[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 66 (Friday, April 5, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20544-20557]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-07882]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2013-0003; Notice No. 134]
RIN 1513-AB99


Proposed Establishment of the Big Valley District-Lake County and 
Kelsey Bench-Lake County Viticultural Areas, and Modification of the 
Red Hills Lake County Viticultural Area

AGENCY: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to 
establish the 11,000-acre Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural 
area and the 9,100-acre Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area, 
both in Lake County, California. Additionally, TTB proposes to modify 
the boundary of the established 31,250-acre Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area in order to align its border with that of the 
proposed Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area. The proposed 
modification would increase the size of the Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area by approximately 7 acres. The proposed viticultural 
areas and the established viticultural area that are the subject of 
this proposed rule lie entirely within the existing Clear Lake 
viticultural area, which, in turn, is within the larger, multicounty 
North Coast viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to 
allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to 
allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites 
comments on these proposed additions and modification to its 
regulations.

DATES: Comments must be received by June 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Please send your comments on this notice to one of the 
following addresses:
     http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form 
for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2013-0003 at 
``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal);
     U.S. mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, 
Washington, DC 20005; or
     Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco 
Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 200-E, Washington, DC 
20005.
    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific 
instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for 
information on how to request a public hearing.
    You may view copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, 
and any comments TTB receives about this proposal at http://www.regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB-2013-0003. A link to that 
docket is posted on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 134. You also may view copies of this 
notice, all related petitions, maps or other supporting materials, and 
any comments TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB 
Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. 
Please call 202-453-2270 to make an appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and 
Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G 
Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 20545]]

Background on Viticultural Areas

TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 
27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe 
regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt 
beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among 
other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading 
statements on labels, and ensure that labels provide the consumer with 
adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act 
pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 
codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various 
authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01 (Revised), dated 
January 21, 2003, to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and 
duties in the administration and enforcement of this law.
    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 American 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 having distinguishing features as described in part 9 of 
the regulations and a name and a delineated boundary as established 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 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes 
standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of 
American viticultural areas. Petitions to establish a viticultural area 
must include the following:
     Evidence that the area within the proposed viticultural 
area boundary is nationally or locally known by the viticultural area 
name specified in the petition;
     An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of 
the proposed viticultural area;
     A narrative description of the features of the proposed 
viticultural area that affect viticulture, such as climate, geology, 
soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed 
viticultural area distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas 
outside the proposed viticultural area boundary;
     A copy of the appropriate United States Geological Survey 
(USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed viticultural area, 
with the boundary of the proposed viticultural area clearly drawn 
thereon; and
     A detailed narrative description of the proposed 
viticultural area boundary based on USGS map markings.

Big Valley District-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake County Petitions

    TTB received two petitions from Terry Dereniuk on behalf of the Big 
Valley District and Kelsey Bench Growers Committee proposing to 
establish the ``Big Valley District-Lake County'' and the ``Kelsey 
Bench-Lake County'' American viticultural areas within Lake County, 
California. The proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural 
area has 6 bonded wineries and 43 vineyards containing approximately 
1,800 acres of wine grapes. The proposed Kelsey Bench-Lake County 
viticultural area has 1 bonded winery and 27 vineyards planted with 
approximately 900 acres of wine grapes. Because the two petitions were 
submitted simultaneously and the two proposed viticultural areas share 
a common boundary, TTB is combining both proposals into a single 
rulemaking document. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data 
pertaining to the two proposed viticultural areas contained in this 
document are from the petitions for the two proposed viticultural areas 
and their supporting exhibits.
    The proposed Big Valley District-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake 
County viticultural areas are located in central Lake County, 
California. The proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural 
area is located on the southern shore of Clear Lake, and the adjacent 
Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area is located just to the 
south. The two proposed viticultural areas are surrounded by Mount 
Konocti and the Red Hills to the east and by the Mayacmas Mountains to 
the west and south. The two proposed viticultural areas lie entirely 
within the existing Clear Lake viticultural area (27 CFR 9.99) which, 
in turn, lies within the multicounty North Coast viticultural area (27 
CFR 9.30).
    TTB notes that, because the southern portion of the proposed Big 
Valley District-Lake County boundary abuts the northern portion of the 
proposed Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area boundary, if the 
two proposed viticultural areas are established, this shared boundary 
line would split two vineyards between the two viticultural areas. 
However, the petition included letters from both vineyard owners 
stating their understanding of the potential split and their support 
for the establishment of both of the proposed viticultural areas.
    The petitioner also requested a modification of a small portion of 
the western boundary of the established ``Red Hills Lake County'' 
viticultural area (27 CFR 9.169), to align it with the eastern boundary 
of the proposed Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area using 
features identifiable on the newest version of the USGS map. The 
proposed boundary modification is discussed later in this document.

Big Valley District-Lake County

    The proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area 
contains approximately 11,000 acres located south of the southern shore 
of Clear Lake in northern California. There are 6 wineries within the 
proposed viticultural area, as well as 43 commercially-producing 
vineyards covering approximately 1,800 acres. The petition states that 
the distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area are 
geology, soils, climate, and topography.

Name Evidence

    The name ``Big Valley'' has been associated with the region of the 
proposed viticultural area since the mid-19th Century, appearing in the 
1870 Federal Census as a district within Lake County, California. As 
evidence of the usage of the proposed name, the petitioner references 
an historical account of the settlement of Napa and Lake Counties, 
published in 1881, which notes that ``Big Valley is the garden spot of 
Lake County,'' and that ``small fruits and berries thrive here

[[Page 20546]]

also, as do grapes.'' (History of Napa and Lake Counties, California. 
Slocum, Bowen, & Co., Publishers, 1881.) The petitioner references 
another book, published in the 1880s, which includes a section called 
``Big Valley'' in a chapter titled ``Lakeport and Its Surroundings.'' 
(A Description of Lake County, published by Authority of the Board of 
Supervisors, 1888.) In addition, the region within the proposed 
viticultural area also gives its name to the Big Valley Band of the 
Pomo Indians, a tribe native to the region of the proposed viticultural 
area. The Big Valley Rancheria, which is currently home to members of 
the tribe, is located within the proposed viticultural area.
    The name ``Big Valley'' also appears on numerous maps in 
association with the region of the proposed viticultural area. A 1927 
map produced by the United States Department of Agriculture's Bureau of 
Chemistry and Soils, as well as the 1989 soil survey map of Lake 
County, California, published by the USDA Soil Conservation Service 
both show a region marked as ``Big Valley'' on the southern shore of 
Clear Lake. Additionally, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
maps for the Kelseyville, Lucerne, and Highland Springs quadrangles all 
refer to the region of the proposed viticultural area as ``Big 
Valley.''
    The petition included several other examples of evidence that 
indicate the region of the proposed viticultural area is known as ``Big 
Valley.'' The Lake County Winegrape Growers Web site refers to Big 
Valley as a winegrape growing region and notes that ``Big Valley 
growers were among the first visionaries to discover the region's 
winegrape potential * * *.'' (See www.lakecountywinegrape.org.) The 
USGS Kelseyville quadrangle map features a road named ``Big Valley 
Road'' that runs through the proposed viticultural area. Additionally, 
the AT&T Yellow Pages for Lake and Mendocino Counties lists several 
businesses within the proposed viticultural area that use the name 
``Big Valley,'' including Big Valley Electric, Big Valley Truck and 
Auto Repair, and Big Valley Properties.
    TTB notes that the USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) 
lists 98 entries for ``Big Valley'' and variations of the name, 
including 22 listings for schools, churches, populated places, and 
locales in Lassen, Modoc, Calaveras, Placer, Stanislaus, and San 
Joaquin Counties in California, as well as in Lake County. Because 
there are multiple locations known as ``Big Valley'' throughout the 
United States, the petitioner included the modifier ``Lake County'' in 
the proposed name to distinguish the proposed viticultural area. 
Additionally, the petitioner stated that the use of the ``Lake County'' 
modifier would conform to the naming convention started by the 
neighboring Red Hills Lake County viticultural area. TTB notes that the 
GNIS lists a valley named Big Valley in Lake County, Oregon. However, 
because there is no commercial viticulture within Lake County, Oregon, 
TTB believes that there would not be a risk of consumer confusion if 
the proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area is 
established.

Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area is a 
bowl-shaped valley located in central Lake County, California, within 
the established Clear Lake viticultural area. The proposed viticultural 
area sits at approximately 1,360 feet above sea level and has a 
generally flat topography that gently slopes downward to the north 
towards Clear Lake, which forms its northern boundary.
    The 1,400-foot elevation contour line and a small portion of Cole 
Creek form the eastern portion of the proposed boundary. The proposed 
boundary separates the low, flat valley of the proposed viticultural 
area from the high, steep elevations of Mount Konocti, to the east, and 
the Red Hills, to the southeast.
    A series of roads, a portion of Hill Creek, and the 1,400-foot 
elevation contour line make up the southern portion of the proposed 
boundary. To the south of this boundary is the proposed Kelsey Bench-
Lake County viticultural area, which is marked by river terraces and 
benches, as compared to the relatively flat topography of the proposed 
Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area.
    The western portion of the proposed boundary follows a series of 
roads that lead to Thompson Creek. The boundary then follows Thompson 
Creek to the point where it empties into Clear Lake. This portion of 
the proposed boundary separates the lower, flatter valley of the 
proposed viticultural area from the higher, steeper terrain of the 
Mayacmas Mountains to the west.

Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Big Valley District-
Lake County viticultural area are its geology, soils, climate, and 
topography. Because the proposed viticultural area is bordered by Clear 
Lake to the north and to the south by the proposed Kelsey Bench-Lake 
County viticultural area, which is discussed later in this document, 
the following sections only contrast the distinguishing features of the 
proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area with the 
regions to the east and west.
Geology
    During the Jurassic period, approximately 135 million years ago, 
Lake County was covered by water. About 3 million years ago, side-by-
side ``strike-slip'' movement of tectonic plates along the San Andreas 
Fault warped the layers of rock on the lake bed and began forming 
structural basins underneath the water, including the structural basin 
that comprises the proposed Big Valley District-Lake County 
viticultural area. The region of the proposed Big Valley District-Lake 
County viticultural area remained underwater until approximately 
460,000 years ago, when Mount Konocti was formed. As the mountain rose, 
it forced the landmass known today as Big Valley to rise above the 
surface. When the Big Valley landmass rose, it brought with it the 
sedimentary lake bed deposits that eventually formed the deep, 
nutrient-rich soil desired by vineyard owners.
    The two major geological units of the proposed viticultural area--
the Franciscan Complex and Great Valley sequence--formed through 
subduction, the process of one tectonic plate sliding beneath another. 
The formations are comprised of chert, greywacke, shale, 
metasedimentary rocks, and metavolcanic rocks thrown together as the 
two plates collided. The weathering of these rocks contributes to the 
soil nutrient content and soil pH levels within the proposed 
viticultural area, which affect vine growth and fruit development.
    Three fault lines that are part of the San Andreas Fault system run 
beneath the proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area: 
The Big Valley Fault, the Adobe Creek Fault, and the Wight Way Fault. 
The ``strike-slip'' movement of these faults throughout the ages has 
contributed to the gentle northerly downward slope of the basin. The 
basin shape of the proposed viticultural area and its gentle slope 
contribute to airflow patterns which cool and dry the vineyards, 
reducing stress on the vines. Additionally, the nearly level terrain 
within the basin reduces the risk of soil erosion within the proposed 
viticultural area.
    To the east of the proposed viticultural area, the geology is 
dominated by Mount Konocti, a dormant volcano. This mountain is part of 
the Clear Lakes Volcanics formed in

[[Page 20547]]

the middle Pliocene Epoch. The rocks are composed of basalt, rhyolite, 
and other volcanic materials.
    The region to the west of the proposed viticultural area is 
comprised of the Mayacmas Mountains and the uplifted hills and terraces 
that form their foothills. Rocks of the Franciscan Complex are present, 
as within the proposed viticultural area, but geological forces have 
lifted this region high above the valley to form steep and rugged 
mountains.
Soils
    The soils of the proposed Big Valley District-Lake County 
viticultural area have lacustrine (freshwater lake) and alluvial 
(eroded and re-deposited by moving water) origins. Soil pH levels range 
from a slightly acidic 6.0 to a mildly alkaline 7.5 which, according to 
the petition, is within the optimal range for nutrient uptake by the 
grapevines. The soil drainage is poor by nature but has been improved 
through artificial means. There is little risk of soil erosion within 
the proposed viticultural area due to the nearly level topography of 
the valley.
    Major soil series within the proposed Big Valley District-Lake 
County viticultural area include Cole clay loam, Clear Lake clay, and 
Still loam, which together make up approximately 75 percent of the soil 
within the proposed viticultural area. These soils are generally deep, 
which allows for good rooting. However, in some locations within the 
proposed viticultural area, these soils also have ``limiting factors,'' 
such as hardpan, rocks, or clay substrata, which prevent the roots from 
penetrating further. Additionally, Clear Lake clay is a high ``shrink-
swell'' clay soil that forms deep cracks when it dries during summer 
months. The shrinking and cracking of the dried soil can sever the 
roots of the vines and prevent them from reaching deep into the soil. 
Factors that limit root depth can be beneficial to grape growers, 
according to the petition, preventing excessive foliage growth and 
producing small grapes that have a desirable concentration of flavors 
and colors.
    East of the proposed Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural 
area, the soils are primarily of the Konocti-Benridge series. The soils 
are formed from volcanic materials such as andesite, basalt, dacite, 
and pyroclastic tuff. To the west of the proposed viticultural area, 
the soils are of the Wappo series. Wappo soils are less fertile than 
the soils within the proposed viticultural area, although they are 
naturally better drained than the clay and loam soils of the proposed 
viticultural area. The soils to both the east and west of the proposed 
viticultural area are generally shallower due to the steeper terrain 
and are at a greater risk of erosion than the soils of the valley.
Climate
    The petition to establish the proposed Big Valley District-Lake 
County viticultural area included information on the wind, growing 
degree days, frost-free days, and precipitation within the proposed 
viticultural area and the surrounding regions.
    Wind: The winds within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake 
County viticultural area are influenced by the region's proximity to 
both Clear Lake and the higher elevations of the neighboring Mayacmas 
Mountains, Red Hills, and Mount Konocti. Water in Clear Lake warms more 
slowly than the adjacent land during the day and also holds its heat 
longer at night. At night, the cool air in the mountains becomes heavy 
and sinks into the lower elevations. As it flows across the lake, the 
air is warmed by the heat being slowly released from the water. The 
warmed air becomes less dense and rises, pulling more of the cooler, 
heavier air from the shore and creating south-north breezes that blow 
towards the lake. During the day, the land becomes warmer than the 
lake, reversing the process and causing north-south winds that blow 
towards the shore.
    The following table shows the average wind speeds gathered from two 
weather stations within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area (Bell Hill West and Kelseyville). The data was 
collected from 2008 through 2010.

                         Big Valley Wind Speeds
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                                          Bell Hill West    Kelseyville
                                               (mph)           (mph)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2008....................................            3.59            3.17
2009....................................            3.47            3.18
2010....................................            3.40            3.28
Average wind speed......................            3.48            3.21
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to the petition, the winds within the proposed 
viticultural area are strong enough to reduce heat stress on the vines 
and to remove excess moisture that promotes mildew. However, they are 
not strong enough to damage leaves or buds, nor are they strong enough 
to force the stoma on the leaves to close. When the stoma on the leaves 
close, the vines do not photosynthesize efficiently and fruit ripens 
more slowly.
    To the east and southeast of the proposed Big Valley District--Lake 
County viticultural area, on Mount Konocti and in the Red Hills, the 
winds are also influenced by both the lake and the slopes of the 
mountains. However, a diagram produced by the Lake County Air Pollution 
Control District included with the petition suggests that the winds in 
the Red Hills and Mount Konocti blow in a west-east direction, as they 
are channeled around the ridges and peaks of the rugged terrain. The 
average wind speeds shown on the diagram also suggest the winds to the 
east and southeast of the proposed viticultural area are stronger, 
especially in the afternoon, with speeds ranging up to 10 miles per 
hour. Winds of this strength stimulate the stoma of the leaves to close 
and can damage leaves and buds.
    Temperature: The table below compares the number of growing degree 
days (GDDs) \1\ from three weather stations within the proposed 
viticultural area to three stations located in the established Red 
Hills Lake County viticultural area, to the southeast. According to the 
petition, weather station data is not available for the region 
immediately west of the proposed viticultural area, and recent 
temperature data was also not available

[[Page 20548]]

from the Lakeport weather station to the northwest of the proposed 
viticultural area.
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    \1\ In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat 
accumulation during the growing season, measured in annual GDD, 
defines climatic regions. One GDD accumulates for each degree 
Fahrenheit that a day's mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the 
minimum temperature required for grapevine growth (``General 
Viticulture,'' by Albert J. Winkler, University of California Press, 
1974, pages 61-64).

