[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 187 (Tuesday, September 26, 2000)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57763-57770]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-24667]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

27 CFR Part 9

[Notice No. 903]
RIN 1512-AA07


California Coast Viticultural Area (2000R-166P)

AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has received 
a petition proposing the establishment of a viticultural area located 
along the coast of California. The proposed California Coast 
viticultural area would consist of 22,000 square miles, or 14 million 
acres of that land which the petitioner states is subject to maritime 
influences and which is warm enough for commercial premium winegrape 
growth.

DATES: Written comments must be received by December 26, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Chief, Regulations Division, 
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, P.O. Box 50221, Washington, DC 
20091-0221 (Attn: Notice No. 903). Copies of the petition, the proposed 
regulations, the appropriate maps, and any written comments received 
will be available for public inspection during normal business hours at 
ATF Reading Room, Office of Public Affairs and Disclosure, Room 6480, 
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Busey, Regulations Division, 
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20226 (202) 927-8095.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    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 Title 27, CFR, 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 4.25a(e)(2) 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 include:
    (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 57764]]

    (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 
boundaries prominently marked.

Petition

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has received a 
petition from the ``California Coast Alliance'' proposing the 
establishment of a viticultural area located along the coast of 
California. It would include and join together currently established 
``coast'' viticultural areas but would not cover the entire California 
Pacific coast. The proposed California Coast viticultural area would 
consist of 22,000 square miles, or 14 million acres of that land which 
the petitioner states is subject to maritime influences and which is 
warm enough for commercial premium winegrape growth. This proposed 
viticultural area would be consistent in size with other large areas 
(i.e. the Ohio River Valley, containing approximately 30,000 square 
miles, the Texas Hill Country, consisting of 15,000 square miles, and 
the Texas High Plains containing approximately 12,000 square miles).

Label Issue

    Presently there are a number of wineries that use the term 
``Coastal'' as additional information on their wine labels. ATF has no 
formal definition or criteria for the use of this term. These wine 
labels may also bear a recognized appellation such as ``California.'' 
The question that now arises is, if this viticultural area is approved, 
would ATF consider a label bearing the designation ``California Coast'' 
(as a viticultural area designation) and another label stating 
``California'' as the appellation in direct conjunction with the term 
``Coastal'' to be confusing. Would the establishment of this 
viticultural area foreclose the use of the term ``Coastal'' on labels 
not eligible for this viticultural area designation? The petitioners 
themselves have suggested that the unregulated use of the term 
``Coastal'' on a label bearing the appellation California is misleading 
to the consumer. ATF is looking for specific comments on this situation 
and how the approval of this viticultural area should effect the future 
use of the term ``Coastal.''

Evidence That the Name of the Area Is Locally or Nationally Known

    According to the petitioners, the name, ``California Coast'' is 
universally recognized. The petitioners point out that on a map of 
California, the state has, on the western edge, one long rugged 
coastline next to a relatively narrow area of flatter land, which is 
itself bordered, on the east, by a long, nearly continuous string of 
mountains known as the Coast Ranges. The other side of the Coast Ranges 
is accompanied by a long, north-south, interior strip of continental 
mass distinguished by the hot Central Valley and, east of that basin, 
the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada Range. The petitioners cite 
numerous books referring to ``the California Coast'' and the 
``California Coastal'' region.
    The petitioners claim that substantial evidence supports the 
common, widespread, and historical usage of the ``California Coast'' 
name and demonstrates that the term ``California Coast'' is sometimes 
used to cover the entire California coastal area from Mexico up to 
Oregon, and is sometimes used to cover much smaller portions of the 
coastal area of the state, depending on the subject matter at hand. 
Finally, the petitioners point out that of all the documentation 
reviewed for this petition, none of it includes in the description of 
``Coast'' areas, any portion of California which is east of the 
California Coast, Transverse, and Peninsular Ranges.

Proposed Limitations on the Proposed Viticultural Area

    The petitioners cite several references that support the early 
production of wines in missions which extended along the California 
Coast and fall within the boundaries of this proposed AVA. The 
historical evidence indicates the establishment of a chain of missions 
by the Spanish Franciscan monks extending from San Diego to their 
northernmost mission in Sonoma County but not all the way up the 
northern part of the coast of California. The petitioners have 
presented considerable evidence tracing the roots of this grape growing 
and wine production from the early settling of these missions along the 
California coast (A History of Wine in America by Thomas Pinney). There 
are many references in historical books written by noted wine experts 
that support the early production of wines in these missions which 
extended along the California Coast and fall within the boundaries of 
this AVA (see historical discussions by wine experts in The Wine 
Regions of America, by John J. Baxevanis (Vinifera Wine Journal 1992) 
at 257-8; Winemaking in California, by Teiser and Harroun (McGraw-Hill 
1983) at 1-3; General Viticulture, by A.J. Winkler at 2-4; The World 
Atlas of Wine, by Hugh Johnson at 226; and Wine, by Amerine and 
Singleton (U.C. Press 1977) at 281-3.) In addition, the petitioners 
seek to coordinate the proposed ``California Coast'' viticultural area 
with the existing boundaries of the current North, Central, South, and 
Sonoma Coast viticultural areas in California along with the previously 
unconnected coastal areas which link the existing ``Coast'' 
viticultural areas. According to the petitioners, the northern, 
southern, and eastern boundaries set by these ``Coast'' viticultural 
areas correspond with the unique Mediterranean coastal climate which 
permits the commercial growth of premium winegrapes in the coastal area 
of California. Moreover, according to the petitioners, above the North 
Coast viticultural area northern boundary, the area becomes subject, to 
a higher degree, to the Arctic storm pattern and can no longer be 
characterized as ``Mediterranean.'' The petitioner states that this 
marine-influenced climate extends west to east from the shoreline to 
the first large barrier to marine influence, or the California Coast 
Ranges. The petitioners note that evidence must be provided to 
establish that ``the name is locally and/or nationally known as 
referring to the area specified in the appellation,'' not that a name 
for a viticultural area be locally or nationally known within the wine 
industry. The petitioners state that the name ``California Coast'' not 
only refers to the dominant physical characteristic of the petitioned 
area and to the name for which the area is best known, but corresponds 
directly to California wine history, climate data, and relevant 
information from wine experts.
    According to the petitioner, because of the climate data and the 
historical distinctions of the proposed area, it is logical to end the 
``California Coast'' viticultural area at the same point as the North 
Coast viticultural area. The petitioners do not feel that the name is 
misleading for not covering the area north of Mendocino County, since 
this term has been used by many others to cover several different 
portions of the California coast, as well as the entire coastline. The 
petitioners believe that if

