Proposed Establishment of the Goose Gap Viticultural Area, 67469-67474 [2020-22925]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 206 / Friday, October 23, 2020 / Proposed Rules necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA–2020–0965; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01068–T. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments by December 7, 2020. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 36, Pneumatic. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Oct 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report that a welding quality issue has been identified in the gimbal joint of the air bleed duct located at each wing-to-pylon interface; the inner ring of a gimbal had deformed to an oval shape, which could lead to cracking caused by direct contact between metal parts. The FAA is issuing this AD to address this condition, which could lead to hot bleed air leakage in the pylon area, and possibly result in loss of the pneumatic system and exposure of the wing structure to high temperatures, and lead to reduced structural integrity of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0169R1, dated August 19, 2020 (‘‘EASA AD 2020– 0169R1’’). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020–0169R1 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0169R1 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0169R1 does not apply to this AD. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0169R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (j) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or responsible Flight Standards Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the responsible Flight Standards Office. (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 67469 (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0169R1 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, RC procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC. (k) Related Information (1) For information about EASA AD 2020– 0169R1, contact the EASA, KonradAdenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@ easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0965. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3218; Kathleen.Arrigotti@faa.gov. Issued on October 15, 2020. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–23235 Filed 10–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB–2020–0011; Notice No.196] RIN 1513–AC63 Proposed Establishment of the Goose Gap 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 8,129-acre SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23OCP1.SGM 23OCP1 67470 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 206 / Friday, October 23, 2020 / Proposed Rules ‘‘Goose Gap’’ viticultural area in Benton County, Washington. The proposed viticultural area lies entirely within the established Yakima Valley and Columbia Valley viticultural areas. 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: TTB must receive comments by December 22, 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–2020–0011 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 or U.S. mail, 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 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Oct 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 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 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 that affect 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 boundary; • 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 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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. Goose Gap Petition TTB received a petition from Alan Busacca, on behalf of the Goose Gap Wine Grower’s Association, proposing the establishment of the ‘‘Goose Gap’’ AVA. The proposed Goose Gap AVA is located in Benton County, Washington, and lies entirely within the established Yakima Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.69) and Columbia Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.74). The proposed Goose Gap AVA contains approximately 8,129 acres and has 1 winery and 2 commercially-producing vineyards covering a total of more than 1,800 acres. The petition states that, in 2017, the two vineyards harvested more than 7,000 tons of grapes, and the winery produced about 50,000 cases of wine from those grapes. According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed Goose Gap AVA include its geology and soils. The petition also included information on the general climate of the region near the proposed AVA. However, the petition did not include any actual climate data from within the proposed Goose Gap AVA and instead provided climate data from the nearby established Red Mountain AVA (27 CFR 9.167), which the petition asserts has a similar climate. Because the petition did not include evidence from within the proposed AVA to support its climate claims, TTB is unable to determine that climate is a distinguishing feature of the proposed AVA. Therefore, this proposed rule does not include a discussion of the climate of the proposed AVA.1 TTB invites public comments that include climate data from within the proposed AVA and the surrounding regions. The Bureau may determine climate to be a distinguishing feature of this proposed AVA if sufficient additional information is received. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this document are from the petition for the proposed Goose Gap AVA and its supporting exhibits. Name Evidence The proposed Goose Gap AVA takes its name from the geological feature known as ‘‘Goose Gap,’’ which is 1 The climate data is included in Docket TTB– 2020–0011 at https://www.regulations.gov. E:\FR\FM\23OCP1.SGM 23OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 206 / Friday, October 23, 2020 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS located within the proposed AVA. Goose Gap is described as a slightly rolling ‘‘saddle’’ or ‘‘gap’’ of land situated between Goose Hill, which is also within the proposed AVA, and Candy Mountain and Badger Mountain, which are located to the east and southeast of the proposed AVA, respectively. The gap is labeled ‘‘Goose Gap’’ on U.S.G.S. quadrangle maps dating back to 1965, including the 1965 Badger Mountain quadrangle map and the 1978 Richland quadrangle map, both of which were included as exhibits to the petition. The gap is also labeled ‘‘Goose Gap’’ on the 2017 Badger Mountain quadrangle map used to create the boundary of the proposed AVA. The petition states that the name ‘‘Goose Gap’’ has been used to describe the region of the proposed AVA in newspaper articles and other historical sources since at least 1904, when a reference appeared in the journal Forest and Stream. The 1904 article describes a goose hunting trip at ‘‘Goose Gap, through which the geese fly in reaching the Horse Heaven feeding grounds after they leave the sand bars of the Columbia River.’’ 2 A 1913 article in the Kennewick Courier newspaper mentions several local residents who participated ‘‘in a goose hunt at ‘Goose Gap’ last Sunday.’’ 3 A 1959 publication on the early history of Benton City, Washington, which is located near the proposed AVA, notes that ‘‘[a]round the lower valley at Goose Gap up the canyon * * * the wild geese come to feed in great flocks at certain seasons of the year.’’ 4 The petition also included more recent examples to demonstrate that the region of the proposed AVA is currently referred to as ‘‘Goose Gap.’’ A road running through the proposed AVA is named Goose Gap Road. A local pawpaw fruit orchard is named Goose Gap Pawpaws. A 1972 draft environmental statement on the proposal to build Interstate 82, which runs through the proposed AVA, notes that a portion of the road will ‘‘follow a passage * * * to Goose Gap at the northwest end of Badger Mountain.’’ 5 A 2 Portus Baxter, Washington Geese, Forest and Stream, Vol. 63, page 26 (1904). See Exhibit 1.10 of the petition. 3 Richland items, Kennewick Courier, Nov. 18, 1913 at page 4. See Exhibit 1.12 of the petition. 4 History Committee of the Community Development Program of Benton City, 1959, History of Benton City Washington 1853–1959, pages 6, 8– 10, 19 (Benton City, Washington 1959). See Exhibit 1.15 of the petition. 5 Oregon State Highway Division and Washington State Department of Highways. Draft Environmental Statement—Interstate 82/182 Prosser, Washington VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Oct 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 2016 newspaper article about wine grape growing in Washington states, ‘‘The Monson family started out in cattle and fruit before developing Goose Ridge Vineyards, and has turned a unique property in Goose Gap into 2,200 acres of wine grapes.’’ 6 A review of Washington wines describes a 2016 rose´ from Goose Ridge Vineyards, which is located within the proposed AVA, and mentions that the wine was made by ‘‘Goose Gap winemaker Andrew Wilson.’’ 7 Several other references to ‘‘Goose Gap’’ are found in a 2015 plan for a project to develop water rights and drill deep irrigation wells for row crops, orchards, and vineyards on lands owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the region of the proposed AVA. First, the development plan refers to the project as the ‘‘DNR Red Mountain Goose Gap Project.’’ 8 The plan states that ‘‘DNR’s Red Mountain Goose Gap Complex and associated leases represent one of DNR’s larger agriculture projects with extensive acres of vineyard and orchard production and related infrastructure.’’ 9 Finally, a map of the DNR land parcels affected by the project notes, ‘‘Boundary between the Goose Gap and Red Mt. Parcels are separate [sic] by I–82.’’ 10 TTB notes that Interstate 82 runs just inside the northern boundary of the proposed Goose Gap AVA and separates the proposed AVA from the established Red Mountain AVA. Boundary Evidence The proposed Goose Gap AVA encompasses Goose Gap and Goose Hill. The majority of the northern boundary is concurrent with the southern boundary of the established Red Mountain AVA and separates Goose Gap and Goose Hill from Red Mountain, which is a separate geographic feature. The northeastern boundary follows a series of highways and roads and is to Interstate 80N in Oregon, page 1–8 (1972). See Exhibit 1.16 of the petition. 6 Kevin Cole, Wine grapes continue to thrive, TriCity Herald, Oct. 20, 2016, at pages 8–9. See Exhibit 1.7 of the petition. 7 Andy Perdue & Eric Degerman, Northwest wine: Spring into action on the patio with Northwest rose´, Tri-City Herald, May 20, 2017, www.tricityherald.com/living/food-drink/wine/ article149577139.html. (Last accessed December 12, 2017). See Exhibit 1.8 of the petition. 8 Washington Department of Natural Resources. Attachment 1—Determined Future Development Plan and Supporting Documentation—DNR Red Mountain Goose Gap Project. (2015). See Exhibit 1.4 of the petition. 9 Ibid at page 1. 10 Washington Department of Natural Resources. Attachment 1–1—Red Mountain/Goose Gap Complex History, page 6 (2015). See Exhibit 1.5 of the petition. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 67471 concurrent with the boundary of the established Candy Mountain AVA (27 CFR 9.272). This boundary separates the proposed Goose Gap AVA from Candy Mountain, which is also a separate geographic feature. The eastern boundary follows a series of roads and drainage lines to separate the proposed AVA from Badger Mountain. The southern and western boundaries follow a railroad track and the 600-foot elevation contour to separate the proposed AVA from Badger Coulee. Distinguishing Features The distinguishing features of the proposed Goose Gap AVA are its geology and soils. Geology The proposed Goose Gap AVA is comprised of two geographic features with similar viticultural conditions: Goose Gap and the adjoining Goose Hill. According to the petition, Goose Gap and Goose Hill together form part of a single folded and faulted block of the underlying Columbia River Basalt. Goose Gap is formed from a syncline, a down-folded arch in the bedrock that creates a saddle-like shape, whereas Goose Hill is formed from an anticline, an arch-like structure of basalt that was bent upwards to form a ridge and slopes. The proposed AVA is part of a series of folded hills and valleys collectively known as the Yakima Fold Belt, which runs from the Beezley Hills in the north to the Horse Heaven Hills in the south. According to the petition, all of the ridges and hills in the region surrounding the proposed Goose Gap AVA have a northwest-southeast orientation, including Rattlesnake Ridge, Red Mountain, and Candy Mountain. However, Goose Hill has an east-west orientation, as does the adjoining Goose Gap. Furthermore, the south and southwest slopes within the proposed Goose Gap AVA are significantly steeper than the north and northeast slopes. As a result, vineyards in the proposed AVA are planted on the north and northeast slopes. According to the petition, the other hills and slopes in the Yakima Fold Belt, including the neighboring Red Mountain and Candy Mountain, have plantable south and southwest slopes, while the north and northeast slopes are too steep for vineyards. The petition states that the unique slope aspect of the proposed Goose Gap AVA has an effect on viticulture. Vineyards on north- and northeastfacing slopes, such as those in the proposed AVA, receive less solar radiation than vineyards on south- and E:\FR\FM\23OCP1.SGM 23OCP1 67472 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 206 / Friday, October 23, 2020 / Proposed Rules southwest-facing slopes. The petition further states that data from three vineyard locations within the proposed AVA show that the vineyards receive an average of 980,500 watt-hours per square meter per year. By contrast, data from three vineyard locations in the neighboring Red Mountain AVA, which are planted on south- and southwestfacing slopes, show that the vineyards receive an average of 1,025,867 watthours per square meter per year. The petition states that while a difference in solar radiation of 5 percent may seem small, it can affect how quickly grapes ripen. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the proposed AVA typically ripen a week to nine days later than the same varietal of grapes grown in the Red Mountain AVA. