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Rule

Establishment of the Trinity Lakes Viticultural Area (2001R-032P)

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule; Treasury decision.

SUMMARY:

This Treasury decision establishes the “Trinity Lakes” viticultural area in Trinity County, California. The viticultural area consists of approximately 96,000 acres surrounding Trinity and Lewiston Lakes and a portion of the Trinity River basin below Lewiston Dam. We designate viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

April 29, 2005.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rita Butler, Writer-Editor, Regulations and Procedures Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street, NW., Room 200E, Washington, DC 20220; telephone 202-927-8210. Start Printed Page 9529

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background on Viticultural Areas

TTB Authority

Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (the FAA Act, 27 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) requires that alcohol beverage labels provide the consumer with adequate information regarding a product's identity and prohibits the use of misleading information on such labels. The FAA Act also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations to carry out its provisions. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers these regulations.

Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4), allows the establishment of definitive viticultural areas and the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) contains the list of approved viticultural areas.

Definition

Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region distinguishable by geographic features, the boundaries of which have been recognized and defined in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographic origin. The establishment of viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of a viticultural area is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

Requirements

Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations outlines the procedure for proposing an American viticultural area and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as a viticultural area. Section 9.3(b) of the TTB regulations requires the petition to include—

  • Evidence that the proposed viticultural area is locally and/or nationally known by the name specified in the petition;
  • Historical or current evidence that supports setting the boundary of the proposed viticultural area as the petition specifies;
  • Evidence relating to the geographical features, such as climate, soils, elevation, and physical features, that distinguish the proposed viticultural area from surrounding areas;
  • A description of the specific boundary of the proposed viticultural area, based on features found on United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps; and
  • A copy of the appropriate USGS map(s) with the proposed viticultural area's boundary prominently marked.

Trinity Lakes Petition

TTB was petitioned by Mr. Keith Groves of Alpen Cellars to establish a new American viticultural area to be called “Trinity Lakes” in Trinity County, California. It encompasses two man-made reservoirs, Trinity Lake and the adjoining but smaller Lewiston Lake to its south, and a portion of the Trinity River basin below Lewiston Dam. The area covers about 96,000 acres, of which 18 percent, or 17,285 acres, is lake surface water, while 1.5 percent, or 1,440 acres, is land suitable for viticulture. Currently, 30 acres are planted vineyards within the area. Rugged, steep, timbered ridges and narrow agricultural valleys characterize the area. The lakes' daytime cooling and nighttime warming effect moderates the agricultural valleys' climate. Below we summarize the evidence presented in the petition.

Name Evidence

The majority of the Trinity Lakes viticultural area is located within the Trinity Lake unit of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area. This unit includes both Trinity Lake and the smaller Lewiston Lake, and according to the petitioner, the region surrounding both lakes is commonly known as the Trinity Lakes area. Current photographs of road signs were provided, which display the Trinity Lakes name as a reference for both Trinity and Lewiston Lakes. In Weaverville, Trinity Lakes Boulevard is the name used for California 3, a major highway.

A letter, dated December 13, 2002, from Mr. David Steinhauser, president of the Trinity County Chamber of Commerce, fully supported the establishment of this viticultural area. He wrote that the name “Trinity Lakes” is used to refer to the region around Trinity and Lewiston Lakes.

Created in the early 1960s, the larger man-made lake was originally named Clair Engle Lake. However, the petitioner stated that area residents have historically referred to the lake as, and prefer the name of, Trinity Lake. The petitioner also noted that a grassroots movement sought to change the lake's name and mentioned that Clair Engle Lake road signs often disappeared shortly after being posted. A 1997 Trinity Journal news article, included with the petition, spoke of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's support for the effort to have the lake re-named. Congress and the President made the change official in September 1997, with the passage and approval of Public Law 105-44, which renamed the reservoir Trinity Lake. The current California AAA road map and USGS topographic maps use the name of Trinity Lake.

Boundary Evidence

The Trinity Lakes viticultural area was viticulturally developed only after the completion of the two man-made lakes in the early 1960s as the climate-moderating lake effect on the surrounding valleys provided an opportunity to grow wine grapes. The petitioner stated that in 1981 a small vineyard was planted at the north end of Trinity Lake. It became a bonded winery in 1984. There are currently four vineyards, encompassing 30 acres, producing wine grapes within the viticultural area.

The Trinity Lakes viticultural area is in Trinity County, in northwestern California. The area is irregular in shape, generally running from northeast to southwest, and surrounds Trinity Lake, the smaller Lewiston Lake to the south of Trinity Dam, and a portion of the Trinity River basin downstream of Lewiston Dam. The majority of the area is within the Trinity Lake unit of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area.

