Proposed Establishment of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Viticultural Area, 31416-31421 [2020-10363]

Download as PDF 31416 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 101 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB–2020–0003; Notice No. 188] RIN 1513–AC70 Proposed Establishment of the Palos Verdes Peninsula 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 15,900-acre ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ viticultural area in the southwestern coastal region of Los Angeles County, California. The proposed viticultural area does not lie within, nor does it contain, any other established 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 July 27, 2020. 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–2020–0003 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 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 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 the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions to the TTB Administrator through Treasury Order 120–01, dated December 10, 2013 (superseding Treasury Order 120–01, dated January 24, 2003). 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 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 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 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; and • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings. Palos Verdes Peninsula Petition TTB received a petition from James York, owner of Catalina View Wines, on behalf of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Winegrowers, proposing to establish the ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ AVA. The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA lies within Los Angeles County, California, and contains the cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Rolling Hills, California. The proposed AVA does not overlap with any other existing or proposed AVA. The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA contains approximately 15,900 acres, including 7 acres of producing vineyards, distributed throughout the proposed AVA. The primary varieties grown in the proposed Palos Verdes E:\FR\FM\26MYP1.SGM 26MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Proposed Rules Peninsula AVA consist of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA include its geology, soils, topography, and climate. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this document are from the petition for the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA and its supporting exhibits. Name Evidence The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA takes its name from the Rancho de Los Palos Verdes, which was awarded as a land grant from the Governor of Mexican California in the early 1800s. Use of the term ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ to describe the region began during the mid-century development surge of the area. The petitioner provided several examples of the use of ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ to refer to the region of the proposed AVA. For example, many local agencies and organizations utilize the ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ reference in their names: Palos Verdes Peninsula United School District, Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Palos Verdes Peninsula News, and Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. The petition also provided a list of several books that refer to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in their titles, including Handbook of Wildflowers, Weeds, Wildlife, and Weather of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula 1 and Best Hikes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.2 Boundary Evidence The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is bounded on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. The northern and eastern boundaries of the proposed AVA coincides with the jurisdictional boundaries of the cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, and the neighboring cities of Torrance, Lomita and San Pedro (Los Angeles), respectively. Distinguishing Features The distinguishing features of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA include its geology, soils, topography, and climate. 1 Gales, Donald Moore, Handbook of Wildflowers, Weeds, Wildlife, and Weather of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula (Third Edition), Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA: FoldaRoll Company, 1988. 2 Dye, Barbara L. K., Best Hikes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Bookmasters, Inc., 2007. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 Geology and Soils The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is an island-like terrain, or an isolated upland peninsula created by tectonic uplift and volcanic activity. During periods of intense geologic activity, the region of the proposed AVA was subjected to repeated cycles of uplift, erosion, submersion, and deposition. Submersion allowed significant amounts of marine deposits to be laid down, which contributed to the soil composition. Uplift created new lands, while erosion wore away the newly-formed lands to create the series of marine terraces that characterize the region’s topography today. By contrast, the geology of the surrounding areas is a large coastal plain, consisting mainly of surficial sediments, older surficial sediments, and shallow marine sediments. While the surrounding regions experienced the same ocean fluctuations as the proposed AVA, they did not experience the same intensity of tectonic uplift and volcanic activity. The geology of the Peninsula consists primarily of the Monterey Formation and ancient landslides. The geology of the Monterey Formation created soils from the Altamont Series, including Altamont Clay Adobe and Altamont Clay Loam. A third soil commonly found in the proposed AVA is the Diablo Clay Adobe. These three soils are rich in clays, adobe, and loamy clay and contain high amounts of calcium. The calcium found in Peninsula soils retains moisture in dry weather while allowing for good drainage. According to the petition, the levels of calcium in the soils produce thicker grape skins than are found on the same grape varietals grown in non-calcareous soils, which increases the amount of color, flavor, and aromatics in the resulting wine. The lowland areas surrounding the proposed AVA have alluvial-and fluvial-based sedimentary soils (sand and silt) which, according to the petition, generally produce wines with less color, acidity, and tannins, but with more aromas, than clay-and adobe-rich soils. These soils also have lower levels of calcium, and they can retain excessive water which can increase the chances of root disease. Topography The topography of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is often described as a low altitude mountain of the Coast Range situated between the Los Angeles Plain and the Pacific Ocean. It is