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Soils The proposed Goose Gap AVA has five main soil series: Warden, Shano, Kiona, Hezel, and Prosser. Together, these soil series comprise almost 95 percent of the soil within the proposed AVA. The most abundant soil is the Warden series, which makes up 65 percent of the proposed AVA. These soils consist of wind-blown loess over layered or stratified silts and fine sands from the ancient Missoula Floods. Warden soils have rooting depths of six feet or more with no hardpans or other root-restrictive layers, and as such, they are prized soils for vineyards. Kiona soils comprise about 9 percent of the proposed AVA and are formed in loess and rubble from fractured basalt. According to the petition, these soils are typically found on the south-facing slopes of the proposed AVA, which are in most cases too steep for vineyards. Also within the proposed Goose Gap AVA are Shano and Hezel soils, which each make up about 7 percent of the soils of the proposed AVA. Shano soils are formed in deep wind-blown loess and are highly desirable for vineyards, in part because their low levels of organic matter prevent overly vigorous vine and leaf growth. Shano soils are also desirable for vineyards because their low natural soil moisture allows growers to control vine development via the timing and amount of water applied by drip irrigation during the growing season. Hezel soils are made of windblown sand over stratified Missoula Floods silts and sands. Finally, Prosser soils comprise about 5 percent of the soils in the proposed AVA. These soils formed in loess mixed with flood sediments that total only about 30 inches of soil thickness over basaltic bedrock. However, the underlying basalt is fractured and not plugged by a VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Oct 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 hardpan, so the soils remain well drained and are desirable for vineyards. The petition states that the soils of the surrounding regions differ from those of the proposed Goose Gap AVA in both abundance and composition. The petition compared the soils of the prepared AVA to those of the Red Mountain AVA, to the northwest of the proposed AVA, the Yakima Valley AVA, which encompasses the proposed AVA, and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA (27 CFR 9.188), which is adjacent to the Yakima Valley AVA and to the southwest of the proposed AVA. Warden soils dominate the proposed AVA, yet they comprise only 46 percent of the soils in the Red Mountain AVA and approximately 25 percent of the soils in both the entire Yakima Valley AVA and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Scooteney soils make up approximately 11 percent of the soils of the Red Mountain AVA yet are completely absent in the proposed Goose Gap AVA, with which the Red Mountain AVA shares a boundary. Ritzville soils constitute almost 30 percent of the soils of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, but they too are absent from the proposed AVA. Summary of Distinguishing Features In summary, the geology and soils of the proposed Goose Gap AVA distinguish it from the surrounding regions. Although the proposed Goose Gap AVA is underlain with the same Columbia River Basalt as most of eastern Washington, the basalt in the proposed AVA was folded in an entirely unique manner. As a result, Goose Hill and Goose Gap, the two adjoining features that comprise the proposed AVA, both have an east-west alignment and northnortheast facing plantable slopes. By contrast, all of the other slopes and hills that comprise the Yakima Fold Belt have a northwest-southeast alignment and south-southwest facing plantable slopes. Additionally, Warden soils comprise approximately 65 percent of the soils in the proposed AVA but make up significantly less of the soils in the Yakima Valley AVA, which encompasses the proposed AVA. Warden soils also comprise significantly less of the soils in the Red Mountain AVA to the immediate northwest of the proposed AVA and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA to the southwest of the proposed AVA. Several soil series common in the surrounding regions, including Scooteney and Ritzville, are completely absent from the proposed Goose Gap AVA. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Comparison of the Proposed Goose Gap AVA to the Existing Yakima Valley AVA T.D. ATF–128, which published in the Federal Register on April 4, 1983 (48 FR 14374), established the Yakima Valley AVA. T.D. ATF–128 states that topography, climate, and soils distinguish the Yakima Valley AVA from the surrounding regions. The Yakima Valley AVA is bounded on the north and south by basaltic uplifts; on the east by Rattlesnake Mountain, Red Mountain, and Badger Mountain; and on the west by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The western portion of the AVA is described as a vast expanse of flat land, while the eastern portion is comprised of gently sloping land. The Yakima Valley AVA contains at least 13 different soil associations, the most common being the Warden-Shano Association and the Scooteney-Starbuck Association. The proposed Goose Gap AVA is located in the southeastern portion of the Yakima Valley AVA and shares some of the same general features. For instance, both the proposed AVA and the established AVA rest on Columbia River Basalt and have soils that are a combination of glacial-flood and windborne soils, including the Warden soil series. However, the proposed Goose Gap AVA has some characteristics that distinguish it from the Yakima Valley AVA. For example, the proposed Goose Gap AVA is unique among the hills of the Yakima Valley AVA in that it has an east-west alignment and a northnortheast plantable slope aspect. Additionally, although Warden and Shano soils occur in the Yakima Valley AVA, they comprise a larger percentage of the proposed Goose Gap AVA soils. By contrast, many vineyards in the Yakima Valley AVA are planted on the Scooteney-Starbuck soil association, but Scooteney soils are not found within the proposed AVA and Starbuck soils comprise less than 2 percent of the proposed AVA soils. Comparison of the Proposed Goose Gap AVA to the Existing Columbia Valley AVA The Columbia Valley AVA was established by T.D. ATF–190, which was published in the Federal Register on November 13, 1984 (49 FR 44897). The Columbia Valley AVA covers approximately over 11 million acres in Washington along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. According to T.D. ATF– 190, the AVA is a large, treeless, broadly undulating basin with elevations that are generally below 2,000 feet. In general, the growing season within the E:\FR\FM\23OCP1.SGM 23OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 206 / Friday, October 23, 2020 / Proposed Rules 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. § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details. If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, ‘‘Goose Gap,’’ 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 ‘‘Goose Gap’’ 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 Goose Gap AVA would not affect any existing AVA, and any bottlers using ‘‘Yakima Valley’’ or ‘‘Columbia Valley’’ as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the Yakima Valley or Columbia Valley AVAs would not be affected by the establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the proposed Goose Gap AVA would allow vintners to use ‘‘Goose Gap,’’ ‘‘Yakima Valley,’’ and ‘‘Columbia Valley’’ as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the proposed Goose Gap AVA if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation. Maps Public Participation The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed regulatory text. You may also view the proposed Goose Gap AVA boundary on the AVA Map Explorer on the TTB website, at https://www.ttb.gov/ wine/ava-map-explorer. Comments Invited TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should establish the proposed Goose Gap AVA. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, boundary, soils, geology, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Goose Gap AVA’s location within the existing Yakima Valley and Columbia Valley AVAs, 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 established AVAs. TTB is also interested in comments on whether the geographic features of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the surrounding Yakima Valley and Columbia Valley AVAs that the proposed Goose Gap AVA should no longer be part of either AVA. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments. Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the proposed Goose Gap AVA on wine labels that include the term ‘‘Goose Gap’’ as discussed above under Impact on Current Wine Columbia Valley AVA is over 150 days, and growing degree day accumulations are generally over 2,000. The proposed Goose Gap AVA shares some of the same general characteristics as the Columbia Valley AVA. For example, elevations within the proposed AVA are below 2,000 feet. However, due to its much smaller size, the proposed AVA has more uniform characteristics than the large, multicounty Columbia Valley AVA. The proposed AVA encompasses a single folded and faulted block of Columbia River Basalt, characterized by the Goose Gap syncline and the adjoining Goose Hill anticline. The Columbia Valley AVA, by contrast, consists of multiple ridges, hills, and valleys within a single broad basin. TTB Determination TTB concludes that the petition to establish the 8,129-acre Goose Gap AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking. Boundary Description khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 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 label approved before July 7, 1986. See VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Oct 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 67473 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 document by using one of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this document within Docket No. TTB– 2020–0011 on ‘‘Regulations.gov,’’ the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at https:// www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 196 on the TTB website at https:// www.ttb.gov/wine/notices-of-proposedrulemaking. 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. Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this document. Your comments must reference Notice No. 196 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. E:\FR\FM\23OCP1.SGM 23OCP1 67474 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 206 / Friday, October 23, 2020 / Proposed Rules 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Public Disclosure TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this document, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB–2020– 0011 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/ notices-of-proposed-rulemaking under Notice No. 196. 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 obtain copies of this proposed rule, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal at 20 cents per 8.5 x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or any similarlysized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB’s Regulations and Rulings Division by email using the web form at https:// www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd, or by telephone at 202–453–1039, ext. 175, 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Oct 22, 2020 Jkt 253001 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. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.lll to read as follows: ■ § 9.lll Goose Gap. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is ‘‘Goose Gap’’. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, ‘‘Goose Gap’’ is a term of viticultural significance. (b) Approved maps. The 4 United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Goose Gap viticultural area are titled: (1) Benton City, WA, 2017; (2) Richland, WA, 2017; (3) Badger Mountain, WA, 2017; and (4) Webber Canyon, WA, 2017. (c) Boundary. The Goose Gap viticultural area is located in Benton County, Washington. The boundary of the Goose Gap viticultural area is as described below: (1) The beginning point is on the Benton City map at the intersection of Sections 10, 11, 15, and 14, T9N/R27E. From the beginning point, proceed southwesterly in a straight line for approximately 250 feet to the 700-foot elevation contour in Section 15, T9N/ R27E; then (2) Proceed southwesterly along the 700-ft elevation contour to its westernmost point in Section 15, T9N/ R27E; then (3) Proceed southwesterly in a straight line to intersection of the 700-foot PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 elevation contour and an unnamed intermittent stream in Section 16, T9N/ R27E; then (4) Proceed southwesterly along the unnamed intermittent stream to its intersection with the 600-foot elevation contour in Section 20, T9N/R27E; then (5) Proceed south, then southwesterly along the 600-foot elevation contour, crossing onto the Webber Canyon map, for a total of approximately 3 miles to the intersection of the 600-foot elevation contour and the western boundary of Section 27, T9N/R27E; then (6) Proceed south along the western boundary of Section 27 to its intersection with the railroad tracks; then (7) Proceed southeasterly along the railroad tracks, crossing onto the Badger Mountain map, and continuing along the railroad tracks for a total of approximately 3 miles to the intersection of the railroad tracks with Dallas Road in Section 36, T9N/R27E; then (8) Proceed east, then north along Dallas Road for approximately 2 miles to its intersection with Interstate 182 in Section 20, T9N/R28E; then (9) Proceed west along Interstate 182 and onto the ramp to Interstate 82, and continue northwesterly along Interstate 82, crossing over the southwestern corner of the Richland map and onto the Benton City map, to the intersection of Interstate 82 and an intermittent stream in Section 13, T9N/R27E; then (10) Proceed northwesterly along the intermittent stream to its intersection with E. Kennedy Road NE in Section 13, T9N/R27E; then (11) Proceed north in a straight line to the northern boundary of Section 13, T9N/R27E; then (12) Proceed westerly along the northern boundaries of Sections 13 and 14, returning to the beginning point. Signed: August 26, 2020. Mary G. Ryan, Administrator. Approved: September 24, 2020. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2020–22925 Filed 10–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P E:\FR\FM\23OCP1.SGM 23OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 206 (Friday, October 23, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67469-67474]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-22925]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2020-0011; Notice No.196]
RIN 1513-AC63


