[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 124 (Thursday, June 27, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 38618-38628]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15247]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2013-0004; Notice No. 135]
RIN 1513-AB96


Proposed Establishment of the Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
Viticultural Area and Realignments of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley 
Viticultural Areas

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 approximately 26,260-acre ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' 
viticultural area in northern California. TTB also proposes to modify 
the boundaries of the existing Mendocino viticultural area and the 
Redwood Valley viticultural area. The proposed boundary modifications 
would decrease the size of the 327,437-acre Mendocino viticultural area 
by 1,900 acres and decrease the size of the 32,047-acre Redwood Valley 
viticultural area by 1,430 acres. The proposed modifications of the two 
existing viticultural areas would eliminate potential overlaps with the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. The proposed 
viticultural area and the two existing viticultural areas all lie 
entirely within Mendocino County, California, and the multi-county 
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 proposals.

DATES: TTB must receive your comments on or before August 26, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Please send your comments on this proposal to one of the 
following addresses:
     http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form 
for this document as posted within Docket No. TTB-2013-0004 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 200E, Washington, DC 
20005.
    See the Public Participation section of this document for specific 
instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for 
information on how to request a public hearing.
    You may view copies of this document, selected supporting 
materials, and any comments TTB receives about this proposal at http://www.regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB-2013-0004. A link to that 
docket is posted on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 135. You also may view copies of this 
document, 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:

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

[[Page 38619]]

on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB 
regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation 
and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of 
American viticultural areas and lists the 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.
    Petitions to modify the boundary of an existing viticultural area 
which would result in a decrease in the size of an existing 
viticultural area must include the following:
     An explanation of the extent to which the current 
viticultural name does not apply to the excluded area;
     An explanation of how the distinguishing features of the 
excluded area are different from those within the boundary of the 
smaller viticultural area; and
     An explanation of how the boundary of the existing 
viticultural area was incorrectly or incompletely defined or is no 
longer accurate due to new evidence or changed circumstances.

Eagle Peak Mendocino County Establishment Petition; Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley Modification Petitions

    TTB received three petitions on behalf of local grape growers from 
Mr. Ralph Jens Carter, one proposing the establishment of the ``Eagle 
Peak Mendocino County'' viticultural area and two separate companion 
petitions proposing the modification of the boundaries of the existing 
``Mendocino'' (27 CFR 9.93) and ``Redwood Valley'' (27 CFR 9.153) 
viticultural areas. The proposed viticultural area and the two existing 
viticultural areas lie entirely within Mendocino County and the multi-
county North Coast viticultural area (27 CFR 9.30) in northern 
California. The proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area 
contains approximately 26,260 acres, of which approximately 120 acres 
are in 16 commercial vineyards. The proposed viticultural area lies to 
the west of both the Redwood Valley viticultural area and the eastern 
portion of the V-shaped Mendocino viticultural area.
    A small portion of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area would, if established, overlap portions of the 
established Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas. To 
eliminate the potential overlaps, the petitioner proposed to modify the 
boundaries of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas. The 
proposed boundary modifications would eliminate the potential overlap 
and would remove the overlapped areas from the Mendocino and Redwood 
Valley viticultural areas. The proposed modifications would reduce the 
size of the 32,047-acre Redwood Valley viticultural area boundary by 
approximately 1,430 acres and reduce the size of the 327,437-acre 
Mendocino viticultural area by approximately 1,900 acres.
    Two vineyards, Golden Vineyards and Masut Vineyards, currently 
exist within the area of the proposed boundary modification. The 
western portion of the Redwood Valley viticultural area boundary 
currently runs through both vineyards, splitting each property between 
the Redwood Valley and Mendocino viticultural areas. If TTB adopts the 
proposed boundary modifications, the division would be eliminated and 
both vineyards would lie wholly within the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area. The affected growers have both 
provided TTB with written support for the proposed modification of the 
boundaries of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas, and 
they support the establishment of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area.
    The distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area 
include climate, geology, topography, and soils. Unless otherwise 
noted, all information and data contained in the below sections are 
from either the petition to establish the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area and its supporting exhibits or the companion 
petitions to modify the boundaries of the established Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural areas.

Eagle Peak Mendocino County

Name Evidence

    Eagle Peak is a prominent summit within the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area, and various sources list ``Eagle 
Peak'' as a name associated with the proposed viticultural area. The 
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Laughlin Range map identifies a 
2,699-foot elevation point, approximately 6 miles west of the Redwood 
Valley Rancheria, as Eagle Peak. The United States Department of 
Agriculture Soil Survey, Mendocino County, Eastern Part, Sheet 26, 
identifies a mountain summit north of Jack Smith Creek and south of 
Mill Creek as Eagle Peak, and the USGS Geographic Names Information 
System (GNIS) lists Eagle Peak as a summit in Mendocino County. A 
mountain pass in the Laughlin Range within the proposed viticultural 
area is designated as ``Eagle Peak Crossing.'' Although the pass is not 
marked on the USGS maps, the petitioner provided a photograph of a road 
sign that marks the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the pass, as 
well as its name.

[[Page 38620]]

    Section 9.12(a)(1)(ii) of TTB regulations allows local businesses 
and road names to be used as evidence that the region of a proposed 
viticultural area is known by the proposed name. Because the proposed 
viticultural area is in a mountainous, rural region, there are few 
businesses within it and few named roads shown on the USGS maps. 
However, the petitioner provided a Mendocino County land parcel map 
that shows an Eagle Peak Road and an Eagle Peak Court within the 
proposed viticultural area. The petitioner also provided a page from 
the Western Bison Association's internet directory that shows a listing 
for Eagle Peak Bison Ranch, which is located within the proposed 
viticultural area. Finally, because Sec.  9.12(a)(1)(ii) allows 
anecdotal evidence taken from local residents with knowledge of the 
name and its use to be presented to support other name evidence, the 
petitioner provided a petition signed by several local residents 
attesting that the area of the proposed viticultural area is known as 
``Eagle Peak.''
    The GNIS lists 47 summits in the United States designated as 
``Eagle Peak,'' including 16 others in California. Therefore, the 
petition included the modifier ``Mendocino County'' in the proposed 
name, to pinpoint the geographical location of the proposed 
viticultural area and avoid potential confusion for consumers.

Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area is 
located approximately 125 miles north of San Francisco, in a climatic 
transition zone between the cooler Pacific coast and the hotter inland 
valleys. The proposed viticultural area extends from the Redwood Valley 
to the south, northward to just south of the small community known as 
Ridge, California.
    The proposed viticultural area consists mostly of steep upland 
terrain. The western portion of the boundary of the proposed 
viticultural area is formed by a ridge of the California Coast Range. 
The steep peaks of the Laughlin Range form the northern portion of the 
proposed boundary and gradually descend to the lower, flatter land of 
Little Lake Valley near Willits, a town north of the proposed 
viticultural area. The proposed eastern and southeastern portions of 
the boundary are marked by lower elevations that descend to the nearly 
level floors of the Redwood and Ukiah Valleys, outside of the proposed 
viticultural area.
    The boundary of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area also encompasses the Forsythe Creek watershed. 
Drainage begins within the proposed viticultural area at the headwaters 
of Forsythe Creek, which joins downstream with the Walker, Mill, and 
Seward Creeks, and continues to the confluence with the Russian River 
headwaters in Redwood Valley, southeast of the proposed boundary.
    The boundary of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area and the related modifications to the Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural areas differ slightly from those outlined 
in the original petitions. With the petitioner's agreement, TTB made 
several small adjustments to the originally-proposed boundaries in 
order to use features found on all three map sets, since the Mendocino 
area's maps are of a different scale than those used for the other two 
areas. The petitioner also revised the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County boundary in order to eliminate the inclusion of some Redwood 
Valley floor land in the proposed viticultural area's southeastern 
corner.

Distinguishing Features

Climate
    The proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area has a 
transitional climate between the cool, wet climate of the Pacific 
coastline and the warmer, drier air of the interior valleys. This 
transitional climate influences grape-growing practices within the 
proposed viticultural area.
    Temperatures: The year-round temperatures of the proposed 
viticultural area are influenced by cool, moist air from the Pacific 
Ocean, which moderates daily temperatures and seasonal temperature 
variations. Data submitted with the petition shows an average of only 
22 days per year with temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F) 
within the proposed viticultural area and only a 25 degree difference 
in average temperature between the average warmest month and average 
coldest month. The moderate temperatures can be attributed, in part, to 
coastal fog. Although the Coastal Range blocks the heaviest of the 
marine fog from moving farther inland, some fog does enter the proposed 
viticultural area through a gap in the Coastal Range known as the Big 
River airflow corridor, located at the headwaters of the Big River near 
the peak known as Impassable Rocks. The fog then travels farther into 
the proposed viticultural area along stream beds and creeks, gradually 
dissipating as it moves east.
    The steep upland terrain of the proposed viticultural area also 
plays a role in moderating temperatures. At night, cold air drains off 
the mountain slopes and into the lower elevations of the neighboring 
Ukiah Valley and Redwood Valley, resulting in warmer nighttime 
temperatures within the proposed viticultural area than in the valleys. 
Because the cold nighttime air drains off of the higher elevations, the 
fluctuations between daytime and nighttime temperatures (diurnal 
shifts) within the proposed viticultural area are moderate, averaging 
20.6 degrees during the growing season. According to the petition, 
relatively constant temperatures during the ripening period with less 
fluctuation between day and night temperatures encourage the complete 
development of color, flavor, and aroma in grapes.
    By contrast, the region to the west of the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area is more exposed to the cool, moist 
air flowing inland from the Pacific Ocean. As a result, fog is heavier 
and longer lasting within this region than within the proposed 
viticultural area. The cool, moist, foggy climate to the west of the 
proposed viticultural area promotes the growth of fungus on grapes and 
inhibits ripening, as contrasted to the drier, warmer conditions of the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area, which reduce 
the threat of fungus and provide better ripening conditions. 
Additionally, the heavier fog results in cooler year-round temperatures 
with smaller seasonal fluctuations than within the proposed 
viticultural area. The town of Fort Bragg, located on the Pacific 
coast, averages only an 8 degree difference in temperatures between the 
warmest and coldest months of the year, compared to the 25 degree 
difference for the proposed viticultural area.
    The region north of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area is generally cooler and receives more snowfall 
annually. Frosts can occur in almost any month except July and August. 
Climate data obtained by TTB from the online Western Regional Climate 
Center database \1\ shows that the town of Willits, north of the 
proposed viticultural area, has an average annual maximum temperature 
of only 69 degrees F and no months averaging highs over 90 degrees F. 
Because of its greater distance from both the Pacific coast and the Big 
River airflow corridor, Willits also experiences a larger difference in 
temperature between the warmest and coolest months than the proposed

[[Page 38621]]

viticultural area, with an average temperature difference of 31 
degrees.
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    \1\ From www.wrcc.dri.edu. The period of record for this climate 
summary is 1902 through 2011.
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    To the east and south of the proposed viticultural area, the 
Redwood and Ukiah Valleys are not as affected by the marine air as the 
proposed viticultural area. Although much of the fog and cool breezes 
that pass through the Big River airflow corridor dissipate the farther 
east they travel, some cool, moist air occasionally reaches the 
valleys, but not as often or in the same quantitative amount as within 
the proposed viticultural area. As a result, the temperatures in the 
Redwood and Ukiah valleys are significantly higher than in the proposed 
Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. Data submitted with the 
petition shows the number of days per year with temperatures over 90 
degrees F averages 80 in the Ukiah Valley and 64 in the Redwood Valley, 
compared to an average of only 22 days per year with temperatures over 
90 degrees F within the proposed viticultural area. The temperature 
difference between the coolest and warmest months is also greater 
within the inland valleys than within the proposed viticultural area, 
with the Ukiah Valley averaging a 55 degree difference. Finally, due to 
the cool air draining off the higher elevations at night, the valleys 
experience a greater fluctuation between daytime highs and nighttime 
lows than the proposed viticultural area. For example, daily 
temperature fluctuations within Redwood Valley average 33.7 degrees 
during the growing season, and fluctuations of more than 40 degrees are 
not uncommon.
    Wind: The Big River airflow corridor also plays a role in the 
summer winds that are common throughout the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area. During the summer, hot air rises 
from the Redwood, Potter, and Ukiah Valleys east and south of the 
proposed viticultural area, creating low pressure at ground level. The 
low pressure pulls cooler marine air from the Pacific Ocean through the 
Big River airflow corridor and into the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area, resulting in frequent winds. The breezes 
dissipate as they move east. As a result, breezes are lighter and less 
frequent in the valleys to the east and south of the proposed 
viticultural area.
    Wind speed measurements, taken in miles per hour (mph), were 
recorded at various times during the growing season in vineyards within 
the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area and the 
neighboring Redwood Valley viticultural area, located to the east of 
the proposed viticultural area. The data in the table below was 
included with the petition.