covered by rolling hills, incised canyons, and coastal bluffs and terraces. Elevations range from sea level on the west and south to about 1,460 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31417 feet above sea level at San Pedro Hill, which is located near the eastern/central area of the Palos Verdes Hills. The slope angles of the vineyards in the proposed AVA range from gentle to high (0–50%). Some vineyards that are planted on steeper slopes have been terraced to allow for drainage/erosion control, equipment access, and solar orientation. The aspects of the vineyard slopes face south, southeast, and southwest, providing year-round solar exposure. The moderate slopes of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA promote: (1) Air flow that helps to minimize mildew, botrytis rot, and frost issues; (2) drainage of excess water that helps to minimize root rot and; (3) direct sun exposure which aids in ripeness and reduces frost risk. South-and southwestfacing slopes promote earlier bud break, bloom, and harvest than other aspects. Southeast-facing slopes bring morning radiation for soil warmth and canopy growth. In contrast, the surrounding areas have relatively flat topography with elevations ranging from sea level to about 500 feet. Slope angles range from 0–25%. Flatter topography can promote: (1) Reduced air flow which can lead to mildew and botrytis rot; (2) pooling of water which can cause root rot and excessive vegetative growth; and (3) and reduced photosynthesis from diluted sun exposure as it is spread out across a wider surface area. Climate The climate of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is ‘‘Mediterranean warm’’, which is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with limited rainfall. The petition also described wind and fog patterns within the proposed AVA and the surrounding regions. However, the petition did not provide enough data for TTB to determine if wind and fog are distinguishing features of the proposed AVA, so those climate aspects are not discussed in this document. All climate information provided in the petition can be viewed in the public docket at https://www.regulations.gov. The vineyards within the proposed AVA are located in the following microclimates: 3 Climate Zone IA and IB (Coastal Zone), Zone III (Middle Highlands, Southeastern Upper Slope), and Zone IV (Middle and Lower North and East Slopes). These zones have 3 Gales, Donald More, Handbook of Wildflowers, Weeds, Wildlife, and Weather of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula (Third Edition), Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA: FoldaRoll Company, 1988 (Gales divides the Palos Verdes Peninsula into zones I, II, III, and IV. These are the primary climate zones (microclimates) within the proposed AVA). E:\FR\FM\26MYP1.SGM 26MYP1 31418 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Proposed Rules 2017. The temperature data shows that average monthly temperatures for the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA range between four and six degrees lower than in the surrounding areas in the colder months, and five to eight degrees lower than in the surrounding areas in the summer months. While the average temperatures of the proposed AVA and the surrounding areas are within a narrow range, the high and low milder temperatures, more fog, higher relative humidity, and slightly more rain than the surrounding areas which are classified as the warmer zones V and VI. As evidence of these milder temperatures, the petition includes weather data for the proposed AVA and the surrounding areas from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2014 to temperatures of the surrounding areas are more extreme than the high and low temperatures of the proposed AVA. Generally, the weather data shows that average spring and summer temperatures of San Pedro and Long Beach, which are farther inland than the proposed AVA, are the warmest of the areas surrounding the proposed AVA. TABLE 1—AVERAGE MONTHLY HIGH AND LOW TEMPERATURES AND EXTREME MONTHLY HIGH AND LOW TEMPERATURES FOR THE PROPOSED PALOS VERDES PENINSULA AVA FROM 2014–2017 IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT Month Average high/low January ........................................................................................................................................................ February ....................................................................................................................................................... March ........................................................................................................................................................... April .............................................................................................................................................................. May .............................................................................................................................................................. June ............................................................................................................................................................. July ............................................................................................................................................................... August .......................................................................................................................................................... September ................................................................................................................................................... October ........................................................................................................................................................ November .................................................................................................................................................... December .................................................................................................................................................... Extreme high/low 63/48 63/49 64/51 66/52 67/55 70/58 73/61 74/62 73/61 72/57 68/51 63/48 75/46 75/46 75/50 77/49 77/52 78/58 80/58 83/60 83/58 84/53 81/48 74/46 TABLE 2—AVERAGE MONTHLY HIGH AND LOW TEMPERATURES AND EXTREME MONTHLY HIGH AND LOW TEMPERATURES FOR SURROUNDING REGIONS FROM 2014–2017 IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT Location (direction from proposed AVA) Torrance Airport (north) Month Average high/low January ............................................ February ........................................... March ............................................... April .................................................. May .................................................. June ................................................. July ................................................... August .............................................. September ........................................ October ............................................ November ......................................... December ......................................... Extreme high/low 68/49 70/51 72/52 74/53 71/60 76/60 79/64 79/64 81/62 80/60 73/53 68/47 Finally, the petition included data on average annual rainfall amounts for locations within the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA and the 83/34 86/37 92/43 88/47 85/45 98/51 91/55 90/57 100/55 104/54 94/41 84/34 Redondo Beach (north) Average high/low San Pedro (east) Extreme high/low 66/48 69/51 70/52 70/53 69/56 73/60 77/64 77/64 78/64 78/64 73/522 68/47 82/35 88/38 91/43 81/47 84/47 90/53 86/59 84/60 100/54 102/53 93/42 85/35 surroundings from 2014 to 2017. The data supports the petition’s claim that, although the proposed AVA is a dry region, the surrounding inland regions Average high/low Long Beach (east) Extreme high/low 67/49 67/49 69/52 72/52 73/55 79/58 81/62 82/64 82/61 78/56 74/56 67/49 75/45 75/45 77/46 80/48 80/52 83/58 84/59 86/60 86/58 85/53 82/48 75/46 Average high/low Extreme high/low 68/48 70/49 70/49 74/52 75/55 79/59 84/62 84/64 84/62 79/58 73/52 68/47 78/43 78/42 80/44 83/50 83/50 87/59 88/60 91/58 91/57 89/52 85/46 77/43 are generally drier than locations within the proposed AVA. TABLE 3—AVERAGE MONTHLY RAINFALL AMOUNTS FOR THE PROPOSED PALOS VERDES PENINSULA AVA FROM 2014– 2017 IN INCHES Rancho Palos Verdes Month January ............................................................................................................ February ........................................................................................................... March ............................................................................................................... April .................................................................................................................. May .................................................................................................................. June ................................................................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Palos Verdes Estates 2.79 2.56 2.04 0.91 0.16 0.04 E:\FR\FM\26MYP1.SGM 3.15 2.88 2.36 1.10 0.20 0.08 26MYP1 Rolling Hills/ Rolling Hills Estates 2.96 2.72 2.21 0.99 0.20 0.08 Average of proposed AVA locations 2.97 2.72 2.20 1.00 0.19 0.07 31419 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Proposed Rules TABLE 3—AVERAGE MONTHLY RAINFALL AMOUNTS FOR THE PROPOSED PALOS VERDES PENINSULA AVA FROM 2014– 2017 IN INCHES—Continued Rancho Palos Verdes Month Palos Verdes Estates Rolling Hills/ Rolling Hills Estates Average of proposed AVA locations July ................................................................................................................... August .............................................................................................................. September ....................................................................................................... October ............................................................................................................ November ........................................................................................................ December ........................................................................................................ 0.00 0.08 0.28 0.32 1.89 2.01 0.00 0.12 0.28 0.35 2.25 2.32 0.00 0.08 0.28 0.32 1.97 2.09 0.00 0.09 0.28 0.33 2.04 2.14 Average Annual Rainfall ........................................................................... 13.08 15.09 13.90 14.03 TABLE 4—AVERAGE MONTHLY RAINFALL AMOUNTS FOR SURROUNDING REGIONS FROM 2014–2017 IN INCHES Torrance (north) Month Redondo Beach (north) San Pedro (east) Long Beach (east) January ............................................................................................................ February ........................................................................................................... March ............................................................................................................... April .................................................................................................................. May .................................................................................................................. June ................................................................................................................. July ................................................................................................................... August .............................................................................................................. September ....................................................................................................... October ............................................................................................................ November ........................................................................................................ December ........................................................................................................ 3.76 2.32 1.11 0.19 0.44 0.03 0.16 0.00 0.25 0.12 0.41 1.29 3.81 2.11 0.98 0.28 0.27 0.05 0.22 0.00 0.23 0.19 0.52 1.74 3.60 3.22 2.79 0.73 0.26 0.08 0.04 0.13 0.23 0.48 1.24 1.99 2.60 3.07 1.85 0.59 0.20 0.08 0.04 0.04 0.20 0.63 0.98 1.97 Average Annual Rainfall ........................................................................... 10.08 10.40 14.79 12.25 Summary of Distinguishing Features In summary, the geology, soils, topography, and climate of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA distinguish it from the surrounding regions. The following table, derived from information in the petition, compares the features of the proposed AVA to the features of the surrounding areas. TABLE 5—SUMMARY OF CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROPOSED AVA AND SURROUNDING REGIONS Region Characteristics Proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA .................................................. Hilly topography; clay, adobe, loamy soils with high levels of calcium; south, southeast, and southwest sun exposure; mild temperatures with lower growing season temperatures. Flat topography; sandy fertile soils; east-west sun exposure; hot dry climate. Pacific Ocean. North, Northeast, and East of proposed AVA .......................................... South and West of proposed AVA ........................................................... TTB Determination Maps TTB concludes that the petition to establish the approximately 15,900-acre proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking. The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed regulatory text. You may also view the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA boundary on the AVA Map Explorer on the TTB website, at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ava-mapexplorer. 