the Alisos Canyon Viticultural Area, 55082-55086 [2019-22264]

Download as PDF 55082 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB–2019–0007; Notice No. 185] RIN 1513–AC51 Proposed Establishment of the Alisos Canyon Viticultural Area Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to establish the approximately 5,774-acre ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ viticultural area in Santa Barbara County, California. The proposed viticultural area lies entirely within the established Central Coast viticultural area. TTB 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. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations. DATES: Comments must be received by December 16, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may electronically submit comments to TTB on this proposal, and view copies of this document, its supporting materials, and any comments TTB receives on it within Docket No. TTB–2019–0007 as posted on Regulations.gov (https:// www.regulations.gov), the Federal erulemaking portal. Please see the ‘‘Public Participation’’ section of this document below for full details on how to comment on this proposal via Regulations.gov, U.S. mail, or hand delivery, and for full details on how to view or obtain copies of this document, its supporting materials, and any comments related to this proposal. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202–453–1039, ext. 175. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 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, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 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 FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Order 120– 01, dated December 10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Order 120–01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions. Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate 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 and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs. or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition; • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed AVA; • A narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA; • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon; • If the proposed AVA is to be established within, or overlapping, an existing AVA, an explanation that both identifies the attributes of the proposed AVA that are consistent with the existing AVA and explains how the proposed AVA is sufficiently distinct from the existing AVA and therefore appropriate for separate recognition; and • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings. 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 the wine’s geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area. Alisos Canyon Petition Requirements Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grapegrowing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following: • Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is nationally PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 TTB received a petition from Wesley D. Hagen, on behalf of local vineyard owners and winemakers, proposing the establishment of the ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ AVA. The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located within Santa Barbara County, California. The proposed AVA lies entirely within the established Central Coast AVA (27 CFR 9.75) and contains approximately 5,774 acres. Nine commercially-producing vineyards are planted within the proposed AVA and cover a total of approximately 238 acres. There is also one winery within the proposed AVA. According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA include its climate and soils. The petition also listed topography and geology as distinguishing features of the proposed AVA. However, based on the petition’s descriptions, topography and geology appear to be too integral to the region’s climate and soils, respectively, to be considered separately from those features. Therefore, TTB does not consider topography and geology to be separate distinguishing features of the proposed AVA. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this document are from the petition for the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA and its supporting exhibits. E:\FR\FM\15OCP1.SGM 15OCP1 55083 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Proposed Rules Name Evidence The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA derives its name from a geographical feature that runs through the region. U.S.G.S. maps identify the feature as ‘‘Can˜ada de los Alisos,’’ which translates to ‘‘Canyon of the White Alder Trees.’’ The petition states that residents more commonly refer to the canyon as ‘‘Alisos Canyon.’’ As evidence of use of the proposed name to describe the region, the petition notes that a road running through the proposed AVA is known as ‘‘Alisos Canyon Road,’’ and a popular biking route is known as the ‘‘Alisos Canyon Loop.’’ The petition also included a page from a website for motorcycle enthusiasts that states, ‘‘Alisos Canyon also provides you with some looping opportunities utilizing Foxen Canyon, Hwy. 154 and Hwy. 101.’’ 1 Finally, the petition notes that an equestrian center adjacent to the proposed AVA is called ‘‘Alisos Canyon Equine Center.’’ The petition also provided evidence that the name ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ is used by the wine industry to describe the region of the proposed AVA. An article on a Santa Barbara County wine blog notes that, ‘‘Starting in the east, near the northern boundary of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, we find perhaps the area’s most acclaimed sub-region: Alisos Canyon.’’ 2 The article also states, ‘‘For Rhones, Alisos Canyon is still a cool area and fairly uniform in temperature from its mouth east of the 101 most of the way to Foxen Canyon.’’ An article in Wine Enthusiast is entitled ‘‘Alisos and Foxen Canyons: Santa Barbara’s Hidden Gems.’’ 3 An online wine store specializing in rare wines notes on its page about Sine Qua Non winery, ‘‘In the future, [winemaker Manfred] Krankl’s newest vineyard in Alisos Canyon will be an additional component part.’’ 4 Finally, the website for Thompson Vineyard, which is within the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA, features a quote from wine critic Robert Parker that says, ‘‘One of my favorite Central Coast sites is the Santa Barbara vineyard in the Alisos Canyon known as the Thompson Vineyard.’’ 5 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Boundary Evidence The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located in Santa Barbara County north of U.S. Highway 101. The established 1 http://sbc-rides/goption.com/StreetRides/ hwy101/alisos/hwy101_alisos.html. 2 Winemerchantcafe.com/category/los-alamos. 3 Winemag.com/gallery/californias-best-syrahs/ #gallery-carousel-3. 