[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 53 (Friday, March 19, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13511-13514]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-6735]



Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

27 CFR Part 9

[TD ATF-410; RE: Notice No. 864]
RIN 1512-AA07

Yountville Viticultural Area (98R-28P)

AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Treasury.

ACTION: Treasury decision, final rule.


SUMMARY: This Treasury decision will establish a viticultural area in 
Napa County, California, to be known as ``Yountville.'' This 
viticultural area is the result of a petition submitted by the 
Yountville Appellation Committee.

DATES: This rule is effective May 18, 1999.

Regulations Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 650 
Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C. 20226, (202) 927-8230.



    On August 23, 1978, ATF published Treasury decision ATF-53 (43 FR 
37672, 54624) revising regulations in 27 CFR part 4.
    These regulations allow the establishment of definitive 
viticultural areas. The regulations allow the name of an approved 
viticultural area to be used as an appellation of origin on wine labels 
and in wine advertisements. On October 2, 1979, ATF published Treasury 
decision ATF-60 (44 FR 56692) which added a new part 9 to 27 CFR, 
providing for the listing of approved American viticultural areas, the 
names of which may be used as appellations of origin.
    Section 4.25a(e)(1), Title 27, CFR, defines an American 
viticultural area as a delimited grape-growing region distinguishable 
by geographic features, the boundaries of which have been delineated in 
subpart C of part 9.
    Section 4.25(e)(2), Title 27, CFR, outlines the procedure for 
proposing an American viticultural area. Any interested person may 
petition ATF to establish a grape-growing region as a viticultural 
area. The petition should include:
    (a) Evidence that the name of the proposed viticultural area is 
locally and/or nationally known as referring to the area specified in 
the petition;

[[Page 13512]]

    (b) Historical or current evidence that the boundaries of the 
viticultural area are as specified in the petition;
    (c) Evidence relating to the geographical characteristics (climate, 
soil, elevation, physical features, etc.) which distinguish the 
viticultural features of the proposed area from surrounding areas;
    (d) A description of the specific boundaries of the viticultural 
area, based on features which can be found on United States Geological 
Survey (U.S.G.S.) maps of the largest applicable scale, and;
    (e) A copy (or copies) of the appropriate U.S.G.S. map(s) with the 
proposed boundaries prominently marked.


    ATF received a petition from Mr. Richard Mendelson, submitted on 
behalf of a number of wineries and grape growers in the Yountville 
area, proposing to establish a new viticultural area in Napa County, 
California to be known as ``Yountville.'' The viticultural area is 
located entirely within the Napa Valley. It contains approximately 8260 
acres, of which 3500 are planted to vineyards. The viticultural area 
was determined by extending the wine growing area from around the town 
of Yountville until it abuts the already established viticultural areas 
of Oakville on the north, Stags Leap District on the east, and Mt. 
Veeder on the west. On the south is an area called Oak Knoll which has 
petitioned to be considered a viticultural area.


    On August 26, 1998, ATF published a notice of proposed rulemaking, 
Notice 864, in the Federal Register, soliciting comments on the 
proposed viticultural area. No comments were received.

Evidence That The Name of the Area is Locally or Nationally Known

    An historical survey written by Charles Sullivan spells out the 
historical use of the name Yountville and vineyard plantings dating 
back to the late 1800's. Numerous references exist indicating the 
general use of the name ``Yountville'' to refer to the petitioned area. 
The petitioner included copies of title pages of various publications, 
guide and tour book references, public and private phone book listings 
and Federal and State agency maps, to illustrate the use of the name. 
For example, an ad for wine in the 1880's stresses the source of the 
grapes for the wine as ``Yountville.'' Yountville is also prominently 
mentioned in James Halliday's Wine Atlas of California.

Historical or Current Evidence That the Boundaries of the 
Viticultural Area are as Specified in the Petition

    The boundaries establish a grape growing area with an identifiable 
character, based on climate, topography, and historical tradition. The 
Yountville area boundaries were determined by extending the grape 
growing area from around the town itself until it abuts the already 
established viticultural areas of Oakville on the north, Stags Leap 
District on the east and Mt. Veeder on the west and an area called Oak 
Knoll on the south, which is currently under consideration to be 
recognized as a viticultural area. The boundaries of the area were 
determined by already existing AVA's and by the distinguishing physical 
features of the area. The boundary lines are accurately described using 
the features on the submitted U.S.G.S maps. In sum, the proposed 
boundaries encompass an area of remarkable uniformity with respect to 
soils, climate and existing AVA's.
    The history of viticulture in the Napa Valley begins with George C. 
Yount. Yount first visited the Napa Valley in 1831. He was granted his 
Rancho Caymus on March 3, 1836. It amounted to approximately 11,000 
acres and covered the valley and foothills from the Bale Slough in the 
north to a line which runs through the town of Yountville today. By the 
1840's he had established a small vineyard. In 1855, he commissioned a 
surveyor to lay out the city. The new community was christened 
Sebastopol. In 1887, two years after Yount's death, the town was 
renamed in honor of its founder.

