Do California vintners have their own case of March Madness?
In Santa Barbara, vintners in the Happy Canyon area are finalizing a petition to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in support of dividing the region into subappellations.
Happy Canyon is in the eastern and warmer reaches of Santa Ynez Valley and, as one of my witty colleagues quipped, “I’m no marketing whiz, but somehow ‘Happy Canyon’ sounds better suited to pot than Pinot Noir.” But of course he meant Cabernet and Merlot.
In Sonoma, Gallo would like to extend the boundaries of the Russian River Valley appellation to include one of its vineyards, Two Rock, which is currently just outside the present border. But it might be easier for Gallo to use its fleet of big, yellow D10s to push the earth and vineyard into the RRV rather than petition the feds for an expansion.
Then there are Paso Robles vintners who are moving ahead with plans to subdivide their region—midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco—into 11 viticultural areas. It sounds like a good idea, and it's maybe even the right idea, provided there are distinctive differences in soils and climates to merit such a division.
But I hope in their eagerness to show that there’s a difference between east and west Paso, and north and south Paso, vintners don't forget this: Wine lovers are already besieged by scores of new brands and wines from all over the globe. Adding another 11 AVAs, especially to an area that's still new to many wine drinkers, needs to be done gingerly. Make sure to keep the name Paso Robles prominent, no matter what else you want to add to your wine labels.
John B Vlahos — Cupertino Ca. — March 26, 2007 5:14pm ET
Powell Yang — Napa, — March 26, 2007 5:44pm ET
Roy Piper — Napa, CA. — March 26, 2007 8:02pm ET
Jerry Baker — March 26, 2007 11:25pm ET
Larry Schaffer — Central Coast — March 27, 2007 10:39am ET
Brandon Redman — Seattle, WA — March 27, 2007 11:13am ET
Steve Lister — Paso Robles, CA — March 30, 2007 1:31pm ET
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