4 https://www.winehouse.com/product/2007-sinequa-non-grenache-pictures-california-750ml. 5 Thompsonvineyard.com/about-us/. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 Santa Maria Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.28) lies to the north of the proposed AVA, and the established Santa Ynez Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.54) is located to the south. The climate of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is influenced by the San Antonio Creek drainage system, and the proposed northern boundary separates this drainage system from the Santa Maria River drainage system. The eastern boundary approximates the limit of the marine-cooled air flowing inland from the Pacific Ocean via the San Antonio Creek drainage system. Additionally, the petition notes that the region east of the proposed AVA is a different geological feature commonly known as Foxen Canyon. The southern boundary separates the proposed AVA from the region of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, whose climate is influenced by the Santa Ynez River drainage system. The western boundary separates the proposed AVA from the coastal region of Santa Barbara County, whose climate is more strongly influenced by marine air. The petition also notes that the western boundary separates the proposed AVA from a separate geological feature known as Cat Canyon. Distinguishing Features The distinguishing features of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA are its climate and soils. Climate The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located along the drainage system of San Antonio Creek, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Cool marine air travels inland via the drainage system and affects temperatures. As the air travels up the San Antonio Creek and its drainage system, it becomes warmer. The proposed AVA is approximately 25 miles from the ocean and situated in a transitional region, between the cooler coastal regions and the warmer inland areas. According to the petition, the proposed AVA’s location is a ‘‘Goldilocks Rhone Zone,’’ meaning that temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for growing Rhone wine varietals such as Syrah, which is the most common varietal grown in the proposed AVA. The petition included information on the average growing degree day 6 (GDD) accumulations from 1981 through 2015 from two locations within the proposed 6 See Albert J. Winkler et al., General Viticulture 61—64 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2nd ed. 1974). The Winkler method of calculating GDDs utilizes the monthly average above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth) multiplied by the number of days in the month during the growing season. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 AVA and eight locations in the surrounding regions. Average GDD accumulations from 1981– 2015 Location (direction from proposed AVA) Proposed Alisos Canyon AVA—eastern end ............ Proposed Alisos Canyon AVA—western end ............ State Route 135 Corridor (northwest) ........................ Sta. Rita Hills AVA (southwest) .................................. Ballard Canyon AVA—southern end (south) ................. Ballard Canyon AVA—northern end (south) ................. Sisquoc (north) ..................... Comasa Canyon (east) ........ Zaca Creek (east) ................. Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA (southeast) ....... Average GDD accumulations 2,617 2,691 2,511 2,512 2,776 3,182 2,915 3,097 3,642 3,781 To the northwest and southwest of the proposed AVA, the GDD accumulations are lower due to the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the greater cooling influence of the marine air. To the immediate north of the proposed AVA in Sisquoc, GDD accumulations are higher than within the proposed AVA because ridges and hills trap warm air and block the cool marine air from entering that region. East and southeast of the proposed AVA, GDD accumulations become significantly higher as one moves beyond the extent of the marine influence. South of the proposed AVA, within the existing Ballard Canyon AVA (27 CFR 9.230), the GDD accumulations are also higher. According to the petition, the east-west valleys that bring cool marine air inland end prior to reaching the Ballard Canyon AVA, resulting in warmer temperatures than are found in the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA. Soils According to the petition, the soils of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA are primarily derived from sandstone and shale. The most common soils within the proposed AVA are the Paso Robles Formation and Careaga Sandstone, which comprise 63 percent and 13 percent of the total soils, respectively. The petition describes the Paso Robles Formation as conglomerate or gravel composed mostly of siliceous shale pebbles in sandy to somewhat clayey matrix. The petition states that the high calcium content from the shale pebbles increases the thickness of the skins of red varietal wine grapes, which in turn increases the color and tannin levels in the resulting wine. The clay content E:\FR\FM\15OCP1.SGM 15OCP1 55084 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Proposed Rules aids in the uptake of nutrients to the vines. Careaga sandstone is described as soft, fine-grained sandstone or sand, along with small marine shell fragments or pebbles. The petition states that the high sand content of the soil provides excellent drainage in vineyards, thus reducing the risks from certain pests such as nematodes and phylloxera. The low level of clay in the Careaga sandstone soils reduces the uptake of nutrients and reduces the vigor of the vines. As a result, the vines produce grapes that are smaller and have a higher skin-to-juice ratio than grapes of the same varietal grown in different soil. The petition states that the soils to the north of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA, in the Santa Maria Valley, have sandier topsoils than are found within the proposed AVA. South of the proposed AVA, the soils are characterized by Metz fine sandy loam. To the east of the proposed AVA, the soils are primarily derived from serpentine and chert, rather than sandstone and shale. To the west of the proposed AVA, the soils are described as deep, sandy soils of the Shedd, Chamise, and Point Sal Formation series. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Summary of Distinguishing Features In summary, the climate and soils of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA distinguish it from the surrounding regions. The proposed AVA has GDD accumulations that are higher than the marine-influenced regions to the northwest and southwest and are lower than the regions to the north, south, east, and southeast. The soils of the proposed AVA are derived primarily from sandstone and shale, and the most common soils are the Paso Robles Formation and Careaga sandstone. By contrast, the soils to the north of the proposed AVA contain more sand in the topsoil. The soils to the west of the proposed AVA are deeper and sandier than those of the proposed AVA, while the soils to the south of the proposed AVA are very fine sandy loams of the Mertz series. The soils to the east of the proposed AVA are derived from geologic parent materials that are not found within the proposed AVA. Comparison of the Proposed Alisos Canyon AVA to the Existing Central Coast AVA The Central Coast AVA was established by T.D. ATF–216, published in the Federal Register on October 24, 1985 (50 FR 43128). It includes all or portions of the California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. T.D. ATF–216 describes the Central Coast AVA as extending from the city of Santa Barbara to the San Francisco Bay area, and east to the California Coastal Ranges. The only distinguishing feature of the Central Coast AVA discussed in T.D. ATF–216 is that all of the included counties experience marine climate influence due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located within the Central Coast AVA and shares the basic viticultural feature of that established AVA—the marine influence that moderates growing season temperatures in the area. The moderate GDD accumulations within the proposed AVA reflect a marineinfluenced climate. However, the proposed AVA experiences a much smaller range of GDD accumulations within its proposed boundaries than the diverse, multicounty Central Coast AVA. TTB Determination TTB concludes that the petition to establish the 5,774-acre Alisos Canyon AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking. Boundary Description See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for AVA in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule. Maps The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed 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. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name 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 AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details. If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, ‘‘Alisos Canyon,’’ will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under § 4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin if this proposed rule is adopted as a final rule. The approval of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA would not affect any existing AVA, and any bottlers using ‘‘Central Coast’’ as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the Central Coast AVA would not be affected by the establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA would allow vintners to use ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ and ‘‘Central Coast’’ as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation. Public Participation Comments Invited TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should establish the proposed AVA. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, boundary, soils, climate, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA’s location within the existing Central Coast AVA, TTB is interested in comments on whether the evidence submitted in the petition regarding the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA sufficiently differentiates it from the existing AVA. TTB is also interested in comments on whether the geographic features of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the surrounding Central Coast AVA that the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA should no longer be part of that AVA. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments. Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA on wine labels that include the term ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ as discussed above under Impact on E:\FR\FM\15OCP1.SGM 15OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Current Wine Labels, TTB is particularly interested in comments regarding whether there will be a conflict between the proposed AVA name and currently used brand names. If a commenter believes that a conflict will arise, the comment should describe the nature of that conflict, including any anticipated negative economic impact that approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing viticultural enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different name for the AVA. Submitting Comments You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the following three methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB–2019–0007 on ‘‘Regulations.gov,’’ the Federal erulemaking portal, at https:// www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 185 on the TTB website at https:// www.ttb.gov/wine/winerulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ‘‘Help’’ tab. • U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005. • Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 185 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals. In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity’s name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity’s name in the ‘‘Organization’’ blank of the online VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity’s comment on letterhead. You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing. Confidentiality All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure. Public Disclosure TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB–2019– 0007 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at https:// www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 185. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at https:// www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site’s ‘‘Help’’ tab. All posted comments will display the commenter’s name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting. You may also view copies of this notice, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Public Reading Room, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB’s Regulations and Rulings Division at the above address, by email at https://www.ttb.gov/ webforms/contact_RRD.shtm, or by telephone at 202–453–1039, ext. 175, to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials. Regulatory Flexibility Act TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 55085 a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name would be 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 It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required. Drafting Information Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking. List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9 Wine. Proposed Regulatory Amendment For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend 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. Add § 9.____to read as follows: 9._ ___Alisos Canyon. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, ‘‘Alisos Canyon’’ is a term of viticultural significance. (b) Approved maps. The two United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Alisos Canyon viticultural area are titled: (1) Foxen Canyon, CA, 1995; and (2) Zaca Creek, Calif., 1959. (c) Boundary. The Alisos Canyon viticultural area is located in Santa Barbara County, California. The boundary of the Alisos Canyon viticultural area is as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (8) of this section: (1) The beginning point is on the Foxen Canyon map at an unnamed hilltop with a marked elevation of 1,137 feet, located west of the Can˜ada de los Coches in the La Laguna Grant. From ■ E:\FR\FM\15OCP1.SGM 15OCP1 55086 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Proposed Rules the beginning point, proceed east in a straight line for 3.71 miles to the intersection of two unnamed, unimproved roads north of Rancho San Juan; then (2) Proceed east-southeast in a straight line for approximately 1.2 miles to an unnamed hilltop with a marked elevation of 1,424 feet in the La Laguna Grant; then (3) Proceed southwest in a straight line for approximately 1.7 miles, crossing onto the Zaca Creek map, to a point designated ‘‘Oil,’’ adjacent to the north fork of San Antonio Creek and the intersection of three unnamed light-duty roads in the Can˜ada del Comasa, La Laguna Grant; then (4) Proceed west-southwest in a straight line for approximately 1.56 miles to the intersection of the north fork of San Antonio Creek and the 800foot elevation contour in the Can˜ada del Comasa, La Laguna Grant; then (5) Proceed west in a straight line 1.95 miles to an unnamed rectangular structure northeast of the terminus of an unnamed, unimproved road north of U.S. Highway 101 and BM 684 in the La Laguna Grant; then (6) Proceed northwesterly in a straight line 0.32 mile to the intersection of Alisos Canyon Road and an unnamed, unimproved road east of the Can˜ada de los Coches in the La Laguna Grant; then (7) Proceed north-northwest in a straight line for 1.68 miles, crossing onto the Foxen Canyon map, to an unnamed hilltop with a marked elevation of 997 feet in the La Laguna Grant; then (8) Proceed northeast in a straight line for 0.5 mile to return to the beginning point. Signed: August 6, 2019. Mary G. Ryan Acting Administrator. Approved: September 23, 2019. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2019–22264 Filed 10–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS RIN 2900–AQ71 Schedule for Rating Disabilities; The Genitourinary Diseases and Conditions ACTION: Department of Veterans Affairs. Proposed rule. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:07 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ioulia Vvedenskaya, M.D., M.B.A., Medical Officer, Part 4 VASRD Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–9752. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.) As part of VA’s ongoing revision of the Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD), VA proposes changes to the portion of the VASRD that addresses the genitourinary system, which was last revised in 1994. See 59 FR 2523 (Jan. 18, 1994); see also 59 FR 46338 (Sep. 8, 1994). Through this revision, VA aims to eliminate ambiguities, include medical conditions not currently in the rating schedule, SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 38 CFR Part 4 AGENCY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend the portion of the Schedule for Rating Disabilities that addresses the genitourinary system. The purpose of this change is to update current medical terminology, incorporate medical advances that have occurred since the last review, and provide well-defined criteria in accordance with actual, standard medical clinical practice. In fashioning this proposed rule, VA considered the most up-to-date medical knowledge and clinical practice of nephrology and urology specialties. Contact information for that office is noted in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 16, 2019. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or handdelivery to Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘RIN 2900–AQ71— Schedule for Rating Disabilities; The Genitourinary Diseases and Conditions.’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1064, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System at www.Regulations.gov. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 implement current, well-refined medical criteria, and update terminology to reflect the most recent medical advances. For this proposed rule, VA considered the most up-to-date medical knowledge and clinical practice of nephrology and urology specialties, as well as feedback from a public forum held on January 27–28, 2011. Please email at 21_EXECASST.VBACO@va.gov for a copy of the public forum transrcript. I. Proposed Changes to § 4.115 Currently, 38 CFR 4.115 (‘‘Nephritis’’) does not adequately reflect current concepts of renal and urinary tract diseases and conditions. Regardless of specific disease pathology, kidney conditions generally produce the same symptomatology and lead to the same functional impairment. Therefore, for rating purposes, analysis of pathology, such as is currently presented in the first three sentences of § 4.115, is unnecessary and VA proposes to remove this language. However, VA proposes to retain the remainder of the language in § 4.115, which addresses the assignment of ratings when both renal and cardiovascular conditions are present, but to replace the reference to ‘‘nephritis’’ in the first sentence of the proposed revised section with ‘‘renal disease’’ to more accurately reflect the applicability of the provision. VA proposes to retitle this provision as ‘‘Coexistence of renal and cardiovascular conditions’’ to better address the amended content. II. Proposed Changes to § 4.115a Under the current VASRD, diseases of the genitourinary system are listed at 38 CFR 4.115b with instructions directing rating personnel to various rating criteria found at 38 CFR 4.115a, when appropriate. The rating criteria in § 4.115a address impairment of the genitourinary system, including renal dysfunction, voiding dysfunction, and infections. The introductory paragraph in § 4.115a states that when the VASRD refers a decision-maker to these areas of dysfunction, only the predominant area of dysfunction will be considered for rating purposes. VA proposes clarifying this statement by noting that distinct disabilities may be assigned separate evaluations under this section, consistent with the anti-pyramiding provisions in § 4.14. This statement is intended to reflect that when a particular diagnostic code refers to multiple dysfunctions, only the predominant dysfunction will be evaluated for that diagnostic code. E:\FR\FM\15OCP1.SGM 15OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 199 (Tuesday, October 15, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 55082-55086]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22264]