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 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, PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 E:\FR\FM\26MYP1.SGM 26MYP1 31420 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Proposed Rules a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a 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, ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA,’’ 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 ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA’’ 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 Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA would not affect any existing AVA. 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. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments. Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA on wine labels that include the term ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ as discussed above under Impact on 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–2020–0003 on ‘‘Regulations.gov,’’ the Federal erulemaking portal, at http:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 188 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. 188 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–2020– 0003 on the Federal e-rulemaking PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 portal, Regulations.gov, at http:// 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. 188. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http:// 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 Information Resource Center, 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 using the web form at https://www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd, 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 Caroline Hermann of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking. E:\FR\FM\26MYP1.SGM 26MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Proposed Rules 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. BILLING CODE 4810–31–P 2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.____to read as follows: § 9.____Palos Verdes Peninsula. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, ‘‘Palos Verdes Peninsula’’ is a term of viticultural significance. (b) Approved maps. The three United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Palos Verdes Peninsula viticultural area are titled: (1) Redondo Beach, CA, 1996; (2) Torrance, Calif., 1964 (photorevised 1981); and (3) San Pedro Calif., 1964 (photorevised 1981). (c) Boundary. The Palos Verdes Peninsula viticultural area is located in the southwestern coastal region of Los Angeles County, and contains the cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The boundary of the Palos Verdes Peninsula viticultural area is as described below: (1) The beginning point is on the Redondo Beach map at the intersection of the Pacific Ocean and the Torrance corporate boundary at Malaga Cove, R14W/T4S; then (2) From the beginning point, proceed east, then generally southeast, along the Torrance corporate boundary, crossing onto the Torrance map, to the intersection of the Lomita corporate boundary, R14W/T4S; then (3) Proceed generally southeast along the Lomita corporate boundary to the intersection with Western Ave, R14W/ T4S; then (4) Proceed south along Western Ave, crossing onto the San Pedro map, to the intersection of the Los Angeles city boundary, R14W/T5S; then (5) Proceed west, then generally south, then southwest along the Los ■ 18:27 May 22, 2020 Signed: Mary G. Ryan, Acting Administrator. Approved: Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2020–10363 Filed 5–22–20; 8:45 am] Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas VerDate Sep<11>2014 Angeles city boundary to the intersection with the Pacific Ocean at Palos Verdes Peninsula Park, R14W/ T5S; then (6) Proceed clockwise along the Pacific coastline to return to the beginning point. Jkt 250001 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R10–OAR–2019–0573, FRL–10009– 43–Region 10] Air Plan Approval; WA; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide and 2015 Ozone Standards Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: Whenever a new or revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) is promulgated, the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the standard, commonly referred to as infrastructure requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve Washington State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions as meeting specific infrastructure requirements for the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 2015 ozone NAAQS. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before June 25, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R10– OAR–2019–0573 at https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31421 official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/ commenting-epa-dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Hunt, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue—Suite 155, Seattle, WA 98101, at (206) 553–0256, or hunt.jeff@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document whenever ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘us,’’ or ‘‘our’’ is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows: Table of Contents I. Background II. Infrastructure Elements III. The EPA Approach to Review of Infrastructure SIP Submissions IV. The EPA Evaluation V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background On June 2, 2010, the EPA promulgated a revised primary SO2 NAAQS at 75 parts per billion, based on a three-year average of the annual 99th percentile of one-hour daily maximum concentrations (75 FR 35520). In 2015, the EPA promulgated a revision to the ozone NAAQS retaining the existing form of the standard (three-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average concentration) but lowered the level of both the primary and secondary standards from 0.075 to 0.070 parts per million (80 FR 65292, October 26, 2015). On September 30, 2019, and as supplemented on April 3, 2020, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) submitted SIP revisions to meet certain 2010 SO2 and 2015 ozone NAAQS infrastructure requirements. We note that Ecology previously submitted a SIP revision on February 7, 2018, addressing CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (interstate transport prongs 1 and 2) for the 2010 SO2 and 2015 ozone NAAQS. We approved the February 7, 2018, SIP revision as meeting the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS on September 20, 2018 (83 FR 47568). We will address the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in a separate action. E:\FR\FM\26MYP1.SGM 26MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 101 (Tuesday, May 26, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31416-31421]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-10363]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 31416]]



DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2020-0003; Notice No. 188]
RIN 1513-AC70


Proposed Establishment of the Palos Verdes Peninsula 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 15,900-acre ``Palos Verdes Peninsula'' 
viticultural area in the southwestern coastal region of Los Angeles 
County, California. The proposed viticultural area does not lie within, 
nor does it contain, any other established 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 July 27, 2020.

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-2020-0003 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 the functions 
and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions to 
the TTB Administrator through Treasury Order 120-01, dated December 10, 
2013 (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003).
    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; and
     A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA 
boundary based on USGS map markings.

Palos Verdes Peninsula Petition

    TTB received a petition from James York, owner of Catalina View 
Wines, on behalf of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Winegrowers, proposing 
to establish the ``Palos Verdes Peninsula'' AVA. The proposed Palos 
Verdes Peninsula AVA lies within Los Angeles County, California, and 
contains the cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, 
Rancho Palos Verdes, and Rolling Hills, California. The proposed AVA 
does not overlap with any other existing or proposed AVA. The proposed 
Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA contains approximately 15,900 acres, 
including 7 acres of producing vineyards, distributed throughout the 
proposed AVA. The primary varieties grown in the proposed Palos Verdes

[[Page 31417]]

Peninsula AVA consist of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet 
Sauvignon.
    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the 
proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA include its geology, soils, 
topography, and climate. Unless otherwise noted, all information and 
data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this document are from 
the petition for the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA and its 
supporting exhibits.

Name Evidence

    The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA takes its name from the 
Rancho de Los Palos Verdes, which was awarded as a land grant from the 
Governor of Mexican California in the early 1800s. Use of the term 
``Palos Verdes Peninsula'' to describe the region began during the mid-
century development surge of the area.
    The petitioner provided several examples of the use of ``Palos 
Verdes Peninsula'' to refer to the region of the proposed AVA. For 
example, many local agencies and organizations utilize the ``Palos 
Verdes Peninsula'' reference in their names: Palos Verdes Peninsula 
United School District, Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority, Palos 
Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Palos Verdes Peninsula News, and 
Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. The petition also provided 
a list of several books that refer to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 
their titles, including Handbook of Wildflowers, Weeds, Wildlife, and 
Weather of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula \1\ and Best Hikes 
on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Gales, Donald Moore, Handbook of Wildflowers, Weeds, 
Wildlife, and Weather of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula 
(Third Edition), Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA: FoldaRoll Company, 
1988.
    \2\ Dye, Barbara L. K., Best Hikes on the Palos Verdes 
Peninsula, Bookmasters, Inc., 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is bounded on the west and 
south by the Pacific Ocean. The northern and eastern boundaries of the 
proposed AVA coincides with the jurisdictional boundaries of the cities 
of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, 
and the neighboring cities of Torrance, Lomita and San Pedro (Los 
Angeles), respectively.

Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula 
AVA include its geology, soils, topography, and climate.