                                                                Growing Degree Day Totals
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                                                             Big Valley District--Lake County stations          Red Hills Lake County AVA stations
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Year                                              Kelseyville
                                                            Kelseyville        South      Bell Hill West    Red Hills 1     Red Hills 2     Red Hills 3
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2005....................................................            2623            2911            2958            3343             N/A            3298
2006....................................................            3080            3317            3303            3826            3718            3769
2007....................................................            2805            3110            3042            3571            3397            3472
2008....................................................            3036            3304            3285            3917            3790            3953
2009....................................................            3038            3249            3237            3805            3690            3789
2010....................................................            2683            2851            2837            3256            3126            3246
Average.................................................            2878            3124            3110            3620            3544            3588
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    According to the data, the proposed Big Valley District--Lake 
County viticultural area has fewer annual GDDs than the Red Hills Lake 
County viticultural area, indicating cooler temperatures within the 
proposed viticultural area. The number of GDDs for the proposed 
viticultural area classifies it as a high Region II or low Region III 
on the Winkler classification scale. The Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area, by contrast, has enough GDDs to classify it as a 
Region IV area. The GDDs of an area play a role in determining the 
varieties of grapes that are best suited for planting. The cool climate 
of the proposed viticultural area is suitable for growing Sauvignon 
Blanc, which is one of the more cultivated grape varieties within the 
proposed viticultural area but is not grown as commonly in the 
surrounding regions.
    The cooler temperatures also results in fewer frost-free days 
within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area 
as compared to the region to the east, within the Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area. The table below shows the frost-free dates for three 
stations within the proposed viticultural area and three stations 
within the established Red Hills Lake County viticultural area during 
2008 and 2009.

                                                                     Frost Free Days
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                                           Big Valley District--Lake County stations                      Red Hills Lake County AVA stations
                                 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Kelseyville      Kelseyville South    Bell Hill West        Red Hills 1         Red Hills 2         Red Hills 3
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                                                                          2008
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Latest frost date...............  May 1.............  May 1.............  May 1.............  April 24..........  April 24..........  April 24.
Earliest frost date.............  October 11........  October 10........  October 10........  December 13.......  December 13.......  December 13.
Frost-free days.................  162...............  161...............  161...............  232...............  232...............  232.
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                                                                          2009
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Latest frost date...............  April 16..........  April 29..........  April 29..........  April 14..........  April 15..........  April 15.
Earliest frost date.............  September 30......  September 30......  October 4.........  November 19.......  November 19.......  December 6.
Frost-free days.................  166...............  153...............  157...............  218...............  217...............  234.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The first fall frosts occur earlier within the proposed 
viticultural area, and the last spring frosts occur later. The longer 
frost periods can be attributed to cool air drainage. At night, cooler, 
heavier air drains off the higher elevations of the Red Hills Lake 
County viticultural area and pools in the lower elevations of the 
proposed viticultural area, cooling the valley temperatures and 
increasing the risk of frost, while allowing for warmer temperatures in 
the mountains and hills.
    The number of frost-free days in an area can determine the types of 
grapes that can be grown. Early frosts can damage vines and fruits and 
prevent the fruits from ripening or developing the necessary sugars for 
successful wine development. Spring frosts that occur after bud break 
can cause the young shoots to die and reduce fruit yields. Therefore, 
growers study the frost patterns within their region in order to choose 
grape varieties that can ripen successfully before frost occurs and 
that do not begin to produce buds until after frosts are no longer a 
threat.
    Precipitation: Precipitation levels in the proposed Big Valley 
District--Lake County viticultural area differ from those of the 
surrounding area. The proposed viticultural area is surrounded by 
higher elevations to the west (Mayacmas Mountains), south (proposed 
Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area), and east and southeast 
(Mount Konocti and the Red Hills). As rain-bearing clouds approach the 
proposed viticultural area, the clouds drop most of their rain as they 
rise over the mountains and hills, leaving less rain to fall in the 
valley.
    The following table illustrates the differences in annual 
precipitation averages between the three weather stations within the 
proposed viticultural area (Kelseyville, Kelseyville South, and Bell 
Hill West) and three weather stations within the established Red Hills 
Lake County viticultural area (Red Hills 1, 2, and 3) to the east.

[[Page 20549]]



                    Average Annual Rainfall (Inches)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Proposed
                  Year                     viticultural   Red Hills Lake
                                               area         County AVA
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2008....................................            15.4           25.42
2009....................................            14.8           22.46
2010....................................            31.5           44.96
Average annual rainfall.................            20.6            37.8
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The data in the table shows the higher elevations of the 
established Red Hills Lake County viticultural area receive more annual 
rainfall than the lower elevations of the proposed viticultural area. 
Rainfall plays a critical role in ensuring sufficient water for 
irrigation of grapevines and recharging the underlying groundwater, but 
high amounts of rainfall promote soil erosion in regions with steep 
terrain and cause mildew or root rot in poorly-drained soils.
    Annual rainfall amounts also distinguish the proposed Big Valley 
District--Lake County viticultural area from the proposed Kelsey 
Bench--Lake County viticultural area to the south, which is discussed 
later in the document. Precipitation amounts for the region to the 
immediate west of the proposed viticultural area are not available but 
the petition states that one can expect rainfall patterns to be greater 
in the higher elevations of the Mayacmas Mountains to the west than 
within the lower elevations of the proposed Big Valley District--Lake 
County viticultural area.
Topography
    The proposed viticultural area is a bowl-shaped valley with an 
average elevation of approximately 1,360 feet. With slopes of less than 
2.5%, the terrain is almost completely flat, tilting gently downward to 
the north towards Clear Lake. Higher, steeper elevations are found to 
the east and west of the proposed viticultural area, as shown on USGS 
maps. To the east, Mount Konocti reaches a height of 4,300 feet. To the 
west, the Mayacmas Mountains rise to 3,320 feet at Monument Peak. The 
low, flat topography of the proposed viticultural area allows cold air 
draining from the higher surrounding elevations to pool in the valley, 
as previously discussed, and also contributes to lower annual rainfall 
amounts and lower risk of soil erosion than in the surrounding regions.

Kelsey Bench--Lake County

    The proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area contains 
approximately 9,100 acres immediately south of the proposed Big 
Valley--Lake County viticultural area. There are 27 vineyards covering 
over 900 acres, in addition to one winery. The petition states that the 
distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area are geology, 
soils, climate, and topography.

Name Evidence

    The proposed name ``Kelsey Bench'' is a combination of ``Kelsey,'' 
the surname of several early settlers in the area, and ``bench,'' a 
term used to describe the terraces that rise above the lower elevations 
of the valley to the north and extend south and east towards the 
Mayacmas Mountains and the Red Hills.
    The name ``Kelsey'' appears as part of the names of a town, a road, 
a creek, and several businesses within the proposed viticultural area. 
The town of Kelseyville is partially located within the proposed 
viticultural area and appears on the USGS Kelseyville quadrangle map. A 
creek identified as Kelsey Creek and a road marked as Kelsey Creek 
Drive also both appear on the USGS Kelseyville quadrangle map within 
the boundaries of the proposed viticultural area. Finally, the Real 
Yellow Pages for Lake and Mendocino Counties lists ``Kelsey Creek 
Storage,'' ``Kelseyville Lumber,'' and ``Kelseyville Appliance'' as 
businesses within the proposed viticultural area.
    The name ``Kelsey Bench'' also appears on several wine-related Web 
sites in reference to the region of the proposed viticultural area. The 
Lake County Winegrape Growers Web page (www.lakecountywinegrape.org) 
features a regional profile page for ``Kelsey Bench.'' The Web page for 
the Rosa d'Oro Vineyard (www.rosadorowine.com), located within the 
proposed viticultural area, describes the vineyard's ``well-drained 
Kelsey Bench soil,'' and the Catspaw Vineyard, located within the 
proposed viticultural area, notes on its Web page that, ``Kelsey Bench 
has a mix of gravel, clay, and loam soils * * *.'' 
(www.northcoastwinegrapes.com/growers/catspaw.pdf). Finally, the North 
Coast Winegrape Brokers Web page (www.northcoastwinegrapes.com/growers/grapes-for-sale.php) listing of 2010 wine grapes and bulk wine for sale 
includes several entries for Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Merlot 
grapes and wines from vineyards and wineries in ``Kelsey Bench.''
    The petition notes that a variant of the proposed name, 
``Kelseyville Bench,'' is often used in relation to the proposed 
viticultural area. However, the petitioners chose not to propose the 
name ``Kelseyville Bench'' because the name could imply the town of 
Kelseyville was located entirely within the proposed viticultural area. 
Only a small portion of the town is within the proposed viticultural 
area, while the rest of the town is within the boundary of the proposed 
Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area. Therefore, to avoid 
potential confusion, the petitioners proposed the name ``Kelsey 
Bench.''

Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area is located 
in central Lake County, California, within the established Clear Lake 
viticultural area. Elevations within the proposed viticultural area 
range between approximately 1,400 and 1,600 feet. The proposed 
viticultural area is bordered to the north by the proposed Big Valley 
District--Lake County viticultural area, to the east by Mount Konocti 
and the Red Hills, and to the south and west by the Mayacmas Mountains.
    A series of roads, a portion of Hill Creek, and the 1,400-foot 
elevation contour line form the northern portion of the proposed 
boundary. This border separates the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area from the lower, nearly level terrain of the proposed 
Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area to the north.
    A series of roads and the 1,600-foot elevation contour line forms 
the eastern portion of the proposed boundary. A portion of this 
proposed boundary is also shared with the existing Red Hills Lake 
County viticultural area. The proposed boundary separates the proposed 
Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area from the steeper, higher

[[Page 20550]]

elevations of Mount Konocti and the Red Hills.
    The southern portion of the proposed boundary follows the 1,600-
foot elevation contour line and a series of roads. To the south of the 
proposed boundary is the high, steep terrain of the Mayacmas Mountains.
    A series of roads and the 1,600-foot elevation contour line forms 
the western portion of the proposed boundary. Immediately adjacent to 
the northwest portion of this boundary is the Highland Springs 
Reservoir. Although the terrain surrounding the reservoir is similar to 
that of the proposed viticultural area, the petition states that this 
land was excluded because it is public park land and is thus unlikely 
to be available for commercial viticulture. Immediately to the west and 
southwest of the reservoir are the steeper, higher elevations of the 
Mayacmas Mountains.

Distinguishing Features

    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area are geology, 
soils, climate, and topography.
Geology
    Three faults that are part of the San Andreas Fault system run 
beneath the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area: The 
Big Valley Fault, the Wight Way Fault, and the Adobe Creek Fault. At 
various times throughout history, the movement of these three faults, 
along with the San Andreas Fault, has uplifted the region and 
contributed to the terraced landscape within the proposed viticultural 
area. The terraces and benches of the proposed viticultural area reduce 
the risk of frost within the proposed viticultural area because cold 
air drains off the terraces at night and into the lower, flatter valley 
to the north, outside the proposed viticultural area.
    The Kelseyville Formation is a major geological feature of the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area. The formation was 
created during the middle Pleistocene era, between approximately 
780,000 and 126,000 years ago, and consists mainly of sandstone, 
siltstone, and mudstone. Below the formation are rocks of the 
Franciscan Complex and flows of the Clear Lake volcanic field; above 
the formation are Quaternary terrace deposits. The Kelseyville 
Formation contains two volcanic ash aquifers which serve as the water 
resources of the area. The ``ash'' consists of angular fragments of 
volcanic rock ranging from the size of a grain of sand to the size of 
pea gravel. These fragments are quite permeable and allow water from 
stream courses and saturated confining strata to leak into and recharge 
the aquifers, providing a source of water for irrigating the vineyards 
within the proposed viticultural area.
    To the north of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural 
area is the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural 
area. The geology of the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area is comprised of two major geological units--the 
Franciscan Complex and the Great Valley sequence. The Big Valley, Wight 
Way, and Adobe Creek Faults also run beneath the proposed Big Valley 
District--Lake County viticultural area, where the movement of the 
faults over the ages has gently tilted the valley downward towards 
Clear Lake.
    To the east and northeast of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area are Mount Konocti and the established Red Hills Lake 
County viticultural area. Both regions are part of the Clear Lake 
Volcanics, formed in the middle Pliocene Epoch, and have rocks composed 
of basalt, rhyolite, and other volcanic materials.
    The Mayacmas Mountains lie to the south and west of the proposed 
Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area. The mountain range is 
comprised of rock from the Mesozoic era that is much older than the 
Kelseyville Formation. The rocks consist mainly of sandstone, 
conglomerate, and argillite, with smaller amounts of greenstone, chert, 
limestone, and blueschist.
Soils
    The soils of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural 
area were shaped over time by the forces of geology, water, and 
weather. Three general soil map units are found extensively within the 
proposed viticultural area: the Manzanita--Wappo--Forbesville unit 
(MWF), which comprises approximately 31% of the soils within the 
proposed viticultural area; the Phipps--Bally unit (PB), which accounts 
for approximately 26% of the soils; and the Millsholm--Skyhigh--Bressa 
(MSB) unit, which comprises approximately 14% of the soils. MWF and PB 
soils are very deep and well drained and formed in alluvium. MSB soils 
are shallow to moderately deep and are formed from sandstone, shale, 
and siltstone.
    Most of the vineyards within the proposed viticultural area are 
planted on soils of the MWF general soil map unit, a fact the petition 
attributes to the relatively milder slopes of soils associated with 
this unit, as well as the greater presence of the MWF soils within the 
proposed viticultural area. MWF soils are acidic, with pH levels 
between 5.0 and 6.5. The acidity in the soils allows for nutrient 
uptake by the vines but is low enough to prevent the vines from 
absorbing nutrients at levels that could become damaging to the plant. 
Clay accumulates at depths of 16 to 70 inches, which limits root depth 
and prevents vines from growing too vigorously. MWF soils are low in 
fertility, which, according to the petition, provides lean conditions 
that result in grapes with high concentrations of flavor, although the 
yields may be lower than those of vineyards planted on more fertile 
soil.
    To the north, in the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area, 75 percent of the soils are of the Cole clay loam, 
Clear Lake clay, and Still loam series. By contrast, these soil series 
comprise only 10 percent of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area soils. The MWF, MSB, and PB soils that comprise over 
70 percent of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area 
soils are not found in the area to the north. Additionally, the soils 
in the area to the north are slightly less acidic than those within the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area.
    To the east, the soils of the established Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area are composed of Glenview--Bottlerock--Arrowhead, 
Konocti--Benridge, and Collayomi--Aiken soil types. These soils are 
formed from volcanic materials such as andesite, basalt, dacite, and 
pyroclastic tuff and have significant gravel content.
    To the south and west, the soils of the Mayacmas Mountains are in 
the Maymen--Etsel and Henneke--Okiota--Montara general soil map units. 
These soils are characterized by shallow depths and moderate to severe 
erosion potential. The Maymen--Etsel soils are derived from graywackes 
and sandstone while the Henneke--Okiota--Montara soils are 
predominately derived from weathered serpentine rock.
Climate
    The petition to establish the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area included information on the wind, growing degree 
days, frost-free days, and precipitation for the proposed viticultural 
area. Climate data was not available for the Mayacmas Mountains region 
to the south and west of the proposed viticultural area.
    Wind: The petition states that there is only one official weather 
station located within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area, on the

[[Page 20551]]

Silva Ranch in the northern portion of the proposed viticultural area. 
However, only partial wind data from 2011 was available at the time the 
petition was submitted. Therefore, the petition included testimony from 
growers concerning the winds within the proposed viticultural area and 
contrasting them to the winds within the proposed Big Valley District--
Lake County viticultural area.
    The petition included testimony from the owner of Eutenier Ranches, 
who has vineyards both within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area and in the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area to the north. The owner notes that the summer winds 
in the vineyard in the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural 
area can become so strong that the stomata on the grape leaves close, 
reducing photosynthesis and delaying the ripening of fruit. As a 
result, his grapes within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area usually have a later harvest date than those in his 
vineyard within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area, even though both vineyards are planted with the same 
variety of grapes.
    A second grower who had resided at the Silva Ranch within the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area for six years and 
who also had vineyards within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake 
County viticultural area also provided testimony. This grower confirms 
the strong winds within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area. The grower also notes that the winds within the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area begin earlier in 
the day than within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area. The grower notes that he could have workers spraying 
crops on his property in the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area in the late morning, whereas the winds would already 
be too strong in the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural 
area to spray crops safely and effectively.
    Temperature: The temperatures in the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake 
County viticultural area are generally warmer than those of the 
proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area to the 
north and cooler than those of the existing Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area to the east.
    The petition states that current growing degree day (GDD) data is 
not available from the one official weather station located within the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area. However, the 
petition did include a discussion of GDD totals from Arkley Vineyards 
for the period from 1999--2002.\2\ Arkley Vineyards is located within 
the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area. According to 
the petition, the average annual GDD total for Arkley Vineyards was 
3,225, which is greater than the 3,037 average annual GDD total for the 
proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area. To the 
east in the established Red Hills Lake County viticultural area, the 
average GDD total from the three weather stations for the period from 
2005 to 2010 was 3,584.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The GDD data for Arkley Vineyards was originally part of a 
comment submitted in response to the 2002 notice of proposed 
rulemaking to establish the Red Hills Lake County viticultural area 
(October 30, 2002, 67 FR 66083). The commenter included climate and 
soil data from his Arkley Vineyards as part of his request to extend 
the boundary of the Red Hills Lake County viticultural area to 
include approximately 2,000 acres to the southwest of the 
viticultural area. The request to include the region as part of the 
Red Hills Lake County viticultural area was ultimately rejected. The 
region described in the comment is currently included in the 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In comparison to the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area, the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural 
area has warmer daytime temperatures and a longer frost-free period. 
Temperature data was collected from the Silva Ranch weather station 
throughout 2011 and compared to data from weather stations within the 
proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area. The data 
shows that each month had a minimum of 13 days where temperatures 
within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area were 
higher than within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area, for a total of 283 days with warmer temperatures.
    With respect to the frost-free period, the petition gathered 
temperature data from the Silva Ranch weather station and from three 
weather stations within the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area during 2011. The table below shows the total number 
of frost-free days as well as the earliest freeze dates for each 
weather station.