[[Page 55082]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2019-0007; Notice No. 185]
RIN 1513-AC51


Proposed Establishment of the Alisos Canyon Viticultural Area

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to 
establish the approximately 5,774-acre ``Alisos Canyon'' viticultural 
area in Santa Barbara County, California. The proposed viticultural 
area lies entirely within the established Central Coast viticultural 
area. TTB 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. TTB invites comments on this proposed 
addition to its regulations.

DATES: Comments must be received by December 16, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may electronically submit comments to TTB on this 
proposal, and view copies of this document, its supporting materials, 
and any comments TTB receives on it within Docket No. TTB-2019-0007 as 
posted on Regulations.gov (https://www.regulations.gov), the Federal e-
rulemaking portal. Please see the ``Public Participation'' section of 
this document below for full details on how to comment on this proposal 
via Regulations.gov, U.S. mail, or hand delivery, and for full details 
on how to view or obtain copies of this document, its supporting 
materials, and any comments related to this proposal.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and 
Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G 
Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

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 FAA Act 
pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 
codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various 
authorities through Treasury Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, 
(superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB 
Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration 
and enforcement of these provisions.
    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to 
establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate 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 and submission of petitions for the 
establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and 
lists the approved AVAs.

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 the 
wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to 
describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and 
helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of 
an AVA 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 (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) 
outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any 
interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region 
as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes 
the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of 
AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following:
     Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is 
nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;
     An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of 
the proposed AVA;
     A narrative description of the features of the proposed 
AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical 
features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and 
distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA;
     The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of 
the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon;
     If the proposed AVA is to be established within, or 
overlapping, an existing AVA, an explanation that both identifies the 
attributes of the proposed AVA that are consistent with the existing 
AVA and explains how the proposed AVA is sufficiently distinct from the 
existing AVA and therefore appropriate for separate recognition; and
     A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA 
boundary based on USGS map markings.

Alisos Canyon Petition

    TTB received a petition from Wesley D. Hagen, on behalf of local 
vineyard owners and winemakers, proposing the establishment of the 
``Alisos Canyon'' AVA. The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located within 
Santa Barbara County, California. The proposed AVA lies entirely within 
the established Central Coast AVA (27 CFR 9.75) and contains 
approximately 5,774 acres. Nine commercially-producing vineyards are 
planted within the proposed AVA and cover a total of approximately 238 
acres. There is also one winery within the proposed AVA.
    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the 
proposed Alisos Canyon AVA include its climate and soils. The petition 
also listed topography and geology as distinguishing features of the 
proposed AVA. However, based on the petition's descriptions, topography 
and geology appear to be too integral to the region's climate and 
soils, respectively, to be considered separately from those features. 
Therefore, TTB does not consider topography and geology to be separate 
distinguishing features of the proposed AVA. Unless otherwise noted, 
all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in 
this document are from the petition for the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA 
and its supporting exhibits.

[[Page 55083]]

