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27 CFR Part 9 TD ATF-410; RE: Notice No. 864


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]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P This was last updated on March 19, 1999

Last updated: May 2, 2024