                                                 Frost Free Days
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Location               Kelseyville South      Kelseyville       Bell Hill West        Silva Ranch
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earliest frost date.............  October 26........  October 27........  October 26........  November 3.
Frost-free days.................  179...............  180...............  178...............  187.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area petition 
did not include 2011 frost data from the region to the east, within the 
established Red Hills Lake County viticultural area. However, 
information from 2008 and 2009 was provided in the Big Valley 
District--Lake County petition and was described in the temperature 
section of the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural 
area discussion portion of this document. That information showed the 
Red Hills area has an average of 227 frost-free days, longer than that 
of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area. The Red 
Hills region also averaged a later first frost date than the proposed 
Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area.
    The length of the frost-free period within the proposed Kelsey 
Bench--Lake County viticultural area affects the grape varieties grown. 
According to the petition, the temperatures make the proposed 
viticultural area suitable for growing red varieties such as Merlot, 
Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. The longer growing season also 
provides a longer time for the grapes to ripen, which can compensate 
for the slower ripening conditions that the windy conditions within the 
proposed viticultural area create.
    Precipitation: Precipitation levels in the proposed Kelsey Bench--
Lake County viticultural area are generally greater that those within 
the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area. The 
table below shows annual precipitation amounts measured by two property 
owners within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area 
and three weather stations within the proposed Big Valley District--
Lake County viticultural area. Each data collection period began on

[[Page 20552]]

July 1 and ended on June 30 of the following year.

  Precipitation Totals for Proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County and Big Valley District--Lake County Viticultural
                                                      Areas
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Proposed Big Valley District--Lake County       Proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake
                                              Viticultural Area                     County Viticultural Area
         Time Period          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Kelseyville      Bell Hill       Bell Hill
                                 Kelseyville        South           West            Lane           Boggs Lane
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2007-2008....................           18.33           14.65           13.22             N/A               29.4
2008-2009....................           16.23           13.09           15.07           18.75               21.6
2009-2010....................           29.22           31.81           33.43           31.25               39.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Topography
    The topography of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area is comprised of uplifted dissected terraces or 
benches, plateaus, and gently rolling hills, with elevations ranging 
from 1,400 feet at the northern boundary to 1,600 feet near the 
southern boundary. The topography was formed over time by the movement 
of the faults beneath the proposed viticultural area, which raised the 
ground to form the benches and hills. The continued uplifting of the 
terrain due to fault movement has been recorded as recently as 1906, 
when a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault altered the 
Kelseyville Formation that underlies the proposed viticultural area, 
uplifting and dissecting portions along the southeastern portion of the 
proposed viticultural area.
    The slopes and terraces allow cool air to drain away from the 
proposed viticultural area at night and into the lower elevations of 
the neighboring proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural 
area. Although cool air does drain into the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake 
County viticultural area from the higher elevations of the surrounding 
Mayacmas Mountains and Red Hills, most of the cool air does not pool in 
the proposed viticultural area but instead continues to drain into the 
even lower elevations of the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area. Because most of the cool nighttime air does not 
settle in the slopes and benches of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake 
County viticultural area, the frost damage to vines and fruit in the 
early spring and fall is reduced. As evidence of the reduced frost 
within the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area, the 
petitioner provided testimony from the University of California 
Viticulture and Plant Science Advisor for Mendocino and Lake Counties. 
The advisor states that due to the reduced frost within the proposed 
Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area, many vineyards do not have 
overhead sprinklers for frost protection, but such protection ``is a 
necessity'' for vineyards in the proposed Big Valley District--Lake 
County viticultural area.

Summary of Distinguishing Features of the Proposed Viticultural Areas

    The proposed Big Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--
Lake County viticultural areas differ from each other and from the 
surrounding regions in terms of topography, geology, soils, and 
climate. The table below provides a summary of the general 
characteristics of both proposed viticultural areas in comparison to 
the surrounding regions. Because Clear Lake sits to the north of both 
proposed viticultural areas, the features of the area to the north are 
not included in this table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Area                              Description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Big Valley District--Lake  Generally level land with elevations
 County AVA.                         at about 1,350 feet; younger soils
                                     formed from lacustrine and alluvial
                                     materials; cool temperatures due to
                                     proximity to lake and cool air
                                     draining from surrounding higher
                                     elevations; vineyards primarily
                                     grow sauvignon blanc grapes.
Proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County  Bench lands and terraces with
 AVA.                                elevations from 1,400 to 1,600
                                     feet; older soils formed from
                                     alluvial materials; warm
                                     temperatures due to cool air
                                     draining into lower neighboring
                                     valley; vineyards primarily grow
                                     red varieties such as cabernet
                                     sauvignon, merlot, and zinfandel.
To the East (Red Hills, Mt.         Steep mountains with elevations up
 Konocti).                           to 4,300 feet; soils of volcanic
                                     origin; warmer temperatures and
                                     more frost-free days than both
                                     proposed AVAs.
To the South and West (Mayacmas     Steep mountains with elevations up
 Mountains).                         to 3,320 feet; shallow soils
                                     derived from graywackes, sandstone,
                                     and serpentine rocks.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comparison of the Proposed Big Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey 
Bench--Lake County Viticultural Areas to the Existing Clear Lake and 
North Coast Viticultural Areas

Clear Lake Viticultural Area

    The proposed Big Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--
Lake County viticultural areas lie entirely within the Clear Lake 
viticultural area and, together, cover approximately 11 percent of the 
larger established viticultural area. The Clear Lake viticultural area 
was established by T.D. ATF-174, which published in the Federal 
Register on May 8, 1984 (49 FR 19468) and is located within Lake 
County, California. T.D. ATF-174 describes the Clear Lake viticultural 
area as 168,960 acres of valley and upland terrain rimmed by steep 
mountains. At the center of the viticultural area is the large 
freshwater lake known as Clear Lake. The lake has a moderating 
influence on temperatures in the area, warming the air in the winter 
and cooling it in the summer. Rainfall in the Clear Lake viticultural 
area averages 37 inches annually and the growing season averages 223 
days.
    The information provided in the petitions shows that the smaller

[[Page 20553]]

proposed Big Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural areas have general characteristics similar to those of the 
Clear Lake viticultural area. Both proposed viticultural areas are at 
lower elevations than the Mayacmas Mountains that also border the Clear 
Lake viticultural area. Additionally, the climate of both proposed 
viticultural areas is influenced by Clear Lake, with the lake providing 
a source of cooling breezes that keep temperatures moderate. However, 
TTB notes that each of the two proposed viticultural areas has a more 
uniform topography than that of the larger Clear Lake viticultural 
area. The proposed Big Valley District--Lake County viticultural area 
is a low, level, basin-shaped valley that lacks upland terrain. The 
proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area consists of 
terraces and gently rolling hills and lacks large, level expanses of 
land. Additionally, the average growing season is slightly shorter than 
the overall average growing season length within the larger Clear Lake 
viticultural area.