Name Evidence

    The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA derives its name from a geographical 
feature that runs through the region. U.S.G.S. maps identify the 
feature as ``Ca[ntilde]ada de los Alisos,'' which translates to 
``Canyon of the White Alder Trees.'' The petition states that residents 
more commonly refer to the canyon as ``Alisos Canyon.'' As evidence of 
use of the proposed name to describe the region, the petition notes 
that a road running through the proposed AVA is known as ``Alisos 
Canyon Road,'' and a popular biking route is known as the ``Alisos 
Canyon Loop.'' The petition also included a page from a website for 
motorcycle enthusiasts that states, ``Alisos Canyon also provides you 
with some looping opportunities utilizing Foxen Canyon, Hwy. 154 and 
Hwy. 101.'' \1\ Finally, the petition notes that an equestrian center 
adjacent to the proposed AVA is called ``Alisos Canyon Equine Center.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ http://sbc-rides/goption.com/StreetRides/hwy101/alisos/hwy101_alisos.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The petition also provided evidence that the name ``Alisos Canyon'' 
is used by the wine industry to describe the region of the proposed 
AVA. An article on a Santa Barbara County wine blog notes that, 
``Starting in the east, near the northern boundary of the Santa Ynez 
Valley AVA, we find perhaps the area's most acclaimed sub-region: 
Alisos Canyon.'' \2\ The article also states, ``For Rhones, Alisos 
Canyon is still a cool area and fairly uniform in temperature from its 
mouth east of the 101 most of the way to Foxen Canyon.'' An article in 
Wine Enthusiast is entitled ``Alisos and Foxen Canyons: Santa Barbara's 
Hidden Gems.'' \3\ An online wine store specializing in rare wines 
notes on its page about Sine Qua Non winery, ``In the future, 
[winemaker Manfred] Krankl's newest vineyard in Alisos Canyon will be 
an additional component part.'' \4\ Finally, the website for Thompson 
Vineyard, which is within the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA, features a 
quote from wine critic Robert Parker that says, ``One of my favorite 
Central Coast sites is the Santa Barbara vineyard in the Alisos Canyon 
known as the Thompson Vineyard.'' \5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Winemerchantcafe.com/category/los-alamos.
    \3\ Winemag.com/gallery/californias-best-syrahs/#gallery-carousel-3.
    \4\ https://www.winehouse.com/product/2007-sine-qua-non-grenache-pictures-california-750ml.
    \5\ Thompsonvineyard.com/about-us/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located in Santa Barbara County 
north of U.S. Highway 101. The established Santa Maria Valley AVA (27 
CFR 9.28) lies to the north of the proposed AVA, and the established 
Santa Ynez Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.54) is located to the south. The 
climate of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is influenced by the San 
Antonio Creek drainage system, and the proposed northern boundary 
separates this drainage system from the Santa Maria River drainage 
system. The eastern boundary approximates the limit of the marine-
cooled air flowing inland from the Pacific Ocean via the San Antonio 
Creek drainage system. Additionally, the petition notes that the region 
east of the proposed AVA is a different geological feature commonly 
known as Foxen Canyon. The southern boundary separates the proposed AVA 
from the region of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, whose climate is 
influenced by the Santa Ynez River drainage system. The western 
boundary separates the proposed AVA from the coastal region of Santa 
Barbara County, whose climate is more strongly influenced by marine 
air. The petition also notes that the western boundary separates the 
proposed AVA from a separate geological feature known as Cat Canyon.

Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA are 
its climate and soils.
Climate
    The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located along the drainage system 
of San Antonio Creek, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Cool marine 
air travels inland via the drainage system and affects temperatures. As 
the air travels up the San Antonio Creek and its drainage system, it 
becomes warmer. The proposed AVA is approximately 25 miles from the 
ocean and situated in a transitional region, between the cooler coastal 
regions and the warmer inland areas. According to the petition, the 
proposed AVA's location is a ``Goldilocks Rhone Zone,'' meaning that 
temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for growing Rhone wine 
varietals such as Syrah, which is the most common varietal grown in the 
proposed AVA.
    The petition included information on the average growing degree day 
\6\ (GDD) accumulations from 1981 through 2015 from two locations 
within the proposed AVA and eight locations in the surrounding regions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See Albert J. Winkler et al., General Viticulture 61--64 
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2nd ed. 1974). The 
Winkler method of calculating GDDs utilizes the monthly average 
above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (the minimum temperature required for 
grapevine growth) multiplied by the number of days in the month 
during the growing season.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Average GDD accumulations from 1981-2015
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Average GDD
         Location  (direction from proposed AVA)           accumulations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Alisos Canyon AVA--eastern end.................           2,617
Proposed Alisos Canyon AVA--western end.................           2,691
State Route 135 Corridor (northwest)....................           2,511
Sta. Rita Hills AVA (southwest).........................           2,512
Ballard Canyon AVA--southern end (south)................           2,776
Ballard Canyon AVA--northern end (south)................           3,182
Sisquoc (north).........................................           2,915
Comasa Canyon (east)....................................           3,097
Zaca Creek (east).......................................           3,642
Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA (southeast)...........           3,781
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To the northwest and southwest of the proposed AVA, the GDD 
accumulations are lower due to the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and 
the greater cooling influence of the marine air. To the immediate north 
of the proposed AVA in Sisquoc, GDD accumulations are higher than 
within the proposed AVA because ridges and hills trap warm air and 
block the cool marine air from entering that region. East and southeast 
of the proposed AVA, GDD accumulations become significantly higher as 
one moves beyond the extent of the marine influence. South of the 
proposed AVA, within the existing Ballard Canyon AVA (27 CFR 9.230), 
the GDD accumulations are also higher. According to the petition, the 
east-west valleys that bring cool marine air inland end prior to 
reaching the Ballard Canyon AVA, resulting in warmer temperatures than 
are found in the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA.
Soils
    According to the petition, the soils of the proposed Alisos Canyon 
AVA are primarily derived from sandstone and shale. The most common 
soils within the proposed AVA are the Paso Robles Formation and Careaga 
Sandstone, which comprise 63 percent and 13 percent of the total soils, 
respectively. The petition describes the Paso Robles Formation as 
conglomerate or gravel composed mostly of siliceous shale pebbles in 
sandy to somewhat clayey matrix. The petition states that the high 
calcium content from the shale pebbles increases the thickness of the 
skins of red varietal wine grapes, which in turn increases the color 
and tannin levels in the resulting wine. The clay content