[[Page 57765]]

this could be considered misleading, then the North Coast viticultural 
area must also be renamed, because it stops at the identical location 
in Mendocino County and does not cover the entire area of the northern 
coast of California.
    The petitioners apply the same logic to the consideration of the 
appropriate eastern boundary of the proposed ``California Coast'' 
viticultural area. The petitioners seek to establish the proposed area 
at exactly the same eastern boundaries as the North Coast, Central 
Coast, and the South Coast (with areas of joinder in between).

Historical or Current Evidence That the Boundaries of the 
Viticultural Area Are as Specified in the Petition

    According to the petitioners, there is a definite and clear 
historical basis for establishing the proposed ``California Coast'' 
viticultural area. The petitioners claim that not only are there clear 
and important historical events which tie this area together, but these 
events are directly linked to the development of grape cultivation and 
to the beginning of the wine industry in the coastal regions of 
California, and directly correspond to the proposed area. According to 
the petitioner, the geographical area of ``missionized'' California 
very nearly matches the petitioned area. The petitioner claims that the 
mission chain formed the backbone for California's historical heritage, 
and is well known even today. The petitioners provided references 
relating to historical discussions by wine experts.
    According to the petitioner, the history of California, and of its 
winemaking industry, have been deeply affected by its long Pacific 
coastline and its mild coastal weather. According to the petitioner, 
the area along the coast subject to ``complete missionization'' was the 
only area in which grapes were grown for the production of wine, and 
was the only area where California wines were available for 65 years.
    Today, according to the petitioners, the area included within the 
proposed ``California Coast'' boundaries contains more than 468 
wineries and well over 145,000 acres of vineyards. The petitioners 
state that wineries and winegrape vineyards abound up and down the 
``California Coast'' area in varying densities, hampered only by a few 
localized and inhospitable extreme marine microclimates, some very 
steep elevations in the coastal hills, and by the state's population 
centers. According to the petitioners, these areas, known as coastal 
regions, all have very similar weather patterns, typified by cooling 
ocean breezes and fogs moving inland from the west, until they reach 
the barrier presented by the California Coast Ranges. The petitioners 
state that these same general climatic patterns prevail to support the 
growth of the many varietal grapes which are used to produce premium 
dry wines.

Existing Coast Boundaries

    The petitioners are proposing to retain the same eastern boundaries 
for the proposed ``California Coast'' viticultural area as the current 
three ``Coast'' viticultural area boundaries and to unify these 
boundaries by filling in the areas between the North and Central 
Coasts, and between the Central Coast and the South Coast viticultural 
areas.
    In order to complete the closure of the area between the North and 
the Central Coasts, the petitioners propose including those counties 
that are included in the San Francisco Bay viticultural area and the 
recently expanded Central Coast viticultural area. See, 27 CFR 9.75 and 
9.157. This includes all of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, 
Alameda, and Contra Costa counties. The petitioners are incorporating 
into the ``California Coast'' petition the reasoning of the San 
Francisco Bay and the amended Central Coast petition in seeking to 
include the same geographical area in the proposed ``California Coast'' 
viticultural area. See, 64 FR 3015 (Jan. 20, 1999). In addition, the 
petitioners are proposing to include the entire Marin County since it 
has the same general geography and coastal climate as the counties in 
the rest of the ``Coast'' viticultural areas. According to the 
petitioners, Marin County is affected by the ocean both by its long 
coastline, and also by its border on the San Francisco Bay. In support 
of this proposal, the petitioners cite The Wine Spectator's Wine 
Country Guide to California. This guide includes Marin County in its 
wine map of the San Francisco Bay area. Finally, the petitioners claim 
that the information found in the San Francisco Bay petition and 
supporting documents provides justification for placing Marin County 
fully into the proposed ``California Coast'' viticultural area. In the 
San Francisco Bay and Central Coast proposals, the Central Coast AVA is 
extended north to the Golden Gate Bridge, the northern edge of San 
Francisco County. According to the petitioners, Marin County, which has 
traditionally been considered part of the north coast area, is 
partially excluded from the North Coast viticultural area and 
completely excluded from the San Francisco Bay viticultural area. The 
petitioners feel that there are no practical or logical reasons to 
exclude Marin County from the proposed ``California Coast'' 
viticultural area since it has historical and present-day wine industry 
presence and virtually identical climate.
    The proposed eastern boundary line, between the North Coast 
viticultural area and the San Francisco Bay viticultural area, would 
connect the towns Fairfield and Martinez by recognizable boundary 
markers. The rest of the boundary gap would follow the alignment of the 
Central Coast AVA and the same line as the San Francisco Bay 
viticultural area.
    Between the Central and South Coast viticultural areas, the western 
boundary would follow the coastline between the two existing 
viticultural areas. The eastern boundary would take in the Oxnard/
Malibu/Los Angeles/San Gabriel/Pasadena/Anaheim area. In addition, the 
petitioners feel that it is important to include the Los Angeles area 
in the proposed ``California Coast'' AVA because of this region's 
preeminence as the birthplace of the California wine industry, and 
because of its strong performance into this century as a producer of 
wines.

