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TTB Establishes 11 New American Viticultural Areas in Paso Robles

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, TTB published a final rule in the Federal Register establishing eleven new American Viticultural Areas (“AVAs”) within the existing Paso Robles viticultural area in San Luis Obispo County, California. The eleven new AVAs are as follows:

  1. Adelaida District;
  2. Creston District;
  3. El Pomar District;
  4. Paso Robles Estrella District;
  5. Paso Robles Geneseo District;
  6. Paso Robles Highlands District;
  7. Paso Robles Willow Creek District;
  8. San Juan Creek;
  9. San Miguel District;
  10. Santa Margarita Ranch; and
  11. Templeton Gap District.

AVAs exist to allow vintners to better designate their wines as viticultural areas have distinct profiles and can often relay significant information to a consumer about a wine. The above final rule is a result of a proposed rule originally published by TTB on September 20, 2013 (78 FR 58050), which proposed the establishment of the aforementioned AVAs. In the proposed rule, TTB summarized evidence received from eleven petitions detailing the name, boundaries, and distinguishing features of each proposed AVA (in addition to the distinguishing features of the larger Paso Robles and Central Coast AVAs). Much of the evidence includes the meso-climactic, geological, and historical information of each individual AVA. The success of the establishment of these new AVAs can be attributed to the Paso Robles AVA Committee, which was specifically formed to campaign for the above AVAs and originally submitted petitions to TTB in the spring of 2007. (It is said that the petition filed by the Committee is the single largest AVA petition that TTB has ever received.)

TTB’s final rule will go into effect on November 10, 2014.

For more information on wine or alcohol law, AVAs, or TTB matters, please contact Lindsey Zahn.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is for general information purposes only, is not intended to constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.

Lindsey A. Zahn


Lindsey is the founder and author of On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. She is an alcohol beverage and food attorney and is admitted to the New York State Bar.

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