                              Wind Patterns
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Proposed Eagle
                                    Peak Mendocino      Redwood Valley
              2009                      County         viticultural area
                                   viticultural area      (Elizabeth
                                   (Masut Vineyards)      Vineyards)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
June 18
    Average.....................  7 mph.............  2 mph.
    Gusts.......................  15 mph............  5 mph.
July 22
    Average.....................  10 mph............  5 mph.
    Gusts.......................  18 mph............  8 mph.
August 14
    Average.....................  5 mph.............  1 mph.
    Gusts.......................  8 mph.............  3 mph.
September 3
    Average.....................  5 mph.............  0 mph.
    Gusts.......................  10 mph............  2 mph.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The data in the table demonstrates that the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area is significantly windier throughout 
the growing season than Redwood Valley, which is located at lower 
elevations to the east.
    The winds in the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural 
area affect grape growing. According to the petitioner, the cool 
breezes lower the temperature, but are not so strong as to damage the 
vines or fruits. The breezes also lower humidity, reducing the 
development of grape rot. Furthermore, light breezes somewhat delay the 
ripening process by stimulating leaf pores to close, thereby reducing 
photosynthesis. The longer ripening process allows the flavor 
components to develop before the acid levels drop too low.
Geology
    The proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area has two 
primary rock types: sandstone and shale. Sandstone is a marine 
sedimentary rock found in the coastal belt that includes some 
Franciscan Complex and early Tertiary micro-fossils of 65 to 1.5 
million years old. Shale is older Franciscan Complex, from the 
Cretaceous and Jurassic periods, 65 to 195 million years ago. The 
Franciscan sediments are characterized by unstable rocks on steep 
terraces and slopes and soils with nickel and high magnesium levels and 
relatively shallow rooting depths of 4 to 40 inches.
    To the immediate north and south of the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area is a geological continuation of the 
Franciscan Complex. Farther north, the valleys near Willits contain 
Quaternary alluvium, as do Redwood and Ukiah Valleys to the east and 
southeast. Quaternary alluvium is between 1.5 million years to 11,000 
years old, significantly younger than the rocks of the proposed Eagle 
Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. The alluvial sediments have 
rooting depths of 60 inches or more. To the west, southwest, and 
northwest of the proposed viticultural area is only sandstone, with no 
shale.
    Growing wine grapes in the Franciscan formation soil of the 
proposed viticultural area requires special care due to the chemical 
elements in the rocks. Rocks in the formation contain nickel, which is 
toxic to grapes. High levels of magnesium, which are also found in the 
Franciscan formation, can affect the uptake of potassium, an element 
vital to good fruit production. However, the thin, rocky soil does lead 
to fewer leaves, resulting in naturally good canopy-light relations. 
Vines growing in the thicker alluvial soils of valleys to the north, 
east, and southeast produce more leaves and therefore require more 
specialized trellising and canopy management techniques to achieve good 
canopy-light relations.
Topography
    The topography of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area includes an abundance of rolling-to-steep terrain, 
high elevations, and moderate-to-steep slope angles.
    Elevations: Elevations vary from 800 to 3,320 feet within the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area, according to 
the USGS maps. Prominent elevations include Eagle Peak at 2,699 feet, 
Irene Peak at 2,836 feet, and the 3,320-foot crest of Laughlin Ridge. 
High elevations occur throughout the proposed viticultural area, with 
the exception of the 800-foot elevations along its proposed eastern 
boundary where Forsythe and Seward Creeks flow into Redwood Valley and 
towards the Russian River. The high elevations within the proposed 
Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area protect vineyards from 
frost during the spring and autumn because the cool air drains off the 
slopes at night and settles in the lower elevations of the valleys 
outside of the proposed viticultural area.
    The elevations outside the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area vary, but are generally lower than those within the 
proposed viticultural area. To the north of the proposed viticultural 
area, the Laughlin Range and Ridgewood summit slopes, which form the 
northern boundary of

[[Page 38622]]

