Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


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

DATES: This rule is
effective May 18, 1999.

CONTACT: Thomas B. Busey, Specialist,

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

(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

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


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

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

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.

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,

(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]