Proposed Establishment of the Goose Gap Viticultural Area

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to 
establish the approximately 8,129-acre

[[Page 67470]]

``Goose Gap'' viticultural area in Benton County, Washington. The 
proposed viticultural area lies entirely within the established Yakima 
Valley and Columbia Valley viticultural areas. 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: TTB must receive comments by December 22, 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-2020-0011 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 or U.S. mail, 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 that affect 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 boundary;
     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.

Goose Gap Petition

    TTB received a petition from Alan Busacca, on behalf of the Goose 
Gap Wine Grower's Association, proposing the establishment of the 
``Goose Gap'' AVA. The proposed Goose Gap AVA is located in Benton 
County, Washington, and lies entirely within the established Yakima 
Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.69) and Columbia Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.74). The 
proposed Goose Gap AVA contains approximately 8,129 acres and has 1 
winery and 2 commercially-producing vineyards covering a total of more 
than 1,800 acres. The petition states that, in 2017, the two vineyards 
harvested more than 7,000 tons of grapes, and the winery produced about 
50,000 cases of wine from those grapes.
    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the 
proposed Goose Gap AVA include its geology and soils. The petition also 
included information on the general climate of the region near the 
proposed AVA. However, the petition did not include any actual climate 
data from within the proposed Goose Gap AVA and instead provided 
climate data from the nearby established Red Mountain AVA (27 CFR 
9.167), which the petition asserts has a similar climate. Because the 
petition did not include evidence from within the proposed AVA to 
support its climate claims, TTB is unable to determine that climate is 
a distinguishing feature of the proposed AVA. Therefore, this proposed 
rule does not include a discussion of the climate of the proposed 
AVA.\1\ TTB invites public comments that include climate data from 
within the proposed AVA and the surrounding regions. The Bureau may 
determine climate to be a distinguishing feature of this proposed AVA 
if sufficient additional information is received. Unless otherwise 
noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA 
contained in this document are from the petition for the proposed Goose 
Gap AVA and its supporting exhibits.
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    \1\ The climate data is included in Docket TTB-2020-0011 at 
https://www.regulations.gov.
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Name Evidence

    The proposed Goose Gap AVA takes its name from the geological 
feature known as ``Goose Gap,'' which is

[[Page 67471]]