The boundary of the viticultural area begins north of Carrville at Derrick Flat, runs east across the Trinity River, continues south and southwest past Trinity and Lewiston dams and the town of Lewiston, and crosses the Trinity River near the mouth of Neaman Gulch. The boundary then runs north and northeast back past the two dams and the town of Trinity Center, returning to the beginning point at Derrick Flat. The approved USGS maps used for determining the boundary of the area are listed in paragraph (b) of the final rule below.

The boundaries of the Trinity Lakes viticultural area are discussed in detail in paragraph (c) of the final rule shown below.

Growing Conditions/Geographical Features

The petitioner indicated that rugged, steep, timbered ridges dropping into Trinity and Lewiston Lakes and the Trinity River basin characterize the area's topography. The Bureau of Land Start Printed Page 9530Reclamation stated that Trinity Lake's surface covers 16,535 acres, while Lewiston Lake covers 750 acres, for a total of 17,285 acres of lake surface water. The filling of the lakes has left small, narrow valleys around the lakes, which are suitable for viticulture.

The large surface area of the two lakes moderates the viticultural area's climate, bringing cooler days and warmer nights to the narrow valleys and the Trinity River basin. The petition cited a 70-year local resident's claim that there is less snow and sub-freezing weather and more fog than before the lakes were created. This provides, according to the petitioner, a uniquely situated and moderated grape-growing region. Other potential grape-growing areas, located further from the lakes and outside the Trinity Lakes viticultural area, have a similar mountainous climate, but no moderating lake influence.

The petitioner indicated that the agricultural soils of the viticultural area are on well-drained alluvial fans in narrow valleys on stream terraces. This contrasts with surrounding Trinity County areas, which have wider valley floors and deeper soils with higher clay content.

Boundary Description

See the narrative boundary description of the viticultural area in the regulatory text published at the end of this notice.

Maps

The petitioner provided the required maps, and we list them below in the regulatory text published at the end of this document.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and TTB Finding

TTB published a notice of proposed rulemaking for the establishment of the Trinity Lakes viticultural area in the December 17, 2003, Federal Register as Notice No. 24 (68 FR 70215). In that notice, we requested comments from all interested persons by February 17, 2004. We received no comments.

After careful review, TTB finds that the evidence submitted with the petition supports the establishment of the Trinity Lakes viticultural area. Therefore, under the authority of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and part 4 of our regulations, we establish the “Trinity Lakes” viticultural area in Trinity County, California, effective 60 days from this document's publication date.

Impact on Current Wine Labels

Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. With the establishment of this viticultural area and its inclusion in part 9 of the TTB regulations, its name, “Trinity Lakes,” is recognized as a name of viticultural significance. Consequently, wine bottlers using “Trinity Lakes” in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, must ensure that the product is eligible to use the viticultural area's name as an appellation of origin.

For a wine to be eligible to use as an appellation of origin the name of a viticultural area specified in part 9 of the TTB regulations, at least 85 percent of the grapes used to make the wine must have been grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(3). If the wine is not eligible to use the viticultural area name as an appellation of origin and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the viticultural area name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label.

Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing a viticultural area name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

We certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name is the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

Executive Order 12866

This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735). Therefore, it requires no regulatory assessment.

Drafting Information

Rita Butler of the Regulations and Procedures Division drafted this final rule document.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

End List of Subjects

Regulatory Amendment

Start Amendment Part

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we amend 27 CFR, chapter 1, part 9 as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Part

PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205.

End Authority

Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas

Start Amendment Part

2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.184 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Trinity Lakes.

(a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Trinity Lakes”.

(b) Approved Maps. The appropriate maps for determining the boundary of the Trinity Lakes viticultural area are 11 1:24,000 scale USGS topographic maps. They are titled:

(1) Carrville, Calif. Provisional Edition 1986;

(2) Whisky Bill Peak, Calif. Provisional Edition 1986;

(3) Damnation Peak, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(4) Trinity Center, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(5) Papoose Creek, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(6) Trinity Dam, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(7) Lewiston, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(8) Weaverville, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(9) Rush Creek Lakes, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982;

(10) Siligo Peak, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982; and

(11) Covington Mill, Calif. Provisional Edition 1982.

(c) Boundary. The Trinity Lakes viticultural area is located in Trinity County in northern California. The boundary encompasses Trinity Lake and Lewiston Lake, both within the Trinity Lake unit of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, and a portion of the Trinity River basin below Lewiston Dam.