[[Page 55084]]

aids in the uptake of nutrients to the vines.
    Careaga sandstone is described as soft, fine-grained sandstone or 
sand, along with small marine shell fragments or pebbles. The petition 
states that the high sand content of the soil provides excellent 
drainage in vineyards, thus reducing the risks from certain pests such 
as nematodes and phylloxera. The low level of clay in the Careaga 
sandstone soils reduces the uptake of nutrients and reduces the vigor 
of the vines. As a result, the vines produce grapes that are smaller 
and have a higher skin-to-juice ratio than grapes of the same varietal 
grown in different soil.
    The petition states that the soils to the north of the proposed 
Alisos Canyon AVA, in the Santa Maria Valley, have sandier topsoils 
than are found within the proposed AVA. South of the proposed AVA, the 
soils are characterized by Metz fine sandy loam. To the east of the 
proposed AVA, the soils are primarily derived from serpentine and 
chert, rather than sandstone and shale. To the west of the proposed 
AVA, the soils are described as deep, sandy soils of the Shedd, 
Chamise, and Point Sal Formation series.

Summary of Distinguishing Features

    In summary, the climate and soils of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA 
distinguish it from the surrounding regions. The proposed AVA has GDD 
accumulations that are higher than the marine-influenced regions to the 
northwest and southwest and are lower than the regions to the north, 
south, east, and southeast. The soils of the proposed AVA are derived 
primarily from sandstone and shale, and the most common soils are the 
Paso Robles Formation and Careaga sandstone. By contrast, the soils to 
the north of the proposed AVA contain more sand in the topsoil. The 
soils to the west of the proposed AVA are deeper and sandier than those 
of the proposed AVA, while the soils to the south of the proposed AVA 
are very fine sandy loams of the Mertz series. The soils to the east of 
the proposed AVA are derived from geologic parent materials that are 
not found within the proposed AVA.

Comparison of the Proposed Alisos Canyon AVA to the Existing Central 
Coast AVA

    The Central Coast AVA was established by T.D. ATF-216, published in 
the Federal Register on October 24, 1985 (50 FR 43128). It includes all 
or portions of the California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, 
Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa 
Barbara, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. T.D. ATF-216 describes the 
Central Coast AVA as extending from the city of Santa Barbara to the 
San Francisco Bay area, and east to the California Coastal Ranges. The 
only distinguishing feature of the Central Coast AVA discussed in T.D. 
ATF-216 is that all of the included counties experience marine climate 
influence due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean.
    The proposed Alisos Canyon AVA is located within the Central Coast 
AVA and shares the basic viticultural feature of that established AVA--
the marine influence that moderates growing season temperatures in the 
area. The moderate GDD accumulations within the proposed AVA reflect a 
marine-influenced climate. However, the proposed AVA experiences a much 
smaller range of GDD accumulations within its proposed boundaries than 
the diverse, multicounty Central Coast AVA.

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the 5,774-acre Alisos 
Canyon AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this 
notice of proposed rulemaking.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for 
AVA in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this 
proposed rule.

Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed 
below in the proposed 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. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 
percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area 
represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions 
listed in Sec.  4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). 
If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name 
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 AVA name appears in another reference on the label in 
a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new 
label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an 
AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 
7, 1986. See Sec.  4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 
4.39(i)(2)) for details.
    If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, ``Alisos Canyon,'' 
will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under Sec.  
4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the 
proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers 
using the name ``Alisos Canyon'' in a brand name, including a 
trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, 
would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name 
as an appellation of origin if this proposed rule is adopted as a final 
rule.
    The approval of the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA would not affect any 
existing AVA, and any bottlers using ``Central Coast'' as an 
appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes 
grown within the Central Coast AVA would not be affected by the 
establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the proposed Alisos 
Canyon AVA would allow vintners to use ``Alisos Canyon'' and ``Central 
Coast'' as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown 
within the proposed Alisos Canyon AVA if the wines meet the eligibility 
requirements for the appellation.

