LEX VINI

Proposed Expansion of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA

Willamette Valley, one of the most well regarded American Viticultural Areas, may be getting a wee bit bigger. Last week, the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a notice of proposed rulemaking detailing the proposed addition of approximately 29 square miles (which constitutes less than 1% of the existing AVA) to the southwestern edge of the Willamette Valley, as shown in the following map:

revised-boundary-1400x936

King Estate Winery, which is located in the proposed expansion area and Oregon’s largest wine producer, submitted the petition, and both the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and the Oregon Winegrowers Association have voiced their support. The petition is available online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=TTB-2015-0008-0002

As evidence that the expansion area is associated with the established Willamette Valley AVA, the petitioners included excerpts from restaurant wine lists that identify certain King Estate wines as coming from “Willamette,” “Willamette Valley,” or “Willamette, Oregon,” even though the wines are not labeled as Willamette Valley AVA, nor could they be under TTB regulations. Query as to whether this demonstrates true association with the expansion area and the existing Willamette Valley AVA or simply sommelier error.

Members of the public can submit comments through August 17, 2015. For more information, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=TTB-2015-0008

For more information regarding AVA formation and expansion, please contact John Trinidad (jtrinidad@dpf-law.com)

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