(1) The beginning point is on the Carrville, California, quadrangle map on township line T38N/T37N at the northwest corner of section 5, T37N/R7W, near the Trinity River at Derrick Flat;

(2) From the beginning point, follow township line T38N/T37N due east to Start Printed Page 9531the northeast corner of section 5, T37N/R7W;

(3) Proceed due south on the eastern boundary of sections 5, 8, 17, and 20 to the northwest corner of section 28, T37N/R7W, near Snow Gulch;

(4) Follow the northern boundary of section 28, T37N/R7W, due east to the section's northeast corner;

(5) Continue due south on the eastern boundary of sections 28 and 33, T37N/R7W, to township line T37N/T36N at the northeast corner of section 4, T36N/R7W;

(6) Proceed due east on township line T37N/T36N onto the Whisky Bill Peak, California quadrangle map to the R7W/R6W range line at the southwest corner of section 31, T37N/R6W, near the East Fork of the Trinity River;

(7) Follow the R7W/R6W range line due north to the northwest corner of section 30, T37N/R6W;

(8) Continue due east along the northern boundary of section 30, T37N/R6W, to the section's northeast corner;

(9) Proceed due south on the eastern boundary of sections 30 and 31, T37N/R6W, and sections 6 and 7, T36N/R6W, and continue onto the Damnation Peak, California, quadrangle map to the southeast corner of section 7;

(10) Follow the southern boundary of section 7, T36N/R6W, and section 12, T36N/R7W, due west onto the Trinity Center, California, quadrangle map to the northeast corner of section 14, T36N/R7W;

(11) Continue due south along the eastern boundary of sections 14, 23, 26, and 35, T36N/R7W, to the boundary's intersection with township line T36N/T35N at the southeast corner of section 35;

(12) Proceed due west along township line T36N/T35N approximately 0.5 mile to the township line's intersection with the 900-meter contour line;

(13) Follow the meandering 900-meter contour line generally west through sections 35 and 34, T36N/R7W; cross the T36N/T35N township line and continue generally southwest on the contour line around Linton Ridge, through Bridge Gulch, Bragdon Gulch, and around Feeny Ridge; cross onto the Papoose Creek, California, quadrangle map and continue southwesterly to the contour line's first intersection with a line marked “NAT RECREATION BDY INDEFINITE,” approximately 2,000 feet north of Feeny Gulch;

(14) Continue easterly on the 900-meter contour line over Feeny Gulch; then proceed southwesterly on the meandering contour line across Van Ness Creek, both Bear Gulches, Langdon Gulch, Digger Gulch, around Fairview Ridge, along the northern side of Papoose Arm, and over the North, East, and South Forks of Papoose Creek; continue westerly on the contour line along the southern side of Papoose Arm to the contour line's intersection with Little Papoose Creek in section 24, T34N/R8W;

(15) Continue generally west along the meandering 900-meter contour line through sections 24, 23, 14, and 15, T34N/R8W; cross onto the Trinity Dam, California, quadrangle map and continue on the contour line through sections 15 and 22; pass back onto the Papoose Creek map and follow the contour line through sections 22, 23, and 22 again; then cross back onto the Trinity Dam map and follow the contour line to its intersection with the southern boundary of section 22, T34N/R8W;

(16) Proceed due west along the southern boundary of section 22 to the northeast corner of section 28, T34N/R8W;

(17) Follow the eastern boundary of sections 28 and 33, T34W/R8W, and section 4, T33N/R8W, due south onto the Lewiston, California, quadrangle map, and continue due south on the eastern boundary of sections 4, 9, 16, and 21 to the southeast corner of section 21, T33N/R8W;

(18) Then proceed due west along the southern boundary of sections 21 and 20 to the northeast corner of section 30, T33N/R8W;

(19) Follow the eastern boundary of section 30, T33N/R8W, due south to the section's southeast corner;

(20) Continue due west along the southern boundary of section 30, T33N/R8W, and sections 25 and 26, T33N/R9W, to the northeast corner of section 34, T33N/R9W;

(21) Proceed due south on the eastern boundary of section 34, T33N/R9W, and section 3, T32N/R9W, to the southeast corner of section 3 near Tom Lang Gulch;

(22) Follow the southern boundary of section 3, T32N/R9W, due west onto the Weaverville, California, quadrangle map, and continue west along the southern boundary of sections 3, 4, and 5, T32N/R9W, to the southwest corner of section 5;

(23) Then proceed due north along the western boundary of section 5, T32N/R9W, for approximately 0.8 mile to its intersection with the 700-meter contour line;

(24) Follow the 700-meter contour line generally northwest through section 5, T32N/R9W, and then through sections 32, 31, 32 again, 29, and 28, T33N/R9W, to the contour line's intersection with the northern boundary of section 28;