North Coast Viticultural Area

    The North Coast viticultural area was established by T.D. ATF-145, 
which was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 1983 (48 
FR 42973). It includes all or portions of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, 
Solano, Lake, and Marin Counties, California. TTB notes that the North 
Coast viticultural area contains all or portions of approximately 40 
established viticultural areas, in addition to the area covered by the 
proposed Big Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural areas. In the conclusion of the ``Geographical Features'' 
section of the preamble, T.D. ATF-145 states that ``[d]ue to the 
enormous size of the North Coast, variations exist in climatic features 
such as temperature, rainfall, and fog intrusion.''
    The proposed Big Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--
Lake County viticultural areas share several basic viticultural 
features of the North Coast viticultural area--moderate growing season 
temperatures that are cooler than the temperatures in the Central 
Valley farther inland, and flat valleys and tillable hillsides 
surrounded by mountains. However, the proposed viticultural areas are 
much more uniform in their geography, geology, climate, and soils than 
the diverse multicounty North Coast viticultural area. In this regard, 
TTB notes that T.D. ATF-145 specifically states that ``approval of this 
viticultural area does not preclude approval of additional areas, 
either wholly contained with the North Coast, or partially overlapping 
the North Coast,'' and that ``smaller viticultural areas tend to be 
more uniform in their geographical and climatic characteristics, while 
very large areas such as the North Coast tend to exhibit generally 
similar characteristics, in this case the influence of maritime air off 
of the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay.'' Thus, the proposal to 
establish the Big Valley--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural areas is not inconsistent with what was envisaged when the 
North Coast viticultural area was established.

Proposed Boundary Modification of the Established Red Hills Lake County 
Viticultural Area

    The Red Hills Lake County viticultural area was established by T.D. 
TTB-15, which published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2004 (69 FR 
41754), and was codified in 27 CFR 9.169. The viticultural area lies to 
the southeast of the proposed Big Valley District--Lake County 
viticultural area and due east of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake 
County viticultural area.
    When the Red Hills Lake County viticultural area was established, 
part of its western boundary was determined using a 1959 version of the 
Kelseyville Quadrangle USGS map with a 1975 photorevision date. A 
portion of the western boundary follows an unnamed, unimproved road 
from the intersection of Bottle Rock Road and Coal Creek Road to State 
Highway 29/175. The boundary then continues across the highway to a 
second unnamed, unimproved road, and then continues along that road in 
a northwesterly direction to the intersection with a third unnamed, 
unimproved road running east-west just north of the common boundary 
line between sections 24 and 25 on the map. The written boundary 
description of the viticultural area appears in Sec.  9.169(c) of the 
current regulations, and paragraphs (c)(15) and (c)(16) refer to the 
three unnamed, unimproved roads.
    The petition to establish the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County 
viticultural area uses the 1993 version of the Kelseyville Quadrangle 
USGS map, which is the most recent version of the map. According to the 
petitioner, the intent was to have the eastern boundary of the proposed 
Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area abut the western boundary 
of the Red Hills Lake County viticultural area. However, the two 
unnamed, unimproved roads that appear north of State Highway 29/175 on 
the 1959 version of the map mentioned above do not appear on the 1993 
version, making it difficult to ensure that the two boundaries actually 
touch and do not either overlap or leave a gap. After discussions with 
TTB, the petitioner decided to request a modification of the Red Hills 
Lake County viticultural area boundary using features that appear on 
the 1993 version of the Kelseyville Quadrangle map. TTB agrees that 
aligning the two boundaries by modifying the Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area boundary to use features found on the latest version 
of the map would be more practical and accurate than determining the 
boundary of the proposed Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural area 
using the outdated 1959 map.
    The proposed boundary line between the existing and proposed 
viticultural areas follows the original Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area boundary as closely as possible using features 
identifiable on the 1993 map. The proposed modification would result in 
the addition of approximately 7 acres to the Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area. According to the petitioner, there are currently no 
growers in the small region that would be affected by the proposed 
boundary change. The petitioner also provided TTB with a letter from a 
representative of the Red Hills Lake County growers committee and from 
a grower whose vineyard is within the Red Hills Lake County 
viticultural area near the region of the proposed boundary 
modification. Both letters express support for the proposed boundary 
modification.
    The proposed boundary change would affect the western portion of 
the boundary of the Red Hills Lake County viticultural area that 
appears on the Kelseyville Quadrangle map. The proposed boundary 
modification continues to follow the unimproved road that runs 
northeast from the intersection of Cole Creek Road and Bottle Rock Road 
to State Highway 29/175, which still appears on the 1993 map. From that 
point, however, the proposed boundary then proceeds east along the 
highway to the 1,720-foot elevation contour line, just west of the 
marked 1,758 benchmark. The proposed boundary then proceeds northwest 
along the 1,720-foot elevation contour line to the common boundary line 
between sections 23 and 24 on the map, and then proceeds north along 
the common boundary line to Wilkerson Road. From that point, the 
written description of the Red Hills Lake County viticultural area 
boundary remains unchanged.

[[Page 20554]]

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petitions to establish the 11,000-acre Big 
Valley District--Lake County and the 9,100-acre Kelsey Bench--Lake 
County viticultural areas and modify the boundary of the established 
Red Hills Lake County viticultural area merit consideration and public 
comment, as invited in this notice.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative boundary description of the petitioned-for 
viticultural areas and proposed boundary modification in the proposed 
regulatory text published at the end of this notice.

Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed 
below in the proposed regulatory text.

Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any reference on a wine 
label that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true 
place of origin. If TTB establishes these proposed viticultural area, 
their names, ``Big Valley District--Lake County'' and ``Kelsey Bench--
Lake County,'' will both be recognized as terms of viticultural 
significance under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3). TTB believes that the term 
``Kelsey Bench'' also has viticultural significance, as this name 
appears to apply only to this particular region of Lake County, 
California, and use of the name could imply that a wine originated 
within the proposed viticultural area. Additionally, according to both 
the petition and an Internet search conducted by TTB, the term 
``Kelseyville Bench'' is used synonymously with ``Kelsey Bench'' to 
describe the region within the proposed ``Kelsey Bench--Lake County'' 
viticultural area. Therefore, TTB believes the term ``Kelseyville 
Bench'' also has viticultural significance. If this proposed regulatory 
text is adopted as a final rule, wine bottlers using ``Big Valley 
District--Lake County,'' ``Kelsey Bench--Lake County,'' ``Kelsey 
Bench,'' or ``Kelseyville Bench'' in a brand name, including a 
trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, 
would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the 
appropriate viticultural area's full name as an appellation of origin. 
The text of the proposed regulation clarifies this point.
    On the other hand, TTB does not believe that the terms ``Big 
Valley,'' ``Kelseyville,'' or ``Lake County,'' standing alone, would 
have viticultural significance in relation to this proposed 
viticultural area. The GNIS Web site shows the name ``Big Valley'' used 
in reference to 98 locations, including populated places in 13 states, 
so TTB believes that ``Big Valley,'' standing alone, would not 
necessarily imply that a wine originated within the proposed 
viticultural area. Although the results of a GNIS search for the term 
``Kelseyville'' all relate to the town of Kelseyville in Lake County, 
California, the town, itself, is divided between the proposed Big 
Valley District--Lake County and Kelsey Bench--Lake County viticultural 
areas. Therefore, because the term is not identified with only one of 
the proposed viticultural areas, TTB does not believe that 
``Kelseyville,'' standing alone, has viticultural significance. 
Additionally, ``Lake County,'' standing alone, is already a term of 
viticultural significance as a county appellation of origin under 27 
CFR 4.25(a)(1)(iv), and under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3), which states that a 
term has viticultural significance when it is the name of a county. 
Therefore, the part 9 regulatory text set forth in this proposed rule 
specifies only ``Big Valley District--Lake County,'' ``Kelsey Bench--
Lake County,'' ``Kelsey Bench,'' and ``Kelseyville Bench'' as terms of 
viticultural significance for purposes of part 4 of the TTB 
regulations.
    The approval of the proposed Big Valley District-Lake County and 
Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural areas would not affect any 
existing viticultural area, and any bottlers using ``Clear Lake'' or 
``North Coast'' on their labels as an appellation of origin or in a 
brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the Clear Lake or 
North Coast viticultural areas would not be affected by the 
establishment of these new viticultural areas. The establishment of the 
Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area would allow vintners 
to use ``Big Valley District-Lake County,'' ``Clear Lake,'' and ``North 
Coast'' as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown 
within the Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area, if the 
wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation. The 
establishment of the Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area would 
allow vintners to use ``Kelsey Bench-Lake County,'' ``Clear Lake,'' and 
``North Coast'' as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes 
grown within the Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area if the 
wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.
    For a wine to be labeled with a viticultural area name or with a 
brand name that includes a viticultural area name or other term 
identified as being viticulturally significant in part 9 of the TTB 
regulations, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from 
grapes grown within the area represented by that name or other term, 
and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in 27 CFR 
4.25(e)(3). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with the 
viticultural area name or other viticulturally significant term and 
that name or term 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 or 
other viticulturally significant term 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 or other viticulturally significant term that 
was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See 
27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