the proposed viticultural area, gradually descend from a peak of 3,320 
feet at the northeast corner of the proposed viticultural area to 
approximately 1,100 feet in Little Lake Valley around Willits, farther 
to the north. To the east of the proposed viticultural area, the 
Redwood Valley has lower elevations of between 508 and 800 feet. To the 
south of the proposed viticultural area are rolling hills with 
elevations between 1,863 and 2,571 feet, which gradually descend to the 
Ukiah Valley, with an elevation of approximately 700 feet. To the west 
of the proposed viticultural area, the terrain descends from 
approximately 2,000 feet to sea level at the Pacific coastline.
    Slope Angle and Aspect: The proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area slopes are generally southerly-facing and moderately 
to very steep, with angles between 30 to 50 percent as calculated by 
the petitioner using USGS maps. The steep slopes encourage good air 
circulation, which prevents frosts and heavy fogs that can damage 
grapevines. Steep slopes also promote water drainage and prevent an 
excess of standing water, although the steepness creates a high erosion 
hazard that must be considered when planting vineyards. The southerly 
solar aspect of the slopes enables the soil to warm faster in the 
spring, promoting early vine growth. The warmer soil temperatures also 
encourage the production of cytokinin (plant hormones), which 
contributes to early grape ripening.
    The Laughlin Range and Ridgewood Summit, with 30 to 50 percent 
slope angles, form the northern portion of the proposed boundary. 
However, as the terrain continues northward beyond the proposed 
viticultural area, it quickly changes from steep to mild slopes, with 
near-level angles in Little Lake Valley. In contrast to the southerly-
facing slopes of the proposed viticultural area, the slopes in this 
northern region generally face north. Northerly-facing slopes are 
generally cooler and more susceptible to frost than southerly-facing 
slopes.
    To the east, the Redwood Valley is nearly level, with slope angles 
of 2 to 8 percent. Cool air run-off from the steep mountainsides of the 
proposed viticultural area settles in the flatter terrain of the valley 
during spring and autumn nights, creating more of a frost threat in the 
valley than on the slopes. The valley terrain is less efficient at 
shedding excess water than the more steeply sloped terrain of the 
proposed viticultural area, but the gentler slope angles of the valley 
create less of an erosion hazard.
    To the south is moderately-sloped rolling, hilly terrain that dips 
into the nearly-level Ukiah Valley. The hillsides are generally east-
facing and are blocked from much of the marine-influenced breezes and 
moisture that travel from the west and penetrate the proposed 
viticultural area.
    To the immediate west are moderate-to-steep slope angles, similar 
to the terrain within the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area. However, these slopes generally face west and are 
more exposed to heavy fog and cool, wet air from the Pacific Ocean than 
the southerly-facing slopes of the proposed viticultural area. The 
higher elevations and steep slopes west of the proposed viticultural 
area gradually descend to low elevations and gentle slopes as the land 
meets the coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
Soils
    The defining characteristics of soils within the proposed Eagle 
Peak Mendocino County viticultural area include profoundly low water-
holding capacity, shallow rooting depths, and high erosion potential, 
due to the composition of the soil and the steep slopes. The soils are 
classified as upland under grass and oaks, or under forest (fog-
influenced). Primary soil associations are the Yorkville-Yorktree-
Squawrock and Ornbaun-Zeni-Yellowhound associations. The soils retain 
enough water to allow the vines to come out of dormancy in the spring 
and make it through the ``grand growth stage'' without irrigation, but 
irrigation is required for the rest of the growing season. TTB notes 
that the ``grand growth stage'' is a period of rapid growth that 
follows early shoot development and typically continues until just 
after fruit set.\2\
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    \2\ Hellman, E.W. ``Grapevine Structure and Function.'' Oregon 
Viticulture. Ed. E.W. Hellman. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State 
University Press, 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To the north and south of the proposed viticultural area, the soils 
are upland soils under forest, typically covered with a mat of conifer 
needles. These soils have a moderate water-holding capacity. To the 
east and southeast, the valley floors of the Redwood Valley and 
Mendocino viticultural areas have alluvial soils with high water-
holding capacity. The alluvial soils are able to retain adequate 
moisture later into the growing season, unlike the soils in the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area, making 
irrigation less necessary. Additionally, the alluvial soils have deeper 
rooting depths and are not as susceptible to erosion as soils of the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. To the west, 
the soil types vary in water-holding capacity from very low to high, 
depending on whether they are alluvial (moderate-to-high capacity) or 
greywacke, shale, sandstone, and siltstone (very-low-to-high capacity).

Comparisons of the Proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County Viticultural 
Area to the Existing 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 Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. 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 Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area shares 
the basic viticultural feature of the North Coast viticultural area: 
the marine influence that moderates growing season temperatures in the 
area. However, the proposed viticultural area is much more uniform in 
its 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 within 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 Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area 
is not inconsistent with what was envisaged when the North Coast 
viticultural area was established.

Proposed Modification of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley Viticultural 
Areas

    As previously noted, in addition to submitting a petition to 
establish the

[[Page 38623]]

Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area, the petitioner also 
submitted petitions to modify the boundaries of the established 
Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas. The Redwood Valley 
viticultural area is located entirely within the Mendocino viticultural 
area and shares the northern portion of its boundary with part of the 
northern boundary of the Mendocino viticultural area. The proposed 
Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area is located to the west of 
both the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas and as 
proposed would partially overlap portions of both viticultural areas. 
The proposed boundary modifications would reduce the sizes of the 
Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas by 1,900 acres and 
1,430 acres, respectively, and would eliminate potential overlaps 
between the proposed viticultural area and the two existing 
viticultural areas.
    According to the petitions, the modification would remove the 
steeper terrain of the proposed realignment area from the flatter, 
lower, valley-dominated elevations of the two existing viticultural 
areas and into the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural 
area, which is characterized by steeper upland terrain. The petition 
also notes that modifying the boundaries of the Mendocino and Redwood 
Valley viticultural areas would result in two vineyards, totaling 50 
acres, being entirely within the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area. Currently, both vineyards are split between the 
Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas.

Overview of the Mendocino Viticultural Area

    The 327,437-acre Mendocino viticultural area was established by 
T.D. ATF-178, which was published in the Federal Register on June 15, 
1984 (49 FR 24711). The Mendocino viticultural area is described as a 
mixture of upland and valley floor, with warmer winters and cooler 
summers than those found in the eastern interior area. T.D. ATF-178 
also describes the Mendocino viticultural area as having a transitional 
climate, where the climate of the region varies from cool, moist, 
coastal-influenced conditions to warm, dry periods characteristic of 
regions farther inland. The average growing season is 268 days, with 
annual precipitation amounts averaging 39.42 inches.
    The Mendocino viticultural area encompasses the agricultural areas 
of the southernmost third of Mendocino County. Mountain ridges 
surrounding the area define the upper limits of the Russian River and 
Navarro River drainage basins. The ridges, with peaks to 3,500 feet in 
elevation, provide a natural boundary for the climate of the Mendocino 
viticultural area. Most grapes grow at elevations between 250 and 1,100 
feet, with some growth as high as 1,600 feet.
    T.D. ATF-178 made no comparisons of the Mendocino viticultural area 
to the area identified in this proposed rule as the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area.

Overview of the Redwood Valley Viticultural Area

    The 32,047-acre Redwood Valley viticultural area was established by 
T.D. ATF-386, which was published in the Federal Register on December 
23, 1996 (61 FR 67466). The primary feature of the viticultural area is 
a low-elevation, gently sloping valley floor. The boundary of the 
viticultural area roughly follows the watershed that forms the 
headwaters of the western fork of the Russian River, including Forsythe 
Creek, whose watershed is encompassed by the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area. The southern end of Redwood Valley 
forms a narrow funnel shape near the small town of Calpella. The 
Russian River runs southward through the funnel and exits the Redwood 
Valley viticultural area as it flows to the Pacific Ocean.
    The distinguishing features of the Redwood Valley viticultural 
area, as described in T.D. ATF-386, include climate, rainfall, and 
soils. The climate of the Redwood Valley viticultural area is cooler 
than the Ukiah Valley to the south, but warmer than the Anderson Valley 
viticultural area to the west. The climate is cool enough within the 
Redwood Valley viticultural area that harvest occurs later than in the 
Ukiah Valley, but still takes place earlier than in the Anderson Valley 
viticultural area. The Redwood Valley viticultural area averages 39.62 
inches of precipitation annually, which is 22 percent more than in 
Ukiah Valley. Additionally, T.D. ATF-386 describes the Redwood Valley 
viticultural area as having the largest deposit of Redvine Series soil 
in the area, as well as large amounts of Pinole Gravelly Loam. T.D. 
ATF-386 made no comparisons of Redwood Valley to the area identified in 
this Notice as the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural 
area.