Public Participation

Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on 
whether it should establish the proposed AVA. TTB is also interested in 
receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, 
boundary, soils, climate, and other required information submitted in 
support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Alisos Canyon 
AVA's location within the existing Central Coast AVA, TTB is interested 
in comments on whether the evidence submitted in the petition regarding 
the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA sufficiently 
differentiates it from the existing AVA. TTB is also interested in 
comments on whether the geographic features of the proposed AVA are so 
distinguishable from the surrounding Central Coast AVA that the 
proposed Alisos Canyon AVA should no longer be part of that AVA. Please 
provide any available specific information in support of your comments.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Alisos Canyon AVA on wine labels that include the term 
``Alisos Canyon'' as discussed above under Impact on

[[Page 55085]]

Current Wine Labels, TTB is particularly interested in comments 
regarding whether there will be a conflict between the proposed AVA 
name and currently used brand names. If a commenter believes that a 
conflict will arise, the comment should describe the nature of that 
conflict, including any anticipated negative economic impact that 
approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing viticultural 
enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to 
avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different name 
for the AVA.

Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the 
following three methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the 
online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2019-
0007 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at 
https://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available 
under Notice No. 185 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml">https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments 
submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use 
Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ``Help'' tab.
     U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the 
Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and 
Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or 
have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 
1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.
    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this 
notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 185 and include your 
name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, 
be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public 
disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB 
considers all comments as originals.
    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for 
yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If 
you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include 
the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you 
comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the 
``Organization'' blank of the online comment form. If you comment via 
postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's 
comment on letterhead.
    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing 
date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right 
to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public 
record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your 
comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for 
public disclosure.

Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected 
supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about 
this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2019-0007 on the Federal e-
rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at https://www.regulations.gov. A 
direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 185. You may 
also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page 
at https://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use 
Regulations.gov, click on the site's ``Help'' tab.
    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization 
(if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all 
address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous 
attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for 
posting.
    You may also view copies of this notice, all related petitions, 
maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed 
comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the 
TTB Public Reading Room, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 
20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. 
Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other 
similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA 
petition. Contact TTB's Regulations and Rulings Division at the above 
address, by email at https://www.ttb.gov/webforms/contact_RRD.shtm, or 
by telephone at 202-453-1039, ext. 175, to schedule an appointment or 
to request copies of comments or other materials.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived 
from the use of a viticultural area name would be 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

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant 
regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 
1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted 
this notice of proposed rulemaking.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend 
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. Add Sec.  9.____to read as follows: 9.____Alisos Canyon.
    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Alisos Canyon''. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, 
``Alisos Canyon'' is a term of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The two United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Alisos Canyon viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Foxen Canyon, CA, 1995; and
    (2) Zaca Creek, Calif., 1959.
    (c) Boundary. The Alisos Canyon viticultural area is located in 
Santa Barbara County, California. The boundary of the Alisos Canyon 
viticultural area is as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (8) of 
this section:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Foxen Canyon map at an unnamed 
hilltop with a marked elevation of 1,137 feet, located west of the 
Ca[ntilde]ada de los Coches in the La Laguna Grant. From

[[Page 55086]]

the beginning point, proceed east in a straight line for 3.71 miles to 
the intersection of two unnamed, unimproved roads north of Rancho San 
Juan; then
    (2) Proceed east-southeast in a straight line for approximately 1.2 
miles to an unnamed hilltop with a marked elevation of 1,424 feet in 
the La Laguna Grant; then
    (3) Proceed southwest in a straight line for approximately 1.7 
miles, crossing onto the Zaca Creek map, to a point designated ``Oil,'' 
adjacent to the north fork of San Antonio Creek and the intersection of 
three unnamed light-duty roads in the Ca[ntilde]ada del Comasa, La 
Laguna Grant; then
    (4) Proceed west-southwest in a straight line for approximately 
1.56 miles to the intersection of the north fork of San Antonio Creek 
and the 800-foot elevation contour in the Ca[ntilde]ada del Comasa, La 
Laguna Grant; then
    (5) Proceed west in a straight line 1.95 miles to an unnamed 
rectangular structure northeast of the terminus of an unnamed, 
unimproved road north of U.S. Highway 101 and BM 684 in the La Laguna 
Grant; then
    (6) Proceed northwesterly in a straight line 0.32 mile to the 
intersection of Alisos Canyon Road and an unnamed, unimproved road east 
of the Ca[ntilde]ada de los Coches in the La Laguna Grant; then
    (7) Proceed north-northwest in a straight line for 1.68 miles, 
crossing onto the Foxen Canyon map, to an unnamed hilltop with a marked 
elevation of 997 feet in the La Laguna Grant; then
    (8) Proceed northeast in a straight line for 0.5 mile to return to 
the beginning point.

    Signed: August 6, 2019.
Mary G. Ryan
Acting Administrator.
    Approved: September 23, 2019.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2019-22264 Filed 10-11-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4810-31-P