Evidence Relating to the Geographical Features (Climate, Soil, 
Elevation, Physical Features, Etc.) Which Distinguish Viticultural 
Features of the Proposed Area From Surrounding Areas

    According to the petitioner, the land within the proposed 
``California Coast'' viticultural area possesses a similar climate and 
geography along its length, in that this area is strongly affected by 
its proximity to coastal climate patterns, and shares the Mediterranean 
pattern of wet winters, dry summers, and cool marine influence. Climate 
and geography are deeply interconnected along the California coast. The 
petitioners stated that there is a great difference between the 
geography and climate of the coast area and the inland parts of 
California. Because of the geological barriers presented by the 
topography of California, the climate patterns tend to run west to 
east, depending upon their proximity to the ocean, and are not so much 
a function of north-south latitude as is true in most of the rest of 
the country.
    The petitioners state that the California coast was created through 
several different processes: geologic upheaval, the draining of a large 
inland sea, and marine terracing. As a result, there is a great variety 
of different types of rocks and soils along the entire coastline. 
Variations are great even in very short distances along in the coast 
area, and within each of the existing ``Coast'' viticultural areas. The

[[Page 57766]]

petitioners cite various references including Professor A. J. Winkler 
indicating that a number of grape varieties of the highest quality 
produce excellent wines when grown on a number of quite different soil 
types with climate being the largest determinant variable.
    As an example, the petitioners cite Napa Valley as geographically 
containing an incredible mix of soil series varying dramatically 
between its southern and northern boundaries. The petitioners state 
that Napa Valley contains 36 soil series within its boundaries. The 
petitioners also cite the Alexander Valley viticultural area, 
containing 30 soil series.
    As additional support, the petitioners note the strongly 
distinguished soils of the Central Valley, on the eastern side of the 
California Coast Ranges. This former inland sea, possesses highly 
fertile land. The soil is now rich river deposit, fertile and flat. 
According to the petitioners, these conditions are totally different in 
the Central Valley from those among the coastal hills. The Central 
Valley soils, combined with the very hot summers in the Valley, cause 
the grape vines to ``go into overdrive producing excessive foliage and 
bland grapes.''
    According to the petitioners, the soils information provides 
certain consolidating evidence as to the acidic soils of the coast and 
their distinction from the kinds of soils found in the Central Valley, 
while the geological data very strongly establishes the existence of a 
distinct coast of California, with a unique history, and entirely 
distinguishable land formations.

Climate of the California Coast

    According to the petitioners, the coast of California has a unique 
climate in the United States and in most of the world, and despite its 
size, can specifically be distinguished from the surrounding areas. 
Further, the petitioners state that it is directly a result of the 
climate that the California coast has been demarked by enologists, 
vintners, and wine writers as a source of most of the premium varietal 
grapes in the United States, in contrast with the Central Valley, which 
lies on the far side of the Coast Ranges. According to the petitioners, 
most American enologists agree that climate has the greatest influence 
on the quality of wines produced in a particular area.
    The California coast climate is generally classified as 
Mediterranean. According to the petitioners, only one percent of the 
world has this climate, and the area consisting of approximately the 
lower two thirds of the California coast is the only part of the United 
States that has this climate. The main reasons for this are the effects 
of the ocean itself, the existence of the ``Pacific High'' off the 
California coast, and the inland barrier presented by the coastal 
mountain chains. According to Weather of Southern California by Harry 
P. Bailey, ``It is highly significant that all areas of Mediterranean 
climate are located between the 30th and 45th parallels of latitude, 
and are on the western borders of the land masses of which they are a 
part.'' The proposed viticultural area would lie between the 32nd and 
39th parallels of latitude.
    According to the petitioners, the Pacific Ocean water cools and 
heats more slowly than land. It raises air temperatures in the winter 
and lowers them in the summer. Thus, the coast never becomes as hot or 
cold as regions several miles to the east. According to the 
petitioners, summer weather results in an often foggy coast, while it 
is hot in the Central Valley. Places near the coast experience 
remarkably uniform temperatures while the inland areas (such as San 
Joaquin Valley) are out of the fogs, and temperature ranges broaden 
considerably.
    The petitioners state that the California coast is not cooled by 
sea air alone. The California Current, which runs southward along the 
coastline, brings cold waters from the north. Beginning in about March, 
the California current is driven offshore resulting in the dense 
morning fogs pulled inland by the rising heat of the Central Valley. 
This same effect occurs up and down the coast, although Southern 
California is tempered by warmer air from the south.
    According to the petitioners, late in the Fall, the ocean reaches 
its peak temperatures, and the Pacific High begins to weaken and to 
move south with the seasonal path of the sun, ceasing its cooling 
effect on the California coast area. The extreme Central Valley 
temperature drop, and the cessation of cold bottom water upwelling 
along the coast, contributes to the coastal fog bank no longer 
occurring. The cool coastal summer weather pattern breaks, and the 
grape harvest takes place during the sunny September and October 
months.
    According to the petitioners, the whole proposed ``California 
Coast'' area has a very similar air-conditioned climate. Further, 
temperatures over the ocean vary less than over the land, and the 
prevailing westerly winds give the California coast relatively moderate 
temperatures year round. The petitioners state that it is the location 
of the land near the coast that distinguishes the temperate climate, as 
opposed to the latitudinal location of a portion of the coast. In other 
words, San Diego is closer to San Jose in climate than it is to the hot 
Central Valley, because of its location on the coast.
    According to the petitioners, the distinction between the land from 
Mendocino County south, and the far northern coast above that spot, 
results from the strong polar air mass which moves down from Alaska 
through Washington, Oregon, and into the top portion of Northern 
California. Because of the presence of the much colder polar air in the 
northernmost part of California, the northern line of the existing 
North Coast viticultural area generally is the upper limit to the 
Mediterranean climate. The wetter climate similar to western Washington 
extends down along the Coast Ranges well into California, with rainfall 
decreasing in a southerly direction. The petitioners cite The Wine 
Regions of California, indicating that the climatic ``line'' is drawn 
at the top of Mendocino County, since the two dominating agricultural 
climates (Mediterranean and desert) are distinguished from the humid 
upland climate (north of Mendocino County). In addition, The Wine Atlas 
of California notes that Lake and Mendocino Valleys sit at the edge of 
the Aleutian winter storm track. For this same reason, the petitioners 
propose limiting the California Coast AVA to the same northern line as 
the existing North Coast viticultural area.
    According to the petitioners, late in the Spring, masses of air are 
pushed from behind by the Pacific High, and pulled up from the land by 
the heating of the Central Valley and other warm inland areas. This air 
mass begins to move toward the land with increasing speed. Because of 
the Coriolis effect, the air turns, and when it hits the western edge 
of the land, the air moves from a north-westerly direction, often 
parallel to the slant of the coastline. This air is prevented from 
moving inland by the wall of the Coast Range, and moves south down the 
coast and into any openings or valleys along the coast. According to 
the petitioners, the air is cooled off after it hits the upwelling cold 
ocean water, and so cools the California coast as well with the fog 
drying out as it moves inland and as the air warms.
    According to the petitioners, the Coast Ranges generally contain 
the cool oceanic breezes and the moist fog along the coastline to the 
west of the mountains. The petitioners state that the influence of the 
California coast diminishes rapidly as the marine air reaches the 
physical barrier of the Coast Ranges in the north, and the Transverse