located within the proposed AVA. Goose Gap is described as a slightly 
rolling ``saddle'' or ``gap'' of land situated between Goose Hill, 
which is also within the proposed AVA, and Candy Mountain and Badger 
Mountain, which are located to the east and southeast of the proposed 
AVA, respectively. The gap is labeled ``Goose Gap'' on U.S.G.S. 
quadrangle maps dating back to 1965, including the 1965 Badger Mountain 
quadrangle map and the 1978 Richland quadrangle map, both of which were 
included as exhibits to the petition. The gap is also labeled ``Goose 
Gap'' on the 2017 Badger Mountain quadrangle map used to create the 
boundary of the proposed AVA.
    The petition states that the name ``Goose Gap'' has been used to 
describe the region of the proposed AVA in newspaper articles and other 
historical sources since at least 1904, when a reference appeared in 
the journal Forest and Stream. The 1904 article describes a goose 
hunting trip at ``Goose Gap, through which the geese fly in reaching 
the Horse Heaven feeding grounds after they leave the sand bars of the 
Columbia River.'' \2\ A 1913 article in the Kennewick Courier newspaper 
mentions several local residents who participated ``in a goose hunt at 
`Goose Gap' last Sunday.'' \3\ A 1959 publication on the early history 
of Benton City, Washington, which is located near the proposed AVA, 
notes that ``[a]round the lower valley at Goose Gap up the canyon * * * 
the wild geese come to feed in great flocks at certain seasons of the 
year.'' \4\
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    \2\ Portus Baxter, Washington Geese, Forest and Stream, Vol. 63, 
page 26 (1904). See Exhibit 1.10 of the petition.
    \3\ Richland items, Kennewick Courier, Nov. 18, 1913 at page 4. 
See Exhibit 1.12 of the petition.
    \4\ History Committee of the Community Development Program of 
Benton City, 1959, History of Benton City Washington 1853-1959, 
pages 6, 8-10, 19 (Benton City, Washington 1959). See Exhibit 1.15 
of the petition.
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    The petition also included more recent examples to demonstrate that 
the region of the proposed AVA is currently referred to as ``Goose 
Gap.'' A road running through the proposed AVA is named Goose Gap Road. 
A local pawpaw fruit orchard is named Goose Gap Pawpaws. A 1972 draft 
environmental statement on the proposal to build Interstate 82, which 
runs through the proposed AVA, notes that a portion of the road will 
``follow a passage * * * to Goose Gap at the northwest end of Badger 
Mountain.'' \5\ A 2016 newspaper article about wine grape growing in 
Washington states, ``The Monson family started out in cattle and fruit 
before developing Goose Ridge Vineyards, and has turned a unique 
property in Goose Gap into 2,200 acres of wine grapes.'' \6\ A review 
of Washington wines describes a 2016 ros[eacute] from Goose Ridge 
Vineyards, which is located within the proposed AVA, and mentions that 
the wine was made by ``Goose Gap winemaker Andrew Wilson.'' \7\
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    \5\ Oregon State Highway Division and Washington State 
Department of Highways. Draft Environmental Statement--Interstate 
82/182 Prosser, Washington to Interstate 80N in Oregon, page 1-8 
(1972). See Exhibit 1.16 of the petition.
    \6\ Kevin Cole, Wine grapes continue to thrive, Tri-City Herald, 
Oct. 20, 2016, at pages 8-9. See Exhibit 1.7 of the petition.
    \7\ Andy Perdue & Eric Degerman, Northwest wine: Spring into 
action on the patio with Northwest ros[eacute], Tri-City Herald, May 
20, 2017, www.tri-cityherald.com/living/food-drink/wine/article149577139.html. (Last accessed December 12, 2017). See 
Exhibit 1.8 of the petition.
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    Several other references to ``Goose Gap'' are found in a 2015 plan 
for a project to develop water rights and drill deep irrigation wells 
for row crops, orchards, and vineyards on lands owned by the Washington 
State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the region of the 
proposed AVA. First, the development plan refers to the project as the 
``DNR Red Mountain Goose Gap Project.'' \8\ The plan states that 
``DNR's Red Mountain Goose Gap Complex and associated leases represent 
one of DNR's larger agriculture projects with extensive acres of 
vineyard and orchard production and related infrastructure.'' \9\ 
Finally, a map of the DNR land parcels affected by the project notes, 
``Boundary between the Goose Gap and Red Mt. Parcels are separate [sic] 
by I-82.'' \10\ TTB notes that Interstate 82 runs just inside the 
northern boundary of the proposed Goose Gap AVA and separates the 
proposed AVA from the established Red Mountain AVA.
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    \8\ Washington Department of Natural Resources. Attachment 1--
Determined Future Development Plan and Supporting Documentation--DNR 
Red Mountain Goose Gap Project. (2015). See Exhibit 1.4 of the 
petition.
    \9\ Ibid at page 1.
    \10\ Washington Department of Natural Resources. Attachment 1-
1--Red Mountain/Goose Gap Complex History, page 6 (2015). See 
Exhibit 1.5 of the petition.
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Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Goose Gap AVA encompasses Goose Gap and Goose Hill. 
The majority of the northern boundary is concurrent with the southern 
boundary of the established Red Mountain AVA and separates Goose Gap 
and Goose Hill from Red Mountain, which is a separate geographic 
feature. The northeastern boundary follows a series of highways and 
roads and is concurrent with the boundary of the established Candy 
Mountain AVA (27 CFR 9.272). This boundary separates the proposed Goose 
Gap AVA from Candy Mountain, which is also a separate geographic 
feature. The eastern boundary follows a series of roads and drainage 
lines to separate the proposed AVA from Badger Mountain. The southern 
and western boundaries follow a railroad track and the 600-foot 
elevation contour to separate the proposed AVA from Badger Coulee.

Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Goose Gap AVA are its 
geology and soils.
Geology
    The proposed Goose Gap AVA is comprised of two geographic features 
with similar viticultural conditions: Goose Gap and the adjoining Goose 
Hill. According to the petition, Goose Gap and Goose Hill together form 
part of a single folded and faulted block of the underlying Columbia 
River Basalt. Goose Gap is formed from a syncline, a down-folded arch 
in the bedrock that creates a saddle-like shape, whereas Goose Hill is 
formed from an anticline, an arch-like structure of basalt that was 
bent upwards to form a ridge and slopes.
    The proposed AVA is part of a series of folded hills and valleys 
collectively known as the Yakima Fold Belt, which runs from the Beezley 
Hills in the north to the Horse Heaven Hills in the south. According to 
the petition, all of the ridges and hills in the region surrounding the 
proposed Goose Gap AVA have a northwest-southeast orientation, 
including Rattlesnake Ridge, Red Mountain, and Candy Mountain. However, 
Goose Hill has an east-west orientation, as does the adjoining Goose 
Gap. Furthermore, the south and southwest slopes within the proposed 
Goose Gap AVA are significantly steeper than the north and northeast 
slopes. As a result, vineyards in the proposed AVA are planted on the 
north and northeast slopes. According to the petition, the other hills 
and slopes in the Yakima Fold Belt, including the neighboring Red 
Mountain and Candy Mountain, have plantable south and southwest slopes, 
while the north and northeast slopes are too steep for vineyards.
    The petition states that the unique slope aspect of the proposed 
Goose Gap AVA has an effect on viticulture. Vineyards on north- and 
northeast-facing slopes, such as those in the proposed AVA, receive 
less solar radiation than vineyards on south- and

[[Page 67472]]