Comparison of Distinguishing Features Within the Proposed Realignment 
Areas to the Redwood Valley and Mendocino Viticultural Areas

    TTB notes that the Mendocino viticultural area is shaped like an 
upright letter ``V,'' and the Redwood Valley viticultural area lies 
entirely within the northwestern corner of the easternmost arm of the 
``V.'' The proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area sits 
to the west of the easternmost arm of the ``V'' and partially overlaps 
it as well as a portion of the Redwood Valley viticultural area. The 
petitions to establish the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area and modify the boundaries of the Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural areas emphasize that the characteristics of 
the areas that will no longer be part of the Mendocino and Redwood 
Valley viticultural areas (hereinafter referred to as the realignment 
areas) are more similar to those of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area than those of the two existing viticultural 
areas.
    The topography of the realignment areas is consistent with that of 
the high elevations and steep terrain of the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area. The petitioner calculated the slope 
angles and elevations of the realignment areas and the Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural areas using USGS maps. The proposed 
realignment areas have moderate-to-steeply-sloped rugged terrain, 30 to 
50 percent slope angles, and 800- to 2,500-foot elevations. By 
contrast, the region to the east of the realignment areas, farther 
within the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas, is nearly 
level valley terrain with slopes between 2 and 8 percent and general 
elevations of 700 feet.
    The realignment areas also have cooler climates than the rest of 
the Redwood Valley viticultural area and the neighboring eastern 
portion of the Mendocino viticultural area. The closest towns to the 
realignment areas that are located within the Mendocino and Redwood 
Valley viticultural areas are Ukiah and Redwood Valley, respectively. 
Data collected from the weather stations in these two towns shows the 
number of days per year with temperatures over 90 degrees F averages 80 
in Ukiah and 64 in Redwood Valley. By contrast, data gathered from 
Masut Vineyards, within the proposed realignment area, averages only 34 
days with temperatures above 90 degrees F, which is closer to the 
average of 22 days

[[Page 38624]]

per year for the entire proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area.
    The cooler temperatures of the realignment areas and proposed 
viticultural area are partially due to the strong breezes that flow 
through the Big River airflow corridor. The northeastern portion of the 
Mendocino viticultural area and the Redwood Valley viticultural area, 
by contrast, do not have strong breezes, mostly due to their greater 
distances from the airflow corridor. Masut Vineyards, within the 
proposed realignment areas, averaged windspeeds of almost 7 miles per 
hour during the 2009 growing season, compared to an average of 2 miles 
per hour within Elizabeth Vineyards, in the Redwood Valley viticultural 
area. The difference between the recorded average windspeed for gusts 
is even greater, with an average gust speed of almost 13 miles per hour 
for Masut Vineyards, compared to 4.5 miles per hour for Elizabeth 
Vineyards. The petitioner did not provide windspeed data for any 
location within the Mendocino viticultural area.
    The soils of the realignment areas are more similar to those of the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. As shown on the 
USDA Soil Survey map for eastern Mendocino County, the soil within the 
realignment area is primarily of the Yorktree-Yorkville-Squawrock 
association, similar to the majority of the soil within the proposed 
Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area. By contrast, the soils 
in the neighboring portions of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley 
viticultural areas are primarily alluvial soils of the Hopland-
Sanhedrin-Kekawaka and Pinole-Yokayo-Redvine associations. The rooting 
depths within the proposed realignment areas and the proposed Eagle 
Peak Mendocino County viticultural area are as low as 4 to 10 inches, 
while the valley areas within the existing viticultural areas to the 
east have 60 inches or more consistent rooting depth. The shallower 
upland soils have lower water-holding capacity than the deeper soils of 
the valley areas. Further, the thicker alluvial soils of the valleys 
are more vigorous than in the upland areas of the realignment area, 
meaning that different viticultural practices, such as canopy 
management techniques, are required in the valleys.

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petitions to establish the 22,266-acre 
``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' American viticultural area and to 
concurrently modify the boundaries of the existing Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural areas merit consideration and public 
comment, as invited in this document.
    TTB is proposing the establishment of the new viticultural area and 
the modifications of the two existing viticultural areas as one action. 
Accordingly, if TTB establishes the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area, then the proposed boundary modifications of 
the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas would be approved 
concurrently. If TTB does not establish the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area, then the present Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural area boundaries would not be modified as 
proposed in this document.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative boundary descriptions of the petitioned-for 
viticultural area and the boundary modification of the two established 
viticultural areas in the proposed regulatory text published at the end 
of this document.
    TTB notes that the boundary of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area and the related modifications to the Mendocino 
and Redwood Valley viticultural areas differ slightly from those 
outlined in the original petitions. With the petitioner's agreement, 
TTB made several small adjustments to the originally-proposed 
boundaries in order to use features found on all three map sets, since 
the Mendocino area's maps are of a different scale than those used for 
the other two areas. The petitioner also revised the proposed Eagle 
Peak Mendocino County boundary in order to eliminate the inclusion of 
some Redwood Valley floor land in the proposed viticultural area's 
southeastern corner.

Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and TTB lists them below 
in the proposed regulatory text.

Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a 
wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true 
place of origin. If TTB establishes this proposed viticultural area, 
its name, ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County,'' would be recognized as a 
name of viticultural significance under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3). The text of 
the proposed regulation clarifies this point.
    TTB does not believe that ``Eagle Peak,'' standing alone, would 
have viticultural significance in relation to this proposed 
viticultural area, due to the widespread use of ``Eagle Peak'' as a 
geographical name. GNIS shows the name ``Eagle Peak'' used in reference 
to 73 locations in 15 States. Furthermore, TTB notes that the terms 
``Mendocino'' and ``Mendocino County'' are already established terms of 
viticultural significance. ``Mendocino'' refers to the established 
Mendocino viticultural area (27 CFR 9.93), while ``Mendocino County'' 
is a term of viticultural significance as a county appellation of 
origin under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3), which states that a name has 
viticultural significance when it is the name of a county. Because the 
term ``Mendocino'' is already an established term of viticultural 
significance, TTB also does not believe that the phrase ``Eagle Peak 
Mendocino,'' standing alone, would have viticultural significance with 
regards to this proposed viticultural area. Therefore, the proposed 
part 9 regulatory text set forth in this document specifies only 
``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' as a term of viticultural significance 
for purposes of part 4 of the TTB regulations.
    If this proposed regulatory text is adopted as a final rule, wine 
bottlers using ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' 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 viticultural area's full name ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' as an 
appellation of origin. If approved, the establishment of the proposed 
Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area and the proposed 
modifications of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural area 
boundaries would allow vintners to use ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County,'' 
``Mendocino County,'' or ``North Coast'' as appellations of origin for 
wines made from grapes grown within the Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area, if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for 
the appellation.

Use of ``Mendocino County'' and ``North Coast'' as Appellations of 
Origin

    If TTB approves establishment of the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County viticultural area and the proposed modifications of the 
boundaries of Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas, any 
bottlers using ``Mendocino County'' as an appellation of origin or in a 
brand name for wines made from grapes grown within Mendocino County 
would not be affected. Additionally, neither the establishment of the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area nor approval of 
the proposed

[[Page 38625]]

boundary modifications would affect any bottlers using ``North Coast'' 
as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from 
grapes grown within the North Coast viticultural area.

Use of ``Mendocino'' as an Appellation of Origin

    If the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area and 
the corresponding modification of the Mendocino viticultural area 
boundary are approved, bottlers currently using ``Mendocino'' standing 
alone as an appellation of origin for wine produced primarily from 
grapes grown in the areas removed from the Mendocino viticultural area 
would no longer be able to use ``Mendocino'' standing alone as an 
appellation of origin. Bottlers currently using ``Mendocino'' in a 
brand name for wine produced primarily from grapes grown in the areas 
removed from the Mendocino viticultural area would also no longer be 
able to use the term ``Mendocino'' in the brand name, but could use the 
terms ``Mendocino County'' or ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' in the 
brand name if otherwise eligible. See the ``Transition Period'' section 
of this document for more details.
    Bottlers currently using ``Mendocino'' as an appellation of origin 
or in a brand name for wine produced from grapes grown within the 
current, and if modified, Mendocino viticultural area would still be 
eligible to use the term as an appellation of origin or in a brand 
name.

Use of ``Redwood Valley'' as an Appellation of Origin

    If the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area and 
the corresponding modification of the Redwood Valley viticultural area 
boundary are approved, bottlers currently using ``Redwood Valley'' as 
an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wine produced primarily 
from grapes grown in the areas removed from the Redwood Valley 
viticultural area would no longer be able to use ``Redwood Valley'' as 
an appellation of origin or in a brand name. See the ``Transition 
Period'' section of this document for more details.
    Bottlers currently using ``Redwood Valley'' as an appellation of 
origin or in a brand name for wine produced from grapes grown within 
the current, and if modified, Redwood Valley viticultural area would 
still be eligible to use the term as an appellation of origin or in a 
brand name.

Transition Period

    If the proposals to establish the Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area and to modify the boundaries of the Mendocino and 
Redwood Valley viticultural areas are adopted as a final rule, a 
transition rule will apply to labels for wines produced from grapes 
grown in the area removed from the Mendocino and Redwood Valley 
viticultural areas. A label containing the words ``Mendocino'' (other 
than in the phrase ``Mendocino County'' or ``Eagle Peak Mendocino 
County'') or ``Redwood Valley'' in the brand name or as an appellation 
of origin may be used on wine bottled within two years from the 
effective date of the final rule, provided that such label was approved 
prior to the effective date of the final rule and that the wine 
conforms to the standards for use of the label set forth in 27 CFR 4.25 
or 4.39(i) in effect prior to the final rule. At the end of this two-
year transition period, if a wine is no longer eligible for labeling 
with the ``Mendocino'' or ``Redwood Valley'' viticultural area names 
(e.g., it is primarily produced from grapes grown in the areas removed 
from the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas), then a label 
containing the words ``Mendocino'' (other than in the phrase 
``Mendocino County'' or ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'') or ``Redwood 
Valley'' in the brand name or as an appellation of origin would not be 
permitted on the bottle. TTB believes that the two-year period should 
provide affected label holders with adequate time to use up any 
existing labels. This transition period is described in the proposed 
regulatory text for the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas 
published at the end of this notice.
    TTB notes that wine eligible for labeling with the ``Mendocino'' or 
``Redwood Valley'' viticultural area names under the proposed new 
boundary of the Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas will 
not be affected by this two-year transition period. Furthermore, if TTB 
does not approve the proposed boundary modifications, then all wine 
label holders currently eligible to use the ``Mendocino'' and ``Redwood 
Valley'' viticultural area names would be allowed to continue to use 
their labels as originally approved.

Public Participation

Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on 
whether TTB should establish the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area and concurrently modify the boundaries of the 
established Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas. TTB is 
interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the 
name, boundary, climate, geology, topography, soils, and other required 
information submitted in support of the Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area petition. In addition, given the proposed Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area's location within the existing North 
Coast viticultural area, TTB is interested in comments on whether the 
evidence submitted in the petition regarding the distinguishing 
features of the proposed viticultural area sufficiently differentiates 
it from the existing North Coast viticultural area. TTB is also 
interested in comments on whether the geographic features of the 
proposed viticultural area are so distinguishable from the North Coast 
viticultural area that the proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County 
viticultural area should no longer be part of the North Coast 
viticultural area. Please provide any available specific information in 
support of your comments.
    TTB also invites comments on the proposed modifications of the 
existing Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas. TTB is 
especially interested in comments on whether the evidence provided 
sufficiently differentiates the realignment areas from the existing 
Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas. Comments should 
address the name usage, boundaries, climate, topography, soils, and any 
other pertinent information that supports or opposes the proposed 
boundary modifications.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area on wine labels 
that include the terms ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County,'' ``Redwood 
Valley,'' or ``Mendocino'' as discussed above under Impact on Current 
Wine Labels, TTB is particularly interested in comments regarding 
whether there will be a conflict between the proposed area name and 
currently used brand names. 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 a modified or different name 
for the viticultural area.