[[Page 57767]]

and Peninsular Ranges in the south. The petitioners cited, The Weather 
of Southern California, which graphically demonstrates that the coastal 
sector, or the western side of the mountains, is substantially wetter, 
cooler, and cloudier than the interior. The petitioners state that 
these mountains also greatly reduce the amount of precipitation east of 
their crests, and tend to cause the rain to fall on the westerly 
slopes.
    According to the petitioners, regions of the coast have climates 
markedly different than interior climates found at the same latitude. 
As the exhibits displaying the cutaway views of the coast of California 
demonstrate, the marine air crosses the flatter strip of land next to 
the ocean, and generally is stopped by the first significant barrier 
that it reaches. In the case of the coast of California, the first 
significant barrier that is reached along the coast is the upper 
elevations of the Coast Ranges. As the above discussion of the Pacific 
High displays, the cool air moves south along the Coast Ranges, and 
into the valleys and gaps along the coast.
    The petitioners state that, by contrast, the Central Valley lies 
away from the climate influences of the coast. The influence of the 
coast diminishes rapidly as the marine air reaches the physical barrier 
of the Coast Range. As the marine air crosses the flatter strip of land 
next to the ocean, it is generally stopped by the first significant 
barrier that it reaches, which is the upper elevations of the coastal 
mountain ranges. This explains why the coast sector, or the western 
side of the mountains, is substantially wetter, cooler, and cloudier 
than the interior. Coastal regions have climates markedly different 
than interior climates found at the same latitude.
    In comparison, the Central Valley lies on the far side of the Coast 
Ranges. Far inland from marine influence, the Central Valley is warmer 
than the coast in summer and colder in winter. Thus, the petitioners 
state that the climatic contrast between the coast and interior is 
marked in California.
    According to the petitioners, the proposed California Coast 
viticultural area has ``coastal Mediterranean'' climatic 
characteristics: the cool summer weather reaches maximum warmth in 
September; the winters are wet, mild, and relatively frost-free; and 
the temperature fluctuations are minimal. The summers are generally 
dry, with a high percentage of sunny days. According to the 
petitioners, the coast has higher humidity year-round, while places 
farther from the ocean will tend to have less of a damp, marine climate 
and more of a dry, continental climate.
    The petitioners state that this weather pattern is quite special, 
for the world distribution of the Mediterranean climate is sparse.
    According to the petitioners, the Coast Range mountains catch the 
coastal moisture, permitting the Pacific Ocean to dominate the climate 
on the western side of the Coast Ranges. The moist air crosses the 
coastal strip and pushes up the mountain slopes, and its moisture is 
squeezed out as rain (occasionally snow at the highest elevations). 
Once over the top, the air is dry and warms rapidly as it drops down 
into the Central Valley. According to the petitioners, during the 
Summer, the dry heat of the Central Valley acts as a vacuum, sucking 
the cool marine air through the San Francisco Bay and other smaller 
gaps in the coastal mountain ranges. The petitioners state that this is 
one of the reasons that the cool westerly winds keep the California 
coast air-conditioned.
    According to the petitioners, the same general pattern is followed 
in southern California. The petitioners state that as with the northern 
California coast climate, ``the climate becomes warmer, drier, and more 
sunny as distance from the coast increases. These tendencies, though, 
are true only for lowlands. If the sea-to-interior movement involves 
crossing mountains, as it must with only a few exceptions, then the 
effects of altitude are also encountered.'' And, as with the northern 
California coast, the southern California coast is known for its 
Mediterranean climate. ``It is a common misconception that north means 
cool and south means hot. California's temperatures do not depend on 
latitude but on an area's proximity to the coast. There are parts of 
southern California, around San Diego, that are cooler than the 
Sacramento Valley in northern California.'' The petitioners cite 
Grossman's Guide to Beer, Wine, and Spirits, for this statement. Thus, 
according to the petitioners, although Southern California is generally 
warmer than Northern California, the coast of the state which possess 
the Mediterranean climate possess substantially common characteristics 
which are not shared by the rest of the state, and which are extremely 
significant for winegrape growing purposes.
    The petitioners claim that the cooling wind flow pattern is also 
reflected by precipitation and temperature. According to the 
petitioners, Coastline valleys are characterized by a gradual decrease 
in humidity as the marine air travels away from the coast.
    Some of the most complete temperature data is collected and stored 
at the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC). This Federal government 
entity is the repository for weather data collected by the National 
Weather Service (NWS), an agency within the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Since the time that this cooperative 
observer network has collected data, there have been over 3,000 
stations that have contributed data. Some of the data available from 
the WRCC reports degree days using various base temperatures ranging 
from 50  deg.F to 65  deg.F. The petitioners used a base temperature of 
50  deg.F, as Professor Winkler did for his computations, to closely 
approximate cumulative results for grapes. They totaled the data 
extracted from the WRCC database adjusted for the time period of April 
1st through November 1st for stations both inside and outside the 
proposed AVA. They then applied this data to each station, after 
plotting these stations using their latitude and longitude coordinates, 
and then overlaid the information on a map of California which is part 
of this petition. This map illustrates that the California Coast area 
is cooler than the inland areas when using the five degree day ranges.