southwest-facing slopes. The petition further states that data from 
three vineyard locations within the proposed AVA show that the 
vineyards receive an average of 980,500 watt-hours per square meter per 
year. By contrast, data from three vineyard locations in the 
neighboring Red Mountain AVA, which are planted on south- and 
southwest-facing slopes, show that the vineyards receive an average of 
1,025,867 watt-hours per square meter per year. The petition states 
that while a difference in solar radiation of 5 percent may seem small, 
it can affect how quickly grapes ripen. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon 
grapes grown in the proposed AVA typically ripen a week to nine days 
later than the same varietal of grapes grown in the Red Mountain AVA.
Soils
    The proposed Goose Gap AVA has five main soil series: Warden, 
Shano, Kiona, Hezel, and Prosser. Together, these soil series comprise 
almost 95 percent of the soil within the proposed AVA. The most 
abundant soil is the Warden series, which makes up 65 percent of the 
proposed AVA. These soils consist of wind-blown loess over layered or 
stratified silts and fine sands from the ancient Missoula Floods. 
Warden soils have rooting depths of six feet or more with no hardpans 
or other root-restrictive layers, and as such, they are prized soils 
for vineyards. Kiona soils comprise about 9 percent of the proposed AVA 
and are formed in loess and rubble from fractured basalt. According to 
the petition, these soils are typically found on the south-facing 
slopes of the proposed AVA, which are in most cases too steep for 
vineyards.
    Also within the proposed Goose Gap AVA are Shano and Hezel soils, 
which each make up about 7 percent of the soils of the proposed AVA. 
Shano soils are formed in deep wind-blown loess and are highly 
desirable for vineyards, in part because their low levels of organic 
matter prevent overly vigorous vine and leaf growth. Shano soils are 
also desirable for vineyards because their low natural soil moisture 
allows growers to control vine development via the timing and amount of 
water applied by drip irrigation during the growing season. Hezel soils 
are made of wind-blown sand over stratified Missoula Floods silts and 
sands. Finally, Prosser soils comprise about 5 percent of the soils in 
the proposed AVA. These soils formed in loess mixed with flood 
sediments that total only about 30 inches of soil thickness over 
basaltic bedrock. However, the underlying basalt is fractured and not 
plugged by a hardpan, so the soils remain well drained and are 
desirable for vineyards.
    The petition states that the soils of the surrounding regions 
differ from those of the proposed Goose Gap AVA in both abundance and 
composition. The petition compared the soils of the prepared AVA to 
those of the Red Mountain AVA, to the northwest of the proposed AVA, 
the Yakima Valley AVA, which encompasses the proposed AVA, and the 
Horse Heaven Hills AVA (27 CFR 9.188), which is adjacent to the Yakima 
Valley AVA and to the southwest of the proposed AVA. Warden soils 
dominate the proposed AVA, yet they comprise only 46 percent of the 
soils in the Red Mountain AVA and approximately 25 percent of the soils 
in both the entire Yakima Valley AVA and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. 
Scooteney soils make up approximately 11 percent of the soils of the 
Red Mountain AVA yet are completely absent in the proposed Goose Gap 
AVA, with which the Red Mountain AVA shares a boundary. Ritzville soils 
constitute almost 30 percent of the soils of the Horse Heaven Hills 
AVA, but they too are absent from the proposed AVA.

Summary of Distinguishing Features

    In summary, the geology and soils of the proposed Goose Gap AVA 
distinguish it from the surrounding regions. Although the proposed 
Goose Gap AVA is underlain with the same Columbia River Basalt as most 
of eastern Washington, the basalt in the proposed AVA was folded in an 
entirely unique manner. As a result, Goose Hill and Goose Gap, the two 
adjoining features that comprise the proposed AVA, both have an east-
west alignment and north-northeast facing plantable slopes. By 
contrast, all of the other slopes and hills that comprise the Yakima 
Fold Belt have a northwest-southeast alignment and south-southwest 
facing plantable slopes. Additionally, Warden soils comprise 
approximately 65 percent of the soils in the proposed AVA but make up 
significantly less of the soils in the Yakima Valley AVA, which 
encompasses the proposed AVA. Warden soils also comprise significantly 
less of the soils in the Red Mountain AVA to the immediate northwest of 
the proposed AVA and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA to the southwest of the 
proposed AVA. Several soil series common in the surrounding regions, 
including Scooteney and Ritzville, are completely absent from the 
proposed Goose Gap AVA.

Comparison of the Proposed Goose Gap AVA to the Existing Yakima Valley 
AVA

    T.D. ATF-128, which published in the Federal Register on April 4, 
1983 (48 FR 14374), established the Yakima Valley AVA. T.D. ATF-128 
states that topography, climate, and soils distinguish the Yakima 
Valley AVA from the surrounding regions. The Yakima Valley AVA is 
bounded on the north and south by basaltic uplifts; on the east by 
Rattlesnake Mountain, Red Mountain, and Badger Mountain; and on the 
west by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The western portion of 
the AVA is described as a vast expanse of flat land, while the eastern 
portion is comprised of gently sloping land. The Yakima Valley AVA 
contains at least 13 different soil associations, the most common being 
the Warden-Shano Association and the Scooteney-Starbuck Association.
    The proposed Goose Gap AVA is located in the southeastern portion 
of the Yakima Valley AVA and shares some of the same general features. 
For instance, both the proposed AVA and the established AVA rest on 
Columbia River Basalt and have soils that are a combination of glacial-
flood and wind-borne soils, including the Warden soil series.
    However, the proposed Goose Gap AVA has some characteristics that 
distinguish it from the Yakima Valley AVA. For example, the proposed 
Goose Gap AVA is unique among the hills of the Yakima Valley AVA in 
that it has an east-west alignment and a north-northeast plantable 
slope aspect. Additionally, although Warden and Shano soils occur in 
the Yakima Valley AVA, they comprise a larger percentage of the 
proposed Goose Gap AVA soils. By contrast, many vineyards in the Yakima 
Valley AVA are planted on the Scooteney-Starbuck soil association, but 
Scooteney soils are not found within the proposed AVA and Starbuck 
soils comprise less than 2 percent of the proposed AVA soils.

