Proposed Naches Heights AVA an Exception to Recent TTB Stated AVA Policy

On May 24, 2011, TTB published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to establish the Naches Heights American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Yakima County, Washington.  The Naches Heights AVA would be located within the Columbia Valley AVA.  TTB is asking for comments on the NPRM on or before July 25, 2011.  The proposed AVA is notable for its relatively limited viticultural production within the proposed area.  Recently, TTB has taken the position that the ratio of planted and planned vineyard acreage to the total acreage of the viticultural area is an important factor in TTB’s evaluation of an AVA petition.  The higher the ratio, the greater the chance of success of the petition through TTB’s vetting process.  The proposed Naches Heights viticultural area has 105 acres of commercial vineyards producing or expected to be in production soon.  The entire area encompasses 13,254 acres.  With only 0.79% of the total proposed area committed to viticulture, Naches Heights stands out as an exception to TTB’s recently stated policies.

For more information or assistance on AVA formation, contact Carol Kingrey Ritter at [email protected]

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