Public Participation--Written Comments

    In accordance with ATF regulations at 27 CFR 9.3, ATF requests 
comments from all interested persons, as to whether it should establish 
the California Coast viticultural area in accordance with the above 
described petition submitted by the ``California Coast Alliance.'' 
Because geographic features, including climate, which distinguish the 
viticultural features of the proposed area from the surrounding areas 
is an important consideration in establishing a viticultural area, ATF 
is especially interested in comments on this topic, particularly on 
whether the climate within the proposed viticultural area is 
distinctive. Comments received on or before the closing date will be 
carefully considered. Comments received after that date will be given 
the same consideration if it is practical to do so. However, assurance 
of consideration can only be given to comments received on or before 
the closing date.
    ATF will not recognize any submitted material as confidential and 
comments may be disclosed to the public. Any material that the 
commenter considers to be confidential or inappropriate for disclosure 
to the public should not be included in the comments. The name of

[[Page 57768]]

the person submitting a comment is not exempt from disclosure.
    Comments may be submitted by facsimile transmission to (202) 927-
8602, provided the comments: (1) Are legible; (2) are 8\1/2\"  x  11" 
in size, (3) contain a written signature, and (4) are three pages or 
less in length. This limitation is necessary to assure reasonable 
access to the equipment. Comments sent by FAX in excess of three pages 
will not be accepted. Receipt of FAX transmittals will not be 
acknowledged. Facsimile transmitted comments will be treated as 
originals.
    Any person who desires an opportunity to comment orally at a public 
hearing on the proposed regulation should submit his or her request, in 
writing, to the Director within the 60-day comment period. The 
Director, however, reserves the right to determine, in light of all 
circumstances, whether a public hearing will be held.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507 (j)) and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, do not 
apply to this notice because there are no new or revised recordkeeping 
or reporting requirements being proposed. No new requirement to collect 
information is proposed.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    It is hereby certified that this proposed regulation will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. 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 a particular area. No new requirements are proposed. 
Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed regulation is not a 
significant regulatory action as defined in 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 Tom Busey, Regulations 
Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Administrative practice and procedure, Consumer protection, and 
Wine.

Authority and Issuance

    Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 9, American 
Viticultural Areas, is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 9--AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS

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

    Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205.

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

    Par. 2. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec. 9.171 to read as 
follows:
* * * * *