(25) Proceed due east along the northern boundary of section 28 across Limekiln Gulch and China Gulch to the southwest corner of section 22, T33N/R9W;

(26) Follow the western boundary of section 22, T33N/R9W, due north to the section's northwest corner;

(27) Then continue due east along the northern boundary of section 22, T33N/R9W, onto the Lewiston map to the section's northeast corner;

(28) Proceed due north on the western boundary of section 14, T33N/R9W, to the section's northwest corner;

(29) Follow the northern boundary of sections 14 and 13, T33N/R9W, due east to the R9W/R8W range line at the northeast corner of section 13;

(30) Then proceed due north along the R9W/R8W range line onto the Trinity Dam map, and continue along the range line to the southeast corner of section 1, R9W/T34N, near Smith Gulch;

(31) Continue due west along the southern boundary of section 1, T34N/R9W, for approximately 0.3 mile to its intersection with the 900-meter contour line;

(32) Follow the meandering 900-meter contour line generally west over Tannery Gulch and around Tannery Ridge, cross onto the Rush Creek Lakes, California, quadrangle map, and continue along the 900-meter contour line to its intersection with Slate Creek in section 4, T34N/R9W;

(33) Using the Rush Creek Lakes and Trinity Dam maps, follow the contour line generally northeast from Slate Creek, crossing Irish Gulch in section 3, T34N/R9W, (crossing back and forth between the two maps three times) to the contour line's intersection with township line T34N/T35N at the northern boundary of section 3, T34N/R9W, on the Trinity Dam map;

(34) Continue generally northwest on the meandering 900-meter contour line and cross onto the Rush Creek Lakes map in section 34, T35N/R9W; continue northwesterly on the contour line over Cummings Creek, Bear Gulch, Snowslide Gulch, Sawmill Creek, and Van Matre Creek; cross onto the Siligo Peak, California, quadrangle map and continue generally northwest on the 900-meter contour line over Middle Creek and Owens Creek to the contour line's intersection with Stuart Fork;

(35) Continue generally southeast on the 900-meter contour line over Fire Camp Creek, Lightning Creek, and Sunday Creek; cross onto the Rush Creek Lakes map and continue generally southeast on the contour line over Elk Gulch and Trinity Alps Creek; cross onto the Trinity Dam map in section 27, T35N/R9W, and proceed easterly along Start Printed Page 9532the contour line to its intersection with the eastern boundary of section 27, T35N/R9W;

(36) Continue generally north along the 900-meter contour line through sections 26 and 23, T35N/R9W, cross onto the Covington Mill, California, quadrangle map in section 23, T35N/R9W, and continue northerly along the contour line to its intersection with Stoney Creek in the same section;

(37) From Stoney Creek, continue generally south on the 900-meter contour line, cross back onto the Trinity Dam map in section 23, T35N/R9W, and continue southerly on the contour line through sections 23, 26, and 35 to the contour line's intersection with the eastern boundary of section 35, T35N/R9W, near that section's northeast corner;

(38) Continue generally northeast on the meandering 900-meter contour line over Telephone Ridge, Buck Gulch, and Buck Ridge; cross onto the Covington Mill map in section 19, T35N/R8W, and continue northwesterly along the contour line across Mule Creek and Snowslide Gulch in section 13, T35N/R9W; continue on the contour line, cross Little Mule Creek in section 18, T35N/R8W, and continue southeasterly on the contour line to its intersection with a line marked “TRANS LINE SINGLE WOOD POLES” in section 20, T35N/R8W;

(39) Continue generally northeast along the 900-meter contour line through sections 20 and 17, T35N/R8W, and cross Strope Creek, Mosquito Gulch, Greenhorn Gulch, Taylor Gulch, Stuart Fork (in section 5, T35N/R8W), and Davis Creek; cross onto the Trinity Center map in section 35, T36/R8W, and continue on the contour line to its intersection with the northern boundary of that section;

(40) Proceed due east along the northern boundary of sections 35 and 36, T36N/R8W, to the R8W/R7W range line at the northeast corner of section 36;

(41) Follow the R8W/R7W range line due north onto the Carrville map and continue along the range line to its intersection with township line T38N/T37N at the northwest corner of section 6, T37N/R7W; and

(42) Proceed due east along township line T38N/T37N and return to the beginning point at the northwest corner of section 5, T37N/R7W.

Start Signature

Signed: December 28, 2004.

Arthur J. Libertucci,

Administrator.

Dated: January 31, 2005.

Timothy E. Skud,

Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-3714 Filed 2-25-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-31-P