Geology and Soils

    The proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is an island-like terrain, 
or an isolated upland peninsula created by tectonic uplift and volcanic 
activity. During periods of intense geologic activity, the region of 
the proposed AVA was subjected to repeated cycles of uplift, erosion, 
submersion, and deposition. Submersion allowed significant amounts of 
marine deposits to be laid down, which contributed to the soil 
composition. Uplift created new lands, while erosion wore away the 
newly-formed lands to create the series of marine terraces that 
characterize the region's topography today. By contrast, the geology of 
the surrounding areas is a large coastal plain, consisting mainly of 
surficial sediments, older surficial sediments, and shallow marine 
sediments. While the surrounding regions experienced the same ocean 
fluctuations as the proposed AVA, they did not experience the same 
intensity of tectonic uplift and volcanic activity.
    The geology of the Peninsula consists primarily of the Monterey 
Formation and ancient landslides. The geology of the Monterey Formation 
created soils from the Altamont Series, including Altamont Clay Adobe 
and Altamont Clay Loam. A third soil commonly found in the proposed AVA 
is the Diablo Clay Adobe. These three soils are rich in clays, adobe, 
and loamy clay and contain high amounts of calcium. The calcium found 
in Peninsula soils retains moisture in dry weather while allowing for 
good drainage. According to the petition, the levels of calcium in the 
soils produce thicker grape skins than are found on the same grape 
varietals grown in non-calcareous soils, which increases the amount of 
color, flavor, and aromatics in the resulting wine.
    The lowland areas surrounding the proposed AVA have alluvial-and 
fluvial-based sedimentary soils (sand and silt) which, according to the 
petition, generally produce wines with less color, acidity, and 
tannins, but with more aromas, than clay-and adobe-rich soils. These 
soils also have lower levels of calcium, and they can retain excessive 
water which can increase the chances of root disease.

Topography

    The topography of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is often 
described as a low altitude mountain of the Coast Range situated 
between the Los Angeles Plain and the Pacific Ocean. It is covered by 
rolling hills, incised canyons, and coastal bluffs and terraces. 
Elevations range from sea level on the west and south to about 1,460 
feet above sea level at San Pedro Hill, which is located near the 
eastern/central area of the Palos Verdes Hills. The slope angles of the 
vineyards in the proposed AVA range from gentle to high (0-50%). Some 
vineyards that are planted on steeper slopes have been terraced to 
allow for drainage/erosion control, equipment access, and solar 
orientation. The aspects of the vineyard slopes face south, southeast, 
and southwest, providing year-round solar exposure.
    The moderate slopes of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA 
promote: (1) Air flow that helps to minimize mildew, botrytis rot, and 
frost issues; (2) drainage of excess water that helps to minimize root 
rot and; (3) direct sun exposure which aids in ripeness and reduces 
frost risk. South-and southwest-facing slopes promote earlier bud 
break, bloom, and harvest than other aspects. Southeast-facing slopes 
bring morning radiation for soil warmth and canopy growth.
    In contrast, the surrounding areas have relatively flat topography 
with elevations ranging from sea level to about 500 feet. Slope angles 
range from 0-25%. Flatter topography can promote: (1) Reduced air flow 
which can lead to mildew and botrytis rot; (2) pooling of water which 
can cause root rot and excessive vegetative growth; and (3) and reduced 
photosynthesis from diluted sun exposure as it is spread out across a 
wider surface area.

Climate

    The climate of the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA is 
``Mediterranean warm'', which is characterized by warm, dry summers and 
mild winters with limited rainfall. The petition also described wind 
and fog patterns within the proposed AVA and the surrounding regions. 
However, the petition did not provide enough data for TTB to determine 
if wind and fog are distinguishing features of the proposed AVA, so 
those climate aspects are not discussed in this document. All climate 
information provided in the petition can be viewed in the public docket 
at https://www.regulations.gov.
    The vineyards within the proposed AVA are located in the following 
microclimates: \3\ Climate Zone IA and IB (Coastal Zone), Zone III 
(Middle Highlands, Southeastern Upper Slope), and Zone IV (Middle and 
Lower North and East Slopes). These zones have

[[Page 31418]]

milder temperatures, more fog, higher relative humidity, and slightly 
more rain than the surrounding areas which are classified as the warmer 
zones V and VI.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Gales, Donald More, Handbook of Wildflowers, Weeds, 
Wildlife, and Weather of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula 
(Third Edition), Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA: FoldaRoll Company, 1988 
(Gales divides the Palos Verdes Peninsula into zones I, II, III, and 
IV. These are the primary climate zones (microclimates) within the 
proposed AVA).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As evidence of these milder temperatures, the petition includes 
weather data for the proposed AVA and the surrounding areas from the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2014 to 
2017. The temperature data shows that average monthly temperatures for 
the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA range between four and six 
degrees lower than in the surrounding areas in the colder months, and 
five to eight degrees lower than in the surrounding areas in the summer 
months. While the average temperatures of the proposed AVA and the 
surrounding areas are within a narrow range, the high and low 
temperatures of the surrounding areas are more extreme than the high 
and low temperatures of the proposed AVA. Generally, the weather data 
shows that average spring and summer temperatures of San Pedro and Long 
Beach, which are farther inland than the proposed AVA, are the warmest 
of the areas surrounding the proposed AVA.