Evidence Relating To the Geographical Features (Climate, Soil, 
Elevation, Physical Features, Etc.) Which Distinguish Viticultural 
Features of the Area From Surrounding Areas

    The geographical features of the viticultural area set it apart 
from the surrounding area in the Napa Valley and produce a unique 
microclimate. The distinguishing features of the viticultural area are 
the Napa River, the Napa Valley floor, the alluvial soils, the hills 
north of Yountville called the Yountville Mounts and the hills west of 
Yountville which form the western boundary of the Napa Valley.
    The weather is specific to the Yountville area with cool marine air 
currents reaching the Yountville Mounts (northern border of the 
proposed area) and which form a weather barrier to further expansion of 
the fogs and winds. Also the soils which form the alluvial fan just 
across the southern boundary of the Yountville area can be seen to come 
from the Dry Creek watershed (see U.S.G.S. maps). The soils just north 
of the Yountville border come from the hills that form the western side 
of the area. The line along Ragatz Lane was selected to delineate the 
two areas. The soils between Yountville and Stags Leap District can be 
seen to differ north of the Yountville crossroad with the Rector canyon 
being the parent and the area between the Napa River and the Silverado 
Trail belonging to the hills immediately to the east.
    The Yountville area, and specifically the area near and west of the 
town of Yountville, is one of the coolest vineyard regions of the Napa 
Valley viticultural area with long, cool growing season for grapevines. 
The Amerine and Winkler (1944) climate scheme rates this area as a 
Region II climate in a typical year, with a growing season degree-day 
totals of 2600 to 2900. This makes the area around the town of 
Yountville warmer than most of the Carneros viticultural area, but 
cooler than parts of Mt. Veeder and Oakville.
    The Yountville area is unusual as a Napa Valley floor viticultural 
region in that it is not dominated geomorphically by large alluvial 
fans. It is most similar geologically to the Stags Leap District, which 
also is dominated by an old Napa River channel. However, the Yountville 
area is also geologically and geomorphologically distinct from the 
Stags Leap District, as Yountville was an area of intense coastal 
deposition along what must have been a nearshore current set up on the 
western side of the valley. The only similar coastal deposits found in 
the Napa Valley are in the Hagen Road area east of the City of Napa off 
Olive Hill Lane. Geomorphic deposits strongly influence soil types in 
the regions. Pronounced differences in soils are seen between 
Yountville, Oakville, the Stags Leap District, Mt. Veeder, and the 
proposed Oak Knoll viticultural area.


    The boundaries of the Yountville viticultural area may be found on 
four U.S.G.S. Quadrangle (7.5 Minute Series) maps titled: Napa, CA 
(1951); Rutherford, CA (1951); Sonoma, CA (1951); and Yountville, CA 

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. 
3507) and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, do not apply 
to this notice of proposed rulemaking because no requirement to collect 
information is proposed.

[[Page 13513]]

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    It is hereby certified that this proposed regulation will not have 
a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
establishment of a viticultural area is neither an endorsement nor 
approval by ATF of the quality of wine produced in the area, but rather 
an identification of an area that is distinct from surrounding areas. 
ATF believes that the establishment of viticultural areas merely allows 
wineries to more accurately describe the origin of their wines to 
consumers, and helps consumers identify the wines they purchase. Thus, 
any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name is the 
result of the proprietor's own efforts and consumer acceptance of wines 
from the region.
    Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required 
because the proposal, if promulgated as a final rule, is not expected 
(1) to have significant secondary, or incidental effects on a 
substantial number of small entities; or (2) to impose, or otherwise 
cause a significant increase in the reporting, recordkeeping, or other 
compliance burdens on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed regulation is not a 
significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866. 
Accordingly, this proposal is not subject to the analysis required by 
this executive order.

Drafting information

    The principal author of this document is Thomas B. Busey, 
Regulations Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Administrative practices and procedures, Consumer protection, 
Viticultural areas, and Wine.

Authority and Issuance

    Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 9, American Viticultural 
Areas, is proposed to be amended as follows:


    Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as 

    Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205.