Sec. 9.171  California Coast.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``California Coast.''
    (b) Approved maps. The appropriate maps for determining the 
boundary of the California Coast viticultural area are the following 
sixty-two U.S.G.S. Topographic maps. They are titled:
    (1) Santa Rosa, dated 1958, (Revised 1970).
    (2) San Francisco, dated 1956, (Revised 1980).
    (3) Santa Ana, dated 1959, (Revised 1979).
    (4) San Luis Obispo, dated 1956, (Revised 1969).
    (5) Monterey, dated 1974.
    (6) San Diego, dated 1958, (Revised 1978).
    (7) San Bernardino, dated 1958, (Revised 1969).
    (8) Los Angeles, dated 1975.
    (9) Santa Maria, dated 1989.
    (10) Long Beach, dated 1957, (Revised 1978).
    (11) Aetna Springs, dated 1958, (Revised 1992).
    (12) Albion, dated 1960.
    (13) Altamont, dated 1953, (Revised 1981).
    (14) Arched Rock, dated 1977.
    (15) Bartlett Mtn., dated 1958, (Revised 1994).
    (16) Bodega Head, dated 1972.
    (17) Brushy Mtn., dated 1966, (Revised 1994).
    (18) Burbeck, dated 1991.
    (19) Byron Hot Springs, dated 1953, (Revised 1968).
    (20) Calaveras Reservoir, dated 1961, (Revised 1980).
    (21) Chiles Valley, dated 1966, (Revised 1994).
    (22) Clayton, dated 1953, (Revised 1980).
    (23) Clearlake Oaks, dated 1958, (Revised 1994).
    (24) Diablo, dated 1953, (Revised 1980).
    (25) Duncans Mills, dated 1979.
    (26) Elk Mountain, dated 1967, (Revised 1973).
    (27) Fairfield North, dated 1951, (Revised 1980).
    (28) Fairfield South, dated 1949, (Revised 1980).
    (29) Fort Bragg, dated 1960, (Revised 1978).
    (30) Fort Ross, dated 1978.
    (31) Gilroy, dated 1955, (Revised 1993).
    (32) Gilroy Hot Springs, dated 1955, (Revised 1971).
    (33) Gualala, dated 1960, (Revised 1977).
    (34) Honker Bay, dated 1953, (Revised 1980).
    (35) Jericho Valley, dated 1958, (Revised 1993).
    (36) La Costa Valley, dated 1996.
    (37) Lake Berryessa, dated 1959, (Revised 1993).
    (38) Lick Observatory, dated 1955, (Revised 1968).
    (39) Lower Lake, dated 1993.
    (40) Mallo Pass Creek, dated 1960, (Revised 1977).
    (41) Mendenhall Springs, dated 1996.
    (42) Mendocino, dated 1960, (Revised 1978).
    (43) Monticello Dam, dated 1959, (Revised 1993).
    (44) Morgan Hill, dated 1955, (Revised 1980).
    (45) Mt. Sizer, dated 1955, (Revised 1971).
    (46) Mt. Vaca, dated 1951, (Revised 1968).
    (47) Northspur, dated 1991.
    (48) Plantation, dated 1977.
    (49) Point Arena, dated 1960, (Revised 1978).
    (50) Potter Valley, dated 1960.
    (51) Sanhedrin Mtn., dated 1966, (Revised 1994).
    (52) San Jose East, dated 1961, (Revised 1980).
    (53) Saunders Reef, dated 1960, (Revised 1977).
    (54) Stewarts Point, dated 1978.
    (55) Tassajara, dated 1991.
    (56) Three Sisters, dated 1954, (Revised 1971).
    (57) Upper Lake, dated 1991.
    (58) Van Arsdale Reservoir, dated 1991.
    (59) Vine Hill, dated 1959, (Revised 1980).
    (60) Walter Springs, dated 1959, (Revised 1992).
    (61) Wildomar, dated 1953, (Revised 1988).
    (62) Willis Ridge, dated 1966, (Revised 1994).
    (c) Boundary. The California Coast viticultural area is located 
along the Pacific Ocean coast of the State of California.

[[Page 57769]]