Comparison of the Proposed Goose Gap AVA to the Existing Columbia 
Valley AVA

    The Columbia Valley AVA was established by T.D. ATF-190, which was 
published in the Federal Register on November 13, 1984 (49 FR 44897). 
The Columbia Valley AVA covers approximately over 11 million acres in 
Washington along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. According to T.D. ATF-
190, the AVA is a large, treeless, broadly undulating basin with 
elevations that are generally below 2,000 feet. In general, the growing 
season within the

[[Page 67473]]

Columbia Valley AVA is over 150 days, and growing degree day 
accumulations are generally over 2,000.
    The proposed Goose Gap AVA shares some of the same general 
characteristics as the Columbia Valley AVA. For example, elevations 
within the proposed AVA are below 2,000 feet. However, due to its much 
smaller size, the proposed AVA has more uniform characteristics than 
the large, multi-county Columbia Valley AVA. The proposed AVA 
encompasses a single folded and faulted block of Columbia River Basalt, 
characterized by the Goose Gap syncline and the adjoining Goose Hill 
anticline. The Columbia Valley AVA, by contrast, consists of multiple 
ridges, hills, and valleys within a single broad basin.

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the 8,129-acre Goose 
Gap 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 
Goose Gap 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 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, ``Goose Gap,'' 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 ``Goose Gap'' 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 Goose Gap AVA would not affect any 
existing AVA, and any bottlers using ``Yakima Valley'' or ``Columbia 
Valley'' as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made 
from grapes grown within the Yakima Valley or Columbia Valley AVAs 
would not be affected by the establishment of this new AVA. The 
establishment of the proposed Goose Gap AVA would allow vintners to use 
``Goose Gap,'' ``Yakima Valley,'' and ``Columbia Valley'' as 
appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the 
proposed Goose Gap 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 Goose Gap AVA. TTB is also 
interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the 
name, boundary, soils, geology, and other required information 
submitted in support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed 
Goose Gap AVA's location within the existing Yakima Valley and Columbia 
Valley AVAs, 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 
established AVAs. TTB is also interested in comments on whether the 
geographic features of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the 
surrounding Yakima Valley and Columbia Valley AVAs that the proposed 
Goose Gap AVA should no longer be part of either AVA. Please provide 
any available specific information in support of your comments.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Goose Gap AVA on wine labels that include the term ``Goose 
Gap'' 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 document by using one of the 
following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the 
online comment form posted with this document within Docket No. TTB-
2020-0011 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at 
https://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available 
under Notice No. 196 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/notices-of-proposed-rulemaking. 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.
    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this 
document. Your comments must reference Notice No. 196 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.

[[Page 67474]]

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 document, selected 
supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about 
this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2020-0011 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/notices-of-proposed-rulemaking under Notice No. 196. 
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 obtain copies of this proposed rule, all related 
petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or 
mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal at 20 cents per 
8.5 x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of 
USGS maps or any similarly-sized documents that may be included as part 
of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's Regulations and Rulings Division by 
email using the web form at https://www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd, or by 
telephone at 202-453-1039, ext. 175, 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. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.___ to read as follows:


Sec.  9.___  Goose Gap.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Goose Gap''. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, 
``Goose Gap'' is a term of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The 4 United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Goose Gap viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Benton City, WA, 2017;
    (2) Richland, WA, 2017;
    (3) Badger Mountain, WA, 2017; and
    (4) Webber Canyon, WA, 2017.
    (c) Boundary. The Goose Gap viticultural area is located in Benton 
County, Washington. The boundary of the Goose Gap viticultural area is 
as described below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Benton City map at the 
intersection of Sections 10, 11, 15, and 14, T9N/R27E. From the 
beginning point, proceed southwesterly in a straight line for 
approximately 250 feet to the 700-foot elevation contour in Section 15, 
T9N/R27E; then
    (2) Proceed southwesterly along the 700-ft elevation contour to its 
westernmost point in Section 15, T9N/R27E; then
    (3) Proceed southwesterly in a straight line to intersection of the 
700-foot elevation contour and an unnamed intermittent stream in 
Section 16, T9N/R27E; then
    (4) Proceed southwesterly along the unnamed intermittent stream to 
its intersection with the 600-foot elevation contour in Section 20, 
T9N/R27E; then
    (5) Proceed south, then southwesterly along the 600-foot elevation 
contour, crossing onto the Webber Canyon map, for a total of 
approximately 3 miles to the intersection of the 600-foot elevation 
contour and the western boundary of Section 27, T9N/R27E; then
    (6) Proceed south along the western boundary of Section 27 to its 
intersection with the railroad tracks; then
    (7) Proceed southeasterly along the railroad tracks, crossing onto 
the Badger Mountain map, and continuing along the railroad tracks for a 
total of approximately 3 miles to the intersection of the railroad 
tracks with Dallas Road in Section 36, T9N/R27E; then
    (8) Proceed east, then north along Dallas Road for approximately 2 
miles to its intersection with Interstate 182 in Section 20, T9N/R28E; 
then
    (9) Proceed west along Interstate 182 and onto the ramp to 
Interstate 82, and continue northwesterly along Interstate 82, crossing 
over the southwestern corner of the Richland map and onto the Benton 
City map, to the intersection of Interstate 82 and an intermittent 
stream in Section 13, T9N/R27E; then
    (10) Proceed northwesterly along the intermittent stream to its 
intersection with E. Kennedy Road NE in Section 13, T9N/R27E; then
    (11) Proceed north in a straight line to the northern boundary of 
Section 13, T9N/R27E; then
    (12) Proceed westerly along the northern boundaries of Sections 13 
and 14, returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: August 26, 2020.
Mary G. Ryan,
Administrator.
    Approved: September 24, 2020.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2020-22925 Filed 10-22-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P