[[Page 38626]]

Clarification of Redwood Valley's Southern Boundary
    In addition, TTB is proposing to clarify the description of a way 
point along the Redwood Valley viticultural area's southern boundary. 
Currently, the viticultural area's southern boundary includes a way 
point described as ``the intersection of State Highway 20 and U.S. 101 
* * *'' (see Sec.  9.153(c)(8)). Since this intersection is shown on 
the Ukiah map as a large highway interchange with various on- and off-
ramps between the two highways, TTB wishes to clarify this way point as 
``the intersection of State Highway 20 and a road known locally as 
North State Street (old U.S. Highway 101), north of Calpella * * *.'' 
TTB believes this clarification does not relocate the viticultural 
area's southern boundary as currently understood. However, TTB requests 
comments from any Redwood Valley vintner who believes this proposed 
change may affect their ability to use the Redwood Valley viticultural 
area as an appellation of origin.

Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this proposal by using one of the 
following three methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the 
online comment form posted with this document within Docket No. TTB-
2013-0004 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at 
http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available 
under Notice No. 135 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 at the 
top of the page.
     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 200E, Washington, DC 20005.
    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this 
document. Your comments must reference Notice No. 135 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. We do not acknowledge receipt of comments, and we consider 
all comments as originals.
    Your comment must clearly state if you are commenting on your own 
behalf or on behalf of an organization, business, or other entity. If 
you are commenting on behalf of an organization, business, or other 
entity, your comment must include the entity's name as well as your 
name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please 
enter the entity's name in the ``Organization'' blank of the online 
comment form. If you comment via postal mail, 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 enclose any material in your 
comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for 
public disclosure.

Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this document, selected 
supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about 
this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2013-0004 on the Federal e-
rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A 
direct link to that docket is available on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 135. You may 
also reach the relevant docket 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 at the 
top of the page.
    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 it considers unsuitable for posting.
    You also may view copies of this document, all related petitions, 
maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed 
comments we receive about this proposal by appointment at the TTB 
Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. 
You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Contact 
our 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 document.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we propose 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.  9.93 by revising paragraph (c)(7), redesignating 
paragraphs (c)(8) through (19) as paragraphs (c)(16) through (27), and 
adding new paragraphs (c)(8) through (15), and adding paragraph (d) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  9.93  Mendocino.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (7) Thence due west along the T.18N./T.17N. common line until the 
common line intersects with the R.13W./R.12W. common line;
    (8) Thence in a straight line in a south-southwesterly direction, 
crossing onto the Willits map, to the intersection of the 1,600-foot 
contour line and Baker Creek (within McGee Canyon) along the west 
boundary line of Section 25, T.17N./R.13W.;

[[Page 38627]]

    (9) Thence in a southeasterly direction (downstream) along Bakers 
Creek to where the creek intersects with the 1,400-foot contour line in 
Section 25, T.17N/R.13W.;
    (10) Thence in a straight line in a southeasterly direction to the 
southeast corner of Section 36, T.17N./R.13W.;
    (11) Thence in a straight line in a west-southwesterly direction to 
the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and an unnamed road known locally 
as Reeves Canyon Road in Section 1, T.16N./R.13W.;
    (12) Thence in a straight line in a southeasterly direction to the 
southeast corner of Section 1, T.16N./R.13W.;
    (13) Thence in a straight line in a south-southwesterly direction 
to the intersection of an unnamed, unimproved road and an unnamed, 
intermittent stream, approximately 500 feet south of Seward Creek, in 
section 12, T.16N./R.13W.;
    (14) Thence in a straight line in a west-southwesterly direction to 
the southwest corner of Section 12, T.16N./R.13W.;
    (15) Thence in a straight line in a southwesterly direction to the 
southwest corner of Section 14, T.16N./R.13W.;
* * * * *
    (d) Transition period. A label containing the word ``Mendocino'' in 
the brand name (other than in the phrase ``Mendocino County'' or 
``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'') or as an appellation of origin 
approved prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE] may be used on 
wine bottled before [DATE 2 YEARS FROM EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL 
RULE] if the wine conforms to the standards for use of the label set 
forth in Sec.  4.25 or Sec.  4.39(i) of this chapter in effect prior to 
[EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE].
0
3. Amend Sec.  9.153 by revising paragraphs (c)(1) through (9) and 
adding paragraphs (c)(10) through (12) and (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  9.153  Redwood Valley.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) The beginning point is in the northeastern portion of the Ukiah 
map at the point where State Highway 20 crosses the R11W/R12W range 
line along the south bank of the East Fork of the Russian River, T16N/
R12W. From the beginning point, proceed north along the R11W/R12W range 
line, crossing onto the Redwood Valley map, to the northeast corner of 
section 1, T16N/R12W; then
    (2) Proceed west along the northern boundary of section 1 to the 
section's northwest corner, T16N/R12W; then
    (3) Proceed north along the eastern boundary lines of sections 35, 
26, 23, 14, 11, and 2 to the T17N/T18N common boundary line at the 
northeast corner of section 2, T17N/R12W; then
    (4) Proceed west along the T17N/T18N common line to the northwest 
corner of section 6, T17N/R12W; then
    (5) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line, crossing onto 
the Laughlin Range map, to the intersection of the 1,400-foot contour 
line and Bakers Creek within McGee Canyon, section 25, T17N/R13W; then
    (6) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 1.5 
miles, crossing onto the Redwood Valley map, to the southeast corner of 
section 36, T17N/R13W; then
    (7) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.55 mile, crossing onto the Laughlin Range map, to the intersection of 
U.S. Highway 101 and an unnamed road known locally as Reeves Canyon 
Road, section 1, T16N/R13W; then
    (8) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 0.9 
mile, crossing onto the Redwood Valley map, to the southeast corner of 
section 1, T16N/R13W; then
    (9) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.65 mile to the intersection of an unnamed, unimproved road and an 
unnamed, intermittent stream, approximately 500 feet south of Seward 
Creek, section 12, T16N/R13W; then
    (10) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.9 mile, crossing onto the Laughlin Range map, to the southwest corner 
of section 12, T16N/R13W; then
    (11) Proceed east-southeasterly in a straight line, crossing onto 
the far northeastern corner of the Orrs Springs map, then continuing 
onto the Ukiah map, to the intersection of State Highway 20 and a road 
known locally as North State Street (old U.S. Highway 101), north of 
Calpella, T16N/R12W; then
    (12) Proceed easterly along State Highway 20, returning to the 
beginning point.
    (d) Transition period. A label containing the words ``Redwood 
Valley'' in the brand name or as an appellation of origin approved 
prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE] may be used on wine bottled 
before [DATE 2 YEARS FROM EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE] if the wine 
conforms to the standards for use of the label set forth in Sec.  4.25 
or Sec.  4.39(i) of this chapter in effect prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE OF 
THE FINAL RULE].
0
4. Add Sec.  9.---------- to read as follows:


Sec.  9.  Eagle Peak Mendocino County.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County''. For purposes of part 4 of 
this chapter, ``Eagle Peak Mendocino County'' is a term of viticultural 
significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The four United States Geographical Survey 
(USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary 
of the Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Laughlin Range, California, provisional edition 1991;
    (2) Redwood Valley, Calif., 1960, photo revised 1975;
    (3) Orrs Springs, California, provisional edition 1991; and
    (4) Greenough Ridge, California, provisional edition 1991.
    (c) Boundary. The Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area is 
located in Mendocino County, California. The boundary of the Eagle Peak 
Mendocino County viticultural area is as follows:
    (1) The beginning point is located on the Laughlin Range map within 
McGee Canyon at the point where the 1,600-foot contour line intersects 
with Bakers Creek near the western boundary of section 25, T17N/R13W. 
From the beginning point, proceed southeasterly (downstream) 
approximately 0.2 mile along Bakers Creek to the creek's intersection 
with the 1,400-foot contour line, section 25, T17N/R13W; then
    (2) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 1.5 
miles, crossing onto the Redwood Valley map, to the southeast corner of 
section 36, T17N/R13W; then
    (3) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.55 mile, crossing onto the Laughlin Range map, to the intersection of 
U.S. Highway 101 and an unnamed road locally known as Reeves Canyon 
Road, section 1, T16N/R13W; then
    (4) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 0.9 
mile, crossing onto the Redwood Valley map, to the southeast corner of 
section 1, T16N/R13W; then
    (5) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.65 mile to the intersection of an unnamed, unimproved road and an 
unnamed intermittent stream located approximately 500 feet south of 
Seward Creek, section 12, T16N/R13W; then
    (6) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 0.9 
mile, crossing onto the Laughlin Ridge map,

[[Page 38628]]

to the southwest corner of section 12, T16N/R13W; then
    (7) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 0.8 
mile, crossing onto the Orrs Springs map, to the 1,883-foot elevation 
point in section 14, T16N/R13W; then
    (8) Proceed west-southwesterly in a series of three straight lines 
(totaling approximately 3.15 miles in distance), first to the 1,836-
foot elevation point in section 15, T16N/R13W; then to the 1,805-foot 
elevation point in section 16, T16N/R13W; and then to the 2,251-foot 
elevation point in section 20, T16W/R13W; then
    (9) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.8 mile to the 2,562-foot elevation point, section 20, T16N/R13W; then
    (10) Proceed north-northwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.8 mile to the 2,218-foot elevation point, section 19, T16N/R13W; then
    (11) Proceed northeasterly in a straight line approximately 0.35 
mile to the 2,112-foot elevation point in the southeast corner of 
section 18, T16N/R13W; then
    (12) Proceed north-northeasterly in a straight line approximately 
0.9 mile to the 2,344-foot elevation point, section 17, T16N/R13W; then
    (13) Proceed northwesterly in a straight line approximately 1.8 
miles, crossing onto the Laughlin Range map, to the intersection of the 
R13W/R14W common boundary line and an unnamed, unimproved road east of 
Leonard Lake, section 1, T16N/R14W; then
    (14) Proceed west-northwesterly along the unnamed, unimproved road 
to the road's intersection with the 2,000 foot contour line between 
Leonard Lake and Mud Lake, section 1, T16N/R13W; then
    (15) Proceed north-northwesterly in a straight line approximately 
1.6 miles, crossing onto the Greenough Ridge map, to the 2,246-foot 
elevation point, section 26, T17N/R14W; then
    (16) Proceed northerly in a straight line approximately 0.9 mile to 
the 2,214-foot elevation point, section 23, T17N/R14W; then
    (17) Proceed northeasterly in a straight line approximately 1 mile, 
crossing onto the Laughlin Range map, to the peak of Impassable Rocks, 
section 24, T17N/R14W; then
    (18) Proceed northwesterly in a straight line approximately 0.95 
mile, crossing onto the Greenough Ridge map, to the 2,617-foot 
elevation point, section 14, T17N/R14W, and continue northwesterly in a 
straight line approximately 0.8 mile to the 2,836-foot elevation point 
of Irene Peak, section 11, T17N/R14W; then
    (19) Proceed northerly in a straight line approximately 1 mile to 
the intersection of 3 unnamed unimproved roads approximately 0.3 mile 
west of the headwaters of Walker Creek (locally known as the 
intersection of Blackhawk Drive, Walker Lake Road, and Williams Ranch 
Road) section 2, T17N/R14W; then
    (20) Proceed easterly along the unnamed improved road, locally 
known as Blackhawk Drive, approximately 1.35 miles, crossing onto the 
Laughlin range map, to the road's intersection with the section 2 
eastern boundary line, T17N/R14W; then
    (21) Proceed east-northeasterly in a straight line approximately 
0.75 mile, returning to the 2,213 elevation point near the northeast 
corner of section 1, T17N/R14W; then
    (22) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 3.55 
miles to BM 1893 (0.2 mile south of Ridge) in section 16, T17N/R13W, 
and then continue southeasterly in a straight line approximately 0.85 
mile to a radio facility located at approximately 2,840 feet in 
elevation in the Laughlin Range, section 15, T17N/R13W; then
    (23) Proceed easterly in a straight line approximately 0.85 mile to 
another radio facility located at approximately 3,320 feet in elevation 
in the Laughlin Range, section 14, T17N/R13W; then
    (24) Proceed southerly in a straight line approximately 1.5 miles 
to the 2,452-foot elevation point in section 26, T17N/R13W; then
    (25) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 0.4 
mile to the intersection of the 1,800-foot contour line with Bakers 
Creek within McGee Canyon, section 26, T17N/R13W; then
    (26) Proceed southeasterly (downstream) approximately 0.2 mile 
along Bakers Creek, returning to the beginning point.

    Dated: June 18, 2013.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-15247 Filed 6-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P