    (1) The beginning point is found on the ``Bodega Head'' Quadrangle 
at the point where the Sonoma County and Marin County boundary joins 
the Pacific Ocean;
    (2) Then Northwest following the Pacific Ocean Shoreline, crossing 
the Duncans Mills, Arched Rock, Fort Ross, Plantation, Stewarts Point, 
Gualala, Sanders Reef, Point Arena, Mallo Pass Creek, Albion, Mendocino 
Quadrangles to the mouth of the Noyo River on the Fort Bragg 
Quadrangle;
    (3) Then east following the Noyo River, crossing the Northspur 
Quadrangle to the confluence with Redwood Creek on the Burbeck 
Quadrangle;
    (4) Then northeast on a straight line for approximately 17.6 miles; 
crossing the Willis Ridge Quadrangle, to the peak of Brushy Mountain 
(elevation 4,864 feet) on the Brushy Mountain Quadrangle;
    (5) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 9.4 miles 
to the peak of Sanhedrin Mountain (elevation 6,175 feet) on the 
Sanhedrin Mountain Quadrangle;
    (6) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 12.1 miles 
to the peak of Pine Mountain (elevation 3,746 feet) on the Van Arsdale 
Reservoir Quadrangle;
    (7) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 11.2 miles, 
crossing the Potter Valley and Elk Mountain Quadrangles to Youngs Peak 
(elevation 3,683 feet) on the Upper Lake Quadrangle;
    (8) Then southeast on a straight line for approximately 8.0 miles 
to Pinnacle Rock Lookout (elevation 4,618 feet) on the Bartlett 
Mountain Quadrangle;
    (9) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 5.0 miles, 
crossing the Bartlett Springs Quadrangle, to Evans Peak (elevation 
4,005 feet) on the Clearlake Oaks Quadrangle;
    (10) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 5.5 miles 
to the peak of Round Mountain on the Clearlake Oaks Quadrangle;
    (11) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 6.6 miles 
to Bally Peak (elevation 2,288 feet) on the Lower Lake Quadrangle;
    (12) Then southeast in a straight line for approximately 5.0 miles 
to the peak of Brushy Sky High Mountain (elevation 3,196 feet) on the 
Lower Lake Quadrangle;
    (13) Then southeast for approximately 11.4 miles following Putah 
Creek to the boundary between Napa and Lake Countries on the Jericho 
Valley Quadrangle;
    (14) Then southeast, crossing the Aetna Springs Quadrangle, 
following Putah Creek to the west shore of Lake Berryessa on the Walter 
Springs Quadrangle;
    (15) Then south and east following the shore of Lake Berryessa, 
crossing the Chiles Valley and Berryessa Quadrangles to the Monticello 
Dam at the eastern end of Lake Berryessa on the Monticello Dam 
Quadrangle;
    (16) Then south following the boundary between Napa and Solano 
Counties to the extreme southeastern corner of Napa County on the 
Fairfield North Quadrangle;
    (17) Then south in a straight line approximately 5.5 miles to the 
junction with the Southern Pacific in Suisun City on the Fairfield 
South Quadrangle;
    (18) Then south and west crossing the Cine Hill Quadrangle, 
following the Southern Pacific Railroad double track to its 
intersection with Suisun Bay on the Benicia Quadrangle;
    (19) Then southeast following Highway 21 across the Suisun Bay to 
its intersection with the south shore of Suisun Bay on the Vine Hill 
Quadrangle;
    (20) Then east along the shoreline to a point marked BM 15 on the 
shoreline of Contra Costa County on the Vine Hill Quadrangle;
    (21) Then, from this point, the boundary proceeds in a 
southeasterly direction on a straight line across the Honker Bay map to 
Mulligan Hill (elevation 1,438 feet) on the Clayton Quadrangle;
    (22) Then the boundary proceeds in a southeasterly direction in a 
straight line to Mt. Diablo (elevation 3,849 feet) on the Clayton 
Quadrangle;
    (23) Then the boundary proceeds in a southeasterly direction in a 
straight line across Diablo and Tassajara maps to Brushy Peak 
(elevation 1,702 feet) on the Byron Hot Springs Quadrangle;
    (24) The boundary proceeds due south, approximately 400 feet, to 
the northern boundary of Section 13, Township 2 South, Range 2 East on 
the Byron Hot Springs Quadrangle;
    (25) The boundary proceeds due east along the northern boundaries 
of Section 13 and Section 18, Township 2 South, Range 3 East, to the 
northeast corner of Section 18 on the Byron Hot Springs Quadrangle;
    (26) The boundary proceeds due west along the northern boundaries 
of Sections 18, 19, 30, and 31 in Township 2 South, Range 3 East, to 
the northeast corner of Section 18 and the Byron Hot Springs 
Quadrangle;
    (27) Then proceed east along the southern border of Section 32, 
Township 2 South, Range 3 East to the northwest corner of Section 4 on 
the Altamont Quadrangle;
    (28) Then proceed south along the western border of Sections 4 and 
9 on the Altamont Quadrangle;
    (29) Then proceed south along the western border of Section 16 
approximately 4,275 feet to the point where the 1,100-meter elevation 
contour intersects the western border of Section 16 on the Altamont 
Quadrangle;
    (30) Then proceed in a southeasterly direction along the 1,100-
meter elevation contour to the intersection of the southern border of 
Section 21 with the 1,100-meter elevation contour on the Altamont 
Quadrangle;
    (31) Then proceed west to the southwest corner of Section 20 on the 
Altamont Quadrangle;
    (32) Then proceed south along the western boundaries of Sections 29 
and 32, Township 3 South, Range 3 East and then south along the western 
boundaries of Sections 5, 8, 17, 20, Township 4 South, Range 3 East to 
the southwest corner of Section 20 on the Mendenhall Springs 
Quadrangle;
    (33) The boundary follows the east-west section line west along the 
southern boundary of Section 19 in Township 4 South, Range 3 East, and 
west along the southern boundary of Section 24 in Township 4 South, 
Range 2 East, to the southwest corner of that Section 24 on the 
Mendenhall Springs Quadrangle;
    (34) The boundary follows the north-south section line north along 
the western boundary of Section 24 in Township 4 South, Range 2 East, 
to the northwest corner of that Section 24 on the Mendenhall Springs 
Quadrangle;
    (35) The boundary follows the east-west section line west along the 
southern boundary of Section 14 in Township 4 South, Range 2 East, to 
the southwest corner of that Section 14 on the Mendenhall Springs 
Quadrangle;
    (36) The boundary follows the north-south section line north along 
the western boundary of Section 14 in Township 4 South, Range 2 East, 
to the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct on the Mendenhall Springs Quadrangle;
    (37) The boundary follows the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct southwesterly 
to the range line dividing Range 1 East from Range 2 East on the La 
Costa Valley Quadrangle;
    (38) The boundary follows this range line south to its intersection 
with State Route 130 on the Calaveras Reservoir Quadrangle;
    (39) The boundary follows State Route 130 southeasterly to its 
intersection with the township line dividing Township 6 South from 
Township 7 South on the San Jose East Quadrangle;
    (40) From this point, the boundary proceeds in a straight line 
southeasterly

[[Page 57770]]