Public Participation

Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on 
whether the Bureau should establish the proposed Big Valley District-
Lake County viticultural area, and on whether the Bureau should 
establish the proposed Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area. TTB 
is interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of 
the name, boundary, climate, soil, and other required information 
submitted as part of the petitions in support of the establishment of 
the two proposed viticultural areas. Please provide any available 
specific information in support of your comment. In addition, given the 
proposed Big Valley District-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake County 
viticultural areas' location within both the existing Clear Lake and 
North Coast viticultural areas, TTB is interested in comments on 
whether the evidence submitted in the petitions regarding the 
distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural areas sufficiently 
differentiates them from the existing Clear Lake and North Coast 
viticultural areas. TTB is also interested in comments on whether the 
geographic features of either or both of the proposed viticultural 
areas are so distinguishable from the Clear Lake and North Coast 
viticultural areas that either or both of the proposed Big Valley 
District-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural areas 
should no longer be part of those viticultural areas. Finally, TTB is

[[Page 20555]]

interested in comments regarding the proposed boundary modification of 
the established Red Hills Lake County viticultural area. Please provide 
any available specific information in support of your comments.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Big Valley District-Lake County and Kelsey Bench-Lake County 
viticultural areas on wine labels that include the terms ``Big Valley 
District-Lake County,'' ``Kelsey Bench-Lake County,'' ``Kelsey Bench,'' 
or ``Kelseyville Bench'' as discussed above under Impact on Current 
Wine Labels, TTB is also inviting comments regarding whether there will 
be a conflict between the proposed area names and recognized terms of 
viticultural significance and any brand names currently appearing on 
existing wine labels. If a commenter believes that a conflict will 
arise, the comment should describe the nature of that conflict, 
including any anticipated negative economic impact that approval of the 
proposed viticultural area will have on an existing viticultural 
enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to 
avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting modified or different names 
for the proposed viticultural areas.

Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the 
following three methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the 
online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2013-
0003 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under 
Notice No. 134 on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments 
submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use 
Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ``Help'' tab.
     U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the 
Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and 
Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or 
have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 
1310 G Street NW., Suite 200-E, Washington, DC 20005.
    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this 
notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 134 and include your 
name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, 
be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public 
disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and considers 
all comments as originals.
    In your comment, please state if you are commenting on your own 
behalf or behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you 
are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the 
entity's name as well as your name and position title. If you comment 
via http://www.regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the 
``Organization'' blank of the online comment form. If you comment via 
postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's 
comment on letterhead.
    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing 
date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right 
to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public 
record and subject to disclosure. Do not include, attach, or enclose 
any material in or with your comments that you consider to be 
confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

Public Disclosure

    On the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, TTB will post, 
and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, 
and any online or mailed comments TTB receives about this. A direct 
link to the Regulations.gov docket containing this notice and the 
posted comments received on it is available on the TTB Web site at 
http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 134. You 
may also reach the docket containing this notice and the posted 
comments received on it through the Regulations.gov search page at 
http://www.regulations.gov. For instructions on how to use 
Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ``Help'' tab.
    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization 
(if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all 
address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous 
attachments or material that TTB considers unsuitable for posting.
    You may view copies of this notice, all related petitions, maps and 
other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments TTB 
receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information 
Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20220. You may also 
obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Contact the 
information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-
2270 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or 
other materials.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived 
from the use of a viticultural area name would be 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 proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as 
defined by Executive Order 12866. Therefore, it requires no regulatory 
assessment.

Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted 
this proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend 
title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 9--AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS

0
1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  27 U.S.C. 205.

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

0
2. Amend Sec.  9.169 by revising paragraphs (b)(4), (c)(15), (c)(16), 
and (c)(17) to read as follows:


Sec.  9.169  Red Hills Lake County.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) Kelseyville Quadrangle--California. 1993.
    (c) * * *
    (15) Proceed east and then northeast approximately 0.4 miles along 
the unimproved road to the road's intersection with State Highway 29/
175, then proceed east along State Highway

[[Page 20556]]

29/175 to the intersection of the highway with the 1,720-foot elevation 
line located just west of the 1,758-foot benchmark (BM) in section 25, 
T13N, R9W (Kelseyville Quadrangle); then
    (16) Proceed northwest along the 1,720-foot elevation line to the 
common boundary line between sections 25 and 26, T13N, R9W; then
    (17) Proceed north along the common boundary line between sections 
25 and 26, T13N, R9W, and then the common boundary line between 
sections 23 and 24, T13N, R9W, (partially concurrent with Wilkinson 
Road) to the intersection of the common section 23-24 boundary line 
with the 1,600-foot elevation line (Kelseyville Quadrangle); then
* * * * *
0
3. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.-------- to read as follows:


Sec.  9.----  Big Valley District-Lake County.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Big Valley District-Lake County''. For purposes of part 4 
of this chapter, ``Big Valley District-Lake County'' is a term of 
viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The four United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Lucerne, CA 1996;
    (2) Kelseyville, Calif., 1993;
    (3) Highland Springs, Calif., 1993; and
    (4) Lakeport. Calif., 1958; photorevised 1978; minor revision 1994.
    (c) Boundary. The Big Valley District-Lake County viticultural area 
is located in Lake County, California. The boundary of the Big Valley 
District-Lake County viticultural area is as described below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Lucerne map at the point where 
Cole Creek flows into Clear Lake, section 36, T14N/R9W. From the 
beginning point, proceed southerly (upstream) along Cole Creek 
approximately 0.9 mile to the creek's intersection with Soda Bay Road, 
section 1, T13N/R9W; then
    (2) Proceed east on Soda Bay Road less than 0.1 mile to the road's 
intersection with the unnamed light-duty road known locally as Clark 
Drive, section 1, T13N/R09W; then
    (3) Proceed southeast in a straight line less than 0.1 mile to the 
1,400-foot elevation line, section 1, T13N/R9W; then
    (4) Proceed southerly along the 1,400-foot elevation line, crossing 
onto the Kelseyville map, to the line's intersection with a marked 
cemetery east of Kelseyville (in the northeast quadrant of section 14, 
T13N/R9W), and then continue along the 1,400-foot elevation line 
approximately 0.35 mile to the line's intersection with an unnamed, 
unimproved road which runs north from Konocti Road, section 13, T13N/
R9W; then
    (5) Proceed south-southeast along the unnamed, unimproved road to 
the road's intersection with the improved portion of Konocti Road, 
section 13, T13N/R9W; then
    (6) Proceed west on Konocti Road approximately 0.9 mile to the 
road's intersection with an unnamed light-duty road within Kelseyville 
known locally as Main Street, section 14, T13N/R9W; then
    (7) Proceed south-southeast on Main Street approximately 0.35 mile 
to its intersection with State Highway 29/175, section 14, T13N/R9W; 
then
    (8) Proceed west-northwest on State Highway 29/175 approximately 
0.4 mile to the highway's intersection with Kelsey Creek, section 14, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (9) Proceed northwesterly (downstream) along Kelsey Creek 
approximately 0.5 mile to the creek's intersection with an unnamed 
light-duty road known locally as Big Valley Road (or North Main 
Street), section 15, T13N/R9W; then
    (10) Proceed west and then northwest on Big Valley Road 
approximately 0.35 mile to the road's intersection with Merritt Road, 
southern boundary of section 10, T13N/R9W; then
    (11) Proceed west on Merritt Road approximately 0.3 mile to the 
road's intersection with the 1,400-foot elevation line, southern 
boundary of section 10, T13N/R9W; then
    (12) Proceed northwesterly along the 1,400-foot elevation line to 
the line's intersection with State Highway 29/175, section 9, T13N/R9W, 
and then continue southerly along the 1,400-foot elevation to the 
line's intersection with Merritt Road, southern boundary of section 9, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (13) Proceed west on Merritt Road approximately 0.1 mile to the 
road's intersection with Hill Creek, southern boundary of section 9, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (14) Proceed southerly (upstream) along Hill Creek approximately 
0.9 mile to the creek's intersection with Bell Hill Road, section 16, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (15) Proceed west then southwest on Bell Hill Road approximately 
0.15 mile, passing the intersection of Bell Hill Road and Hummel Lane, 
to Bell Hill Road's intersection with the 1,400-foot elevation line, 
section 16, T13N/R9W; then
    (16) Proceed westerly and then southwesterly along the meandering 
1,400-foot elevation line, crossing onto the Highland Springs map, to 
the line's first intersection with Bell Hill Road in section 20, T13N/
R9W; then
    (17) Proceed west on the meandering Bell Hill Road, crossing Adobe 
Creek, to the road's intersection with Highland Springs Road, section 
30, T13N/R9W; then
    (18) Proceed north on Highland Springs Road approximately 2.8 miles 
to the road's intersection with Mathews Road at the northwest corner of 
section 8, T13N/R9W; then
    (19) Proceed west on Mathews Road approximately 0.7 mile to the 
road's intersection with an unnamed paved road known locally as Ackley 
Road, southern boundary of section 6, T13N/R9W; then
    (20) Proceed north on Ackley Road approximately 0.9 mile, crossing 
onto the Lakeport map, to the road's intersection with State Highway 
29/175, section 6; T13N/R9W; then
    (21) Proceed due north-northeast in a straight line approximately 
0.15 mile to the unnamed secondary highway known locally as Soda Bay 
Road, northern boundary of section 6, T13N/R9W; then
    (22) Proceed east on Soda Bay Road approximately 0.35 mile to the 
road's intersection with Manning Creek, northern boundary of section 6, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (23) Proceed northwesterly (downstream) along Manning Creek to the 
shore of Clear Lake, section 30, T14N/R9W; then
    (24) Proceed easterly along the meandering shore of Clear Lake, 
crossing onto the Lucerne map, to the beginning point.
0
4. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.-------- to read as follows:


Sec.  9.--------  Kelsey Bench-Lake County.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Kelsey Bench-Lake County.'' For purposes of part 4 of this 
chapter, ``Kelsey Bench-Lake County'', ``Kelsey Bench'', and 
``Kelseyville Bench'' are terms of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The two United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Kelseyville, Calif., 1993; and
    (2) Highland Springs, Calif., 1993.
    (c) Boundary. The Kelsey Bench-Lake County viticultural area is 
located in Lake County, California. The boundary of the Kelsey Bench-
Lake County viticultural area is described below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Kelseyville map within the town 
of

[[Page 20557]]

Kelseyville at the intersection of Konocti Road and Main Street (not 
named on the map), section 14, T13N/R9W. From the beginning point, 
proceed east on Konocti Road approximately 0.9 mile to the road's 3-way 
intersection with an unnamed, unimproved road to the south, section 13, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (2) Proceed south on the unnamed, unimproved road approximately 
0.35 mile to a fork in the road, and continue on the eastern branch of 
the fork approximately 0.4 mile to the point where the road intersects 
a straight line drawn westward from the marked 2,493 elevation point in 
section 19, T13N/R9W, to the intersection of the 1,600-foot elevation 
line and the eastern boundary of section 23, T13N/R9W (which is 
concurrent with Wilkerson Road); then
    (3) Proceed westerly along the straight line described in paragraph 
(c)(2) approximately 0.3 mile to the line's western end at the 
intersection of the 1,600-foot elevation line and the eastern boundary 
of section 23, T13N/R9W; then
    (4) Proceed south along the eastern boundaries of sections 23 and 
26, T13N/R9W, approximately 0.8 mile to the first intersection of the 
eastern boundary of section 26 and the 1,720-foot elevation line; then
    (5) Proceed southeasterly along the 1,720-foot elevation line to 
the line's intersection with State Highway 29/175, just west of BM 
1758, section 25, T13N/R9W; then
    (6) Proceed west on State Highway 29/175 approximately 0.15 mile to 
the highway's intersection with an unnamed, unimproved road, section 
25, T13N/R9W; then
    (7) Proceed southwest then west on the unnamed, unimproved road 
approximately 0.4 mile to the road's intersection with Cole Creek Road 
at Bottle Rock Road, section 25, T13N/R9W; then
    (8) Proceed west on Cole Creek Road approximately 0.65 mile to the 
road's intersection with an unnamed light-duty road known locally as 
Live Oak Drive (at BM 1625), section 26, T13N/R9W; then
    (9) Proceed northwest on Live Oak Drive to the road's intersection 
with Gross Road (at BM 1423), section 26, T13N/R9W; then
    (10) Proceed south on Gross Road approximately 0.65 mile to the 
road's intersection with the 1,600-foot elevation line, section 26, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (11) Proceed southerly along the meandering 1,600-foot elevation 
line to the line's intersection with Sweetwater Creek section 10, T12N/
R9W; then
    (12) Proceed due west in a straight line approximately 0.6 mile to 
the line's first intersection with the 1,600-foot elevation after 
crossing Kelsey Creek, section 10, T12N/R9W; then
    (13) Proceed westerly and then northerly along the meandering 
1,600-foot elevation line to the line's intersection with Kelsey Creek 
Drive, section 4, T12N/R9W; then
    (14) Proceed west on Kelsey Creek Drive and then Adobe Creek Drive, 
crossing onto the Highland Springs map, and continue north-northwest on 
Adobe Creek Drive, a total distance of approximately 3.25 miles, to the 
marked 1,439-foot elevation point in section 29, T13N/R9W; then
    (15) Proceed west-southwest in a straight line that passes through 
the marked 1,559-foot elevation point in section 29, T13N/R9W, and 
continue in the same direction to the line's intersection with an 
unnamed, light-duty road known locally as East Highland Springs Road, a 
total distance of approximately 0.6 mile, section 30, T13N, R9W; then
    (16) Proceed north on East Highland Springs Road approximately 0.5 
mile, to the road's intersection with an unnamed road in the northeast 
quadrant of section 30, T13N/R9W; then
    (17) Proceed northwest on the unnamed road to the road's end point, 
then continue due north-northwest in a straight line, a total distance 
of approximately 0.3 mile, to the line's intersection with the southern 
boundary of section 19, T13N/R9W; then
    (18) Proceed west along the southern boundary of section 19, T13N/
R9W, approximately 0.5 mile to the section's southwest corner; then
    (19) Proceed north along the western boundary of section 19, T13N/
R9W, approximately 0.3 mile to the section line's seventh intersection 
with the 1,600-foot elevation line; then
    (20) Proceed westerly, northwesterly, and then easterly along the 
meandering 1,600-foot elevation line to the line's second intersection 
with the northern boundary of section 19, T13N/R9w; then
    (21) Proceed east along the northern boundary of section 19, T13N/
R9W, approximately 0.35 mile to the section boundary's intersection 
with an unnamed road known locally as Fritch Road; then
    (22) Proceed east on Fritch Road approximately 0.4 miles to the 
road's intersection with Highland Springs Road, section 18, T13N/R9W; 
then
    (23) Proceed south on Highland Springs Road approximately 0.8 mile 
to the road's intersection with Bell Hill Road, section 19, T13N/R9W; 
then
    (24) Proceed eastward on the meandering Bell Hill Road 
approximately 1.4 miles to the road's last intersection with the 1,400-
foot elevation line in section 20, T13N/R9W; then
    (25) Proceed northeasterly along the 1,400-foot elevation line, 
crossing onto the Kelseyville map, to the line's first intersection 
with Bell Hill Road in the southeast quadrant of section 16, T13N/R9W; 
then
    (26) Proceed northeast and then east on Bell Hill Road 
approximately 0.15 mile to the road's intersection with Hill Creek, 
section 16, T13N/R9W; then
    (27) Proceed northerly (downstream) along Hill Creek approximately 
0.9 mile to the creek's intersection with Merritt Road, section 16, 
T13N/R9W; then
    (28) Proceed east on Merritt Road approximately 0.1 mile to the 
road's intersection with the 1,400-foot elevation line, northern 
boundary of section 16, T13N/R9W; then
    (29) Proceed northerly along the 1,400-foot elevation line 
approximately 0.2 mile to State Highway 29/175, section 9, T13N/R9W, 
and then continue northerly and then southeasterly along the 1,400-foot 
elevation line approximately 0.5 mile to the line's intersection with 
Merritt Road, northern boundary of section 15, T13N/R9W; then
    (30) Proceed east on Merritt Road approximately 0.3 mile to the 
road's intersection with an unnamed road known locally as Big Valley 
Road (or North Main Street), northern boundary of section 15, T13N/R9W; 
then
    (31) Proceed south then east on Big Valley Road (North Main Street) 
approximately 0.35 mile to the road's intersection with Kelsey Creek, 
section 15, T13N/R9W; then
    (32) Proceed southerly (upstream) along Kelsey Creek approximately 
0.5 mile to the creek's intersection with State Highway 29/175, section 
14, T13N/R9W; then
    (33) Proceed southeast on State Highway 29/175 approximately 0.4 
mile, crossing Live Oak Drive, to the highway's intersection with an 
unnamed road known locally as Main Street, section 14, T13N/R9W; then
    (34) Proceed north on Main Street approximately 0.3 mile, returning 
to the beginning point.

    Signed: March 28, 2013.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-07882 Filed 4-4-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P