 Table 1--Average Monthly High and Low Temperatures and Extreme Monthly
  High and Low Temperatures for the Proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA
                  From 2014-2017 in Degrees Fahrenheit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Month                 Average high/low   Extreme high/low
------------------------------------------------------------------------
January...........................              63/48              75/46
February..........................              63/49              75/46
March.............................              64/51              75/50
April.............................              66/52              77/49
May...............................              67/55              77/52
June..............................              70/58              78/58
July..............................              73/61              80/58
August............................              74/62              83/60
September.........................              73/61              83/58
October...........................              72/57              84/53
November..........................              68/51              81/48
December..........................              63/48              74/46
------------------------------------------------------------------------


   Table 2--Average Monthly High and Low Temperatures and Extreme Monthly High and Low Temperatures for Surrounding Regions From 2014-2017 in Degrees
                                                                       Fahrenheit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      Location (direction from proposed AVA)
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Torrance Airport     Redondo Beach  (north)     San Pedro  (east)      Long Beach  (east)
                          Month                                   (north)        -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         ------------------------
                                                            Average     Extreme     Average     Extreme     Average     Extreme     Average     Extreme
                                                           high/low    high/low    high/low    high/low    high/low    high/low    high/low    high/low
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January.................................................       68/49       83/34       66/48       82/35       67/49       75/45       68/48       78/43
February................................................       70/51       86/37       69/51       88/38       67/49       75/45       70/49       78/42
March...................................................       72/52       92/43       70/52       91/43       69/52       77/46       70/49       80/44
April...................................................       74/53       88/47       70/53       81/47       72/52       80/48       74/52       83/50
May.....................................................       71/60       85/45       69/56       84/47       73/55       80/52       75/55       83/50
June....................................................       76/60       98/51       73/60       90/53       79/58       83/58       79/59       87/59
July....................................................       79/64       91/55       77/64       86/59       81/62       84/59       84/62       88/60
August..................................................       79/64       90/57       77/64       84/60       82/64       86/60       84/64       91/58
September...............................................       81/62      100/55       78/64      100/54       82/61       86/58       84/62       91/57
October.................................................       80/60      104/54       78/64      102/53       78/56       85/53       79/58       89/52
November................................................       73/53       94/41      73/522       93/42       74/56       82/48       73/52       85/46
December................................................       68/47       84/34       68/47       85/35       67/49       75/46       68/47       77/43
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, the petition included data on average annual rainfall 
amounts for locations within the proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA 
and the surroundings from 2014 to 2017. The data supports the 
petition's claim that, although the proposed AVA is a dry region, the 
surrounding inland regions are generally drier than locations within 
the proposed AVA.

 Table 3--Average Monthly Rainfall Amounts for the Proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA From 2014-2017 in Inches
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Rolling Hills/    Average of
                      Month                        Rancho Palos    Palos Verdes    Rolling Hills   proposed AVA
                                                      Verdes          Estates         Estates        locations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January.........................................            2.79            3.15            2.96            2.97
February........................................            2.56            2.88            2.72            2.72
March...........................................            2.04            2.36            2.21            2.20
April...........................................            0.91            1.10            0.99            1.00
May.............................................            0.16            0.20            0.20            0.19
June............................................            0.04            0.08            0.08            0.07

[[Page 31419]]

 
July............................................            0.00            0.00            0.00            0.00
August..........................................            0.08            0.12            0.08            0.09
September.......................................            0.28            0.28            0.28            0.28
October.........................................            0.32            0.35            0.32            0.33
November........................................            1.89            2.25            1.97            2.04
December........................................            2.01            2.32            2.09            2.14
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Average Annual Rainfall.....................           13.08           15.09           13.90           14.03
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