to the intersection of the township line dividing Township 7 South from 
Township 8 South with the range line dividing Range 2 East from Range 3 
East on the Lick Observatory Quadrangle;
    (41) From this point, the boundary proceeds in a straight line 
southeasterly crossing the Morgan Hill Quadrangle to the intersection 
of the township line dividing Township 8 South from Township 9 South 
with the range line dividing Range 3 East from Range 4 East on the Mt. 
Sizer Quadrangle;
    (42) From this point, the boundary proceeds in a straight line 
southeasterly to the intersection of Coyote Creek with the township 
line dividing Township 9 South from Township 10 South on the Gilroy 
Quadrangle;
    (43) From this point, the boundary proceeds in a straight line 
southeasterly to the intersection of the 37 degree 00' North latitude 
parallel with State Route 152 on the Gilroy Quadrangle;
    (44) The boundary follows the 37 degree 00' North latitude parallel 
east to the range line dividing Range 5 East from Range 6 East on the 
Three Sisters Quadrangle;
    (45) The boundary follows this range line south to the San Benito-
Santa Clara County line on the Three Sisters Quadrangle;
    (46) The boundary follows the San Benito-Santa Clara County line 
easterly, from the intersection with the Range 6 East line to the San 
Benito-Merced County line on the Monterey 1:250,000 map;
    (47) The boundary follows the San Benito-Merced County line 
southeasterly to the conjunction of the county lines of San Benito, 
Merced, and Fresno counties on the Monterey 1:250,000 map;
    (48) From this point, the boundary proceeds in a southwesterly 
extension of the Merced-Fresno County line to Salt Creek on the 
Monterey 1:250,000 map;
    (49) From this point, the boundary proceeds in a straight line 
southeasterly to the conjunction of the county lines of Monterey, San 
Benito, and Fresno Counties on the Monterey 1:250,000 map;
    (50) The boundary follows the Monterey-Fresno County line 
southeasterly to the Monterey-Kings County line on the San Luis Obispo 
1:250,000 map;
    (51) The boundary follows the Monterey-Kings County line 
southeasterly to the San Luis Obispo-Kings County line on the San Luis 
Obispo 1:250,000 map;
    (52) The boundary follows the San Luis Obispo-Kings County line 
east to the San Luis Obispo-Kern County line of the San Luis Obispo 
1:250,000 map;
    (53) The boundary follows the San Luis Obispo-Kern County line 
south, then east, then south to the point which the county line 
diverges easterly from the range line dividing Range 17 East from Range 
18 East on the San Luis Obispo 1:250,000 map;
    (54) The boundary follows this range line south to the township 
line dividing Township 28 South from Township 29 South on the San Luis 
Obispo 1:250,000 map;
    (55) The boundary follows the township line west to the range line 
dividing Range 13 East from Range 14 East on the San Luis Obispo 
1:250,000 map;
    (56) The boundary follows this range line south to the boundary of 
the Los Padres National Forest on the San Luis Obispo 1:250,000 map;
    (57) Then southeast following the boundary of the Los Padres 
National Forest across the San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria 1:250,000 
maps, to the Range Line dividing Range 21 and Range 20 West on the Los 
Angeles 1:250,000 map;
    (58) Then southeast in a straight line to an unnamed peak 
(elevation 1,925 feet) on the Los Angeles 1:250,000 map;
    (59) Then southeast in a straight line to an unnamed peak 
(elevation 2,992 feet) on the Los Angeles 1:250,000 map;
    (60) Then southeast in a straight line to an unnamed peak 
(elevation 4,003 feet) on the Los Angeles 1:250,000 map;
    (61) Then southeast in a straight line to an unnamed peak 
(elevation 3,839 feet) on the Los Angeles 1:250,000 map;
    (62) Then southeast on a straight line to Strawberry peak 
(elevation 6,164 feet) on the Los Angeles 1:250,000 map;
    (63) Then southeast in a straight line to Johnstone Peak (elevation 
3126 feet) on the San Bernardino 1:250,000 map;
    (64) Then south to the intersection of the Orange County-San 
Bernardino County line on the Santa Ana 1:250,000 map;
    (65) Then eastward, and southeastward along the Orange County line, 
to the intersection of that county line with the township line on the 
northern border of Township 7 South (in Range 6 West; on the Santa Ana 
1:250,000 map);
    (66) Then from there eastward along that township line to its 
intersection with the northern boundary of the Temecula viticultural 
area described in section 9.50; of this part, the Temecula viticultural 
area boundary coincides with the boundary of the Cleveland National 
Forest on the Wildomar Quadrangle map;
    (67) Then following the northern boundary of the Temecula 
viticultural area, at and near its northernmost point, generally 
northeastward, eastward, and southeastward until the Temecula 
viticultural area boundary again intersects the township line on the 
northern border of Township 7 South (in Range 4 West; thus all of the 
Temecula viticultural area is included inside of South Coast 
viticultural area as described in section 9.104 of this part);
    (68) Then eastward, along the township line of the northern border 
of Township 7 South, to the San Bernardino Meridian on the Santa Ana 
1:250,000 map;
    (69) Then southward along the San Bernardino Meridian to the 
Riverside County-San Diego County line on the Santa Ana 1:250,000 map;
    (70) Then westward along the county line for 7\1/2\ miles, to the 
western boundary of the Cleveland National Forest (near the Pechanga 
Indian Reservation on the Santa Ana 1:250,000 map);
    (71) Then generally southeastward along the Cleveland National 
Forest boundary to where it joins California Highway 76 on the Santa 
Ana 1:250,000 map;
    (72) From there generally southeastward along Highway 76 to 
California Highway 79 on the Santa Ana 1:250,000 map;
    (73) Then southeastward along Highway 79 to the township line on 
the northern border of Township 12 South (in Range 3 East) on the Santa 
Ana 1:250,000 map;
    (74) Then eastward along that township line to its intersection 
with the range line on the eastern border of Range 3 East on the Santa 
Ana 1:250,000 map;
    (75) Then from there southward along that range line to U.S.-Mexico 
international border on the Santa Ana 1:250,000 map and the San Diego 
1:250,000 map;
    (76) Then westward along that international border to the Pacific 
Ocean on the San Diego 1:250,000 map;
    (77) Then generally northwestward along the shore of the Pacific 
Ocean to the starting point crossing the San Diego 1:250,000 map, the 
Santa Ana 1:250,000 map, the Long Beach 1:250,000 map, the Los Angeles 
1:250,000 map, the Santa Maria 1:250,000 map, the Santa Luis Obispo 
1:250,000 map, the Monterey 1:250,000 map, the San Francisco 1:250,000 
map, on the Santa Rosa 1:250,000 map.

    Dated: September 19, 2000.
Bradley A. Buckles,
Director.
[FR Doc. 00-24667 Filed 9-25-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P