    Par. 2. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec. 9.160 to read as 

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

Sec. 9.160  Yountville

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Yountville.''
    (b) Approved maps. The appropriate maps for determining the 
boundary of the Yountville viticultural area are four 1:24,000 Scale 
U.S.G.S. topography maps. They are titled:
    (1) Napa, CA 1951 photorevised 1980
    (2) Rutherford, CA 1951 photorevised 1968
    (3) Sonoma, CA 1951 photorevised 1980
    (4) Yountville, CA 1951 photorevised 1968
    (c) Boundary. The Yountville viticultural area is located in the 
State of California, entirely within the Napa Valley viticultural area. 
The boundaries of the Yountville viticultural area, using landmarks and 
points of reference found on appropriate U.S.G.S. maps are as follows:
    (1) Beginning on the Rutherford quadrangle map at the intersection 
of the 500 foot contour line with an unnamed stream known locally as 
Hopper Creek north of the center of Section 3, T6N, R5W, Mount Diablo 
Meridan (MDM);
    (2) Then along the unnamed stream (Hopper Creek) southeasterly, and 
at the fork in Section 3, northeasterly along the stream to the point 
where the stream intersects with an unnamed dirt road in the northwest 
corner of Section 2, T6N, R5W, MDM;
    (3) Then in a straight line to the light duty road to the immediate 
northeast in Section 2, then along the light duty road in a 
northeasterly direction to the point at which the road turns 90 degrees 
to the left;
    (4) Then northerly along the light duty road 625 feet, then 
northeasterly (N 40 deg. by 43') in a straight line 1,350 feet, along 
the northern property line of Assessor's Parcel Number 27-380-08, to 
State Highway 29, then continuing in a straight line approximately 500 
feet to the peak of the 320 plus foot hill along the western edge of 
the Yountville hills;
    (5) Then east to the second 300 foot contour line, then along said 
contour line around the Yountville hills to the north to the point at 
which the 300 foot line exits the Rutherford quadrangle for the second 
    (6) Then, on the Yountville quadrangle map, in a straight line in a 
northeasterly direction approximately N34 deg. by 30' E approximately 
1,000 feet to the 90 degree bend in the unimproved dirt road shown on 
the map, then along that road, which coincides with a fence line to the 
intersection of Conn Creek and Rector Creek;
    (7) Then along Rector Creek to the northeast past Silverado Trail 
to the Rector Reservoir spillway entrance, then south approximately 100 
feet to the 400 foot contour line, then southerly along the 400 foot 
contour line approximately 4200 feet to the intersection with a gully 
in section 30, T7N, R4W, MDM;
    (8) Then southwesterly down the center of the gully approximately 
800 feet to the medium duty road known as Silverado Trail, then 
southeasterly along the Silverado Trail approximately 590 feet to the 
medium duty road known locally Yountville Cross Road;
    (9) Then southwesterly along the Yountville Cross Road (denoted as 
GRANT BDY on the map) approximately 4,700 feet to the main branch of 
the Napa River, then following the western boundary of the Stags Leap 
District viticultural area, first southerly down the center of the Napa 
River approximately 21,000 feet, then leaving the Napa River 
northeasterly in a straight line approximately 900 feet to the 
intersection of the Silverado Trail with an intermittent stream at the 
60 foot contour line in T6N, R4W, MDM;
    (10) Then along the Silverado Trail southerly approximately 3,200 
feet, passing into the Napa quadrangle, to a point which is east of the 
confluence of Dry Creek with the Napa River; then west approximately 
600 feet to said confluence; then northwesterly along Dry Creek 
approximately 3,500 feet, passing into the Yountville quadrangle to a 
fork in the creek; then northwesterly along the north fork of Dry Creek 
approximately 5,700 feet to the easterly end of the light duty road 
labeled Ragatz Lane;
    (11) Then southwesterly along Ragatz Lane to the west side of State 
Highway 29, then southerly along Highway 29 by 982 feet to the easterly 
extension of the north line boundary of Napa County Assessor's parcel 
number 034-170-015, then along the north line of APN 034-170-015 and 
its extension westerly 3,550 feet to the dividing line Between R4W and 
R5W on the Napa quadrangle, then southwesterly approximately 1000 feet 
to the peak denoted as 564 (which is about 5,500 feet easterly of the 
northwest corner of the Napa quadrangle); then southwesterly 
approximately 4,000 feet to the peak northeast of the reservoir gauging 
station denoted as 835;
    (12) Then southwesterly approximately 1,500 feet to the reservoir 
gauging station, then west to the 400 foot contour line on the west 
side of Dry Creek, then northwesterly along the 400

[[Page 13514]]

foot contour line to the point where the contour intersects the north 
line of Section 10. T6N, R5W, MDM, immediately adjacent to Dry Creek on 
the Rutherford, CA map;
    (13) Then northwesterly along Dry Creek approximately 6,500 feet to 
BM503, then northeasterly approximately 3,000 feet to the peak denoted 
as 1478, then southeasterly approximately 2,300 feet to the beginning 
of the creek known locally as Hopper Creek, then southeasterly along 
Hopper Creek approximately 2,300 feet to the point of beginning.

    Signed: February 2, 1999.
John W. Magaw,

    Approved: February 16, 1999.
Dennis M. O'Connell,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary (Regulatory, Tariff and Trade 
[FR Doc. 99-6735 Filed 3-18-99; 8:45 am]