           Table 4--Average Monthly Rainfall Amounts for Surrounding Regions From 2014-2017 in Inches
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Torrance      Redondo Beach     San Pedro      Long Beach
                      Month                           (north)         (north)         (east)          (east)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January.........................................            3.76            3.81            3.60            2.60
February........................................            2.32            2.11            3.22            3.07
March...........................................            1.11            0.98            2.79            1.85
April...........................................            0.19            0.28            0.73            0.59
May.............................................            0.44            0.27            0.26            0.20
June............................................            0.03            0.05            0.08            0.08
July............................................            0.16            0.22            0.04            0.04
August..........................................            0.00            0.00            0.13            0.04
September.......................................            0.25            0.23            0.23            0.20
October.........................................            0.12            0.19            0.48            0.63
November........................................            0.41            0.52            1.24            0.98
December........................................            1.29            1.74            1.99            1.97
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Average Annual Rainfall.....................           10.08           10.40           14.79           12.25
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summary of Distinguishing Features

    In summary, the geology, soils, topography, and climate of the 
proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA distinguish it from the surrounding 
regions. The following table, derived from information in the petition, 
compares the features of the proposed AVA to the features of the 
surrounding areas.

 Table 5--Summary of Characteristics of the Proposed AVA and Surrounding
                                 Regions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Region                          Characteristics
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA....  Hilly topography; clay, adobe,
                                          loamy soils with high levels
                                          of calcium; south, southeast,
                                          and southwest sun exposure;
                                          mild temperatures with lower
                                          growing season temperatures.
North, Northeast, and East of proposed   Flat topography; sandy fertile
 AVA.                                     soils; east-west sun exposure;
                                          hot dry climate.
South and West of proposed AVA.........  Pacific Ocean.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the approximately 
15,900-acre proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula 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. You may also view the proposed 
Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA boundary on the AVA Map Explorer on the TTB 
website, at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ava-map-explorer.

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

[[Page 31420]]

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, ``Palos Verdes 
Peninsula AVA,'' 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 ``Palos Verdes Peninsula 
AVA'' 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 Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA would not affect any existing AVA.

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. Please provide any available specific 
information in support of your comments.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA on wine labels that include the 
term ``Palos Verdes Peninsula'' as discussed above under Impact on 
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-2020-
0003 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under 
Notice No. 188 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. 188 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-2020-0003 on the Federal e-
rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://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. 188. You may 
also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page 
at http://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 Information Resource Center, 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 using the web form at https://www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd, 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

    Caroline Hermann of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted 
this notice of proposed rulemaking.

[[Page 31421]]

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. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.____to read as follows:

Sec.  9.____Palos Verdes Peninsula.
    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Palos Verdes Peninsula''. For purposes of part 4 of this 
chapter, ``Palos Verdes Peninsula'' is a term of viticultural 
significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The three United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Palos Verdes Peninsula viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Redondo Beach, CA, 1996;
    (2) Torrance, Calif., 1964 (photorevised 1981); and
    (3) San Pedro Calif., 1964 (photorevised 1981).
    (c) Boundary. The Palos Verdes Peninsula viticultural area is 
located in the southwestern coastal region of Los Angeles County, and 
contains the cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling 
Hills Estates, and Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The boundary of the 
Palos Verdes Peninsula viticultural area is as described below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Redondo Beach map at the 
intersection of the Pacific Ocean and the Torrance corporate boundary 
at Malaga Cove, R14W/T4S; then
    (2) From the beginning point, proceed east, then generally 
southeast, along the Torrance corporate boundary, crossing onto the 
Torrance map, to the intersection of the Lomita corporate boundary, 
R14W/T4S; then
    (3) Proceed generally southeast along the Lomita corporate boundary 
to the intersection with Western Ave, R14W/T4S; then
    (4) Proceed south along Western Ave, crossing onto the San Pedro 
map, to the intersection of the Los Angeles city boundary, R14W/T5S; 
then
    (5) Proceed west, then generally south, then southwest along the 
Los Angeles city boundary to the intersection with the Pacific Ocean at 
Palos Verdes Peninsula Park, R14W/T5S; then
    (6) Proceed clockwise along the Pacific coastline to return to the 
beginning point.

    Signed:
Mary G. Ryan,
Acting Administrator.
    Approved:
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2020-10363 Filed 5-22-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P