[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 130 (Monday, July 8, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 40644-40651]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15876]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2013-0007; Notice No. 138]
RIN 1513-AC01


Proposed Establishment of the Malibu Coast 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 ``Malibu Coast'' viticultural area in portions of Los 
Angeles County and Ventura County, California. The proposed 
viticultural area, if established, would include the existing Saddle 
Rock-Malibu and Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural areas. 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 this proposed addition to its 
regulations.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before September 6, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Please send your comments on this notice to one of the 
following addresses (please note that TTB has a new address for 
comments submitted by U.S. mail):
     Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online 
comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2013-0007 
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 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 that TTB receives about this proposal at http://www.regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB-2013-0007. A link to that 
docket is posted on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 138. You also may view copies of this 
notice, all related petitions, maps, or other supporting materials, and 
any comments that 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 on wine labels and in wine 
advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets 
forth

[[Page 40645]]

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. Such petitions 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, and 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.

Malibu Coast Petition

    TTB received a petition from Ralph Jens Carter, proposing the 
establishment of the ``Malibu Coast'' American viticultural area in 
portions of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in southern California. 
The proposed viticultural area is a long, narrow, region along the 
Pacific coast, and is largely located within the Santa Monica Mountains 
National Recreation Area. The landscape of the proposed viticultural 
area is characterized by steep, rugged hillsides incised by steep-sided 
valleys and long, narrow canyons that empty into the Pacific Ocean. The 
cities of Oxnard and Camarillo are to the west, and the city of Los 
Angeles is located to the east. The Simi Valley and Simi Hills are 
located to the north of the proposed viticultural area, as well as the 
heavily urbanized regions of Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Greenwich 
Village, and Conejo Valley.
    The proposed viticultural area contains approximately 44,590 acres 
of privately-owned land. There are 52 commercially producing vineyards 
covering approximately 198 acres within the proposed viticultural area. 
The vineyards within the proposed viticultural area are scattered 
across the steep sides of the mountains, valleys, and canyons. The 
steep mountain slopes require extra effort to cultivate, thus 
contributing to the small size of many of the vineyards. Many of the 
vineyards are planted as firebreaks near private homes, to separate the 
properties from the surrounding native chaparral vegetation, which is 
particularly susceptible to fire due to its thick growth and high 
concentration of oils.
    The proposed viticultural area contains several State and county 
parks and preserves, in addition to the Federal lands of the Santa 
Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. According to the petition, 
approximately 15 percent of the land within the proposed viticultural 
area is administered by the Federal Government and approximately 22 
percent is administered by the California Department of Parks and 
Recreation. The acreage count of the publicly-owned lands is not 
included in the 44,590-acre size approximation of the proposed 
viticultural area because publicly-owned lands are not available for 
commercial viticulture. However, the boundaries of the proposed Malibu 
Coast viticultural area boundaries do not physically exclude the 
publicly-owned lands because boundaries that would exclude those lands 
would be cumbersome to describe and difficult to administer.
    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the 
proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area include its topography, soils, 
and climate. TTB notes that the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area 
does not lie within any existing viticultural area. However, the 
smaller existing Malibu-Newton Canyon (27 CFR 9.152) and Saddle Rock-
Malibu (27 CFR 9.203) viticultural areas are both located within the 
proposed viticultural area. The proposed viticultural area does not 
overlap with any other existing or proposed viticultural areas. Unless 
otherwise noted, all information and data contained in this document 
concerning the name, boundary, and distinguishing features of the 
proposed viticultural area are from the petition for the proposed 
Malibu Coast viticultural area and its supporting exhibits.

Name Evidence

    The proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area lies along the coast of 
the Pacific Ocean and includes the city of Malibu, California. 
According to the petition, the name ``Malibu'' may have derived from a 
Chumash Indian word ``(hu)mal-iwu,'' which means, ``it makes a loud 
noise all the time over there,'' referring to the sound of the surf. 
The word was later translated by the Spaniards into ``Umalibo.'' The 
present-day spelling of ``Malibu'' first appeared in 1805, in documents 
to establish the Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit land grant. Much of the 
proposed viticultural area lies within the former land grant and thus 
takes its name from that land grant.
    A search of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Geographic 
Names Information System (GNIS) revealed 31 entries within the proposed 
viticultural area containing the word ``Malibu'' in the name, including 
6 schools, 4 parks, 2 reservoirs, a stream, a cliff, a beach, and an 
airport. According to the petition, several tasting rooms and vineyards 
within the proposed viticultural area use the word ``Malibu'' in their 
names, including Cielo Malibu Estate, Malibu Family Wines, Malibu and 
Vine, Bodegas Gomez de Malibu, Donlin Malibu Estates Vineyards, Malibu 
Rocky Oaks, Malibu Sanity, and Malibu Vineyards.
    According to the petition, the growers in the proposed viticultural 
area chose the name ``Malibu Coast'' to emphasize the region's location 
along the Pacific Ocean and the influence the ocean has on the climate. 
The petition included several exhibits offered as evidence of the use 
of the name ``Malibu Coast'' within the region of the proposed 
viticultural area. One exhibit, a National

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Park Service map titled ``Geology of the Santa Monica Mountains,'' 
shows a fault line labeled as the ``Malibu Coast Fault Line'' running 
from west of Point Dume, which is in the center of the southern 
boundary of the proposed viticultural area, to Santa Monica Bay, at the 
eastern edge of the proposed viticultural area. The petition also 
offers as name evidence information on two businesses in the region 
that incorporate ``Malibu Coast'' in their names: Malibu Coast Animal 
Hospital and Malibu Coast Nursery and Landscaping. Finally, the 
petitioner submitted a list of vineyards located within the proposed 
viticultural area, which included a vineyard named Malibu Coastal 
Vineyard.

Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area is a long, narrow 
region located within the Santa Monica Mountains along the Pacific 
Ocean. The boundary of the proposed viticultural area approximates the 
boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and 
the proposed viticultural area contains approximately 44,590 acres of 
privately owned land that are available for commercial viticulture.
    The northern portion of the proposed boundary roughly follows U.S. 
Highway 101 from Oxnard to the city of Los Angeles and separates the 
largely rural proposed viticultural area from the densely populated 
urban areas of Thousand Oaks, Calabasas Greenwich Village, Conejo 
Valley, Simi Valley, and Simi Hills. The proposed northern boundary 
also divides the high, steep slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains 
within the proposed viticultural area from the lower elevations of 
Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, and the Simi Hills. Because of its distance 
inland and the sheltering effects of the Santa Monica Mountains, the 
region north of the proposed viticultural area is significantly less 
influenced by the cool, moist breezes of the Pacific Ocean. However, a 
portion of Las Virgenes Canyon that extends north of U.S. Highway 101 
is included within the proposed viticultural area because its terrain 
is similar to that of the rest of the proposed viticultural area and 
because Las Virgenes Creek, which lies within the Las Virgenes Canyon 
and empties into the Pacific Ocean, allows the marine influence to 
travel the length of the canyon.
    The eastern portion of the proposed boundary follows the Los 
Angeles city limits and the boundary of Topanga State Park. The city of 
Los Angeles lies east of the proposed viticultural area border and is 
excluded from the proposed viticultural area due to its dense urban 
environment, which is unsuitable for commercial viticulture. Although 
the geographical features of Topanga State Park are similar to those of 
the proposed viticultural area, it is unavailable for commercial 
viticultural due to its status as a State park.
    The southern boundary of the proposed viticultural area follows 
State Route 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway) in a westerly direction from 
Topanga State Park to the Naval Air Weapons Station and Naval Base 
Ventura County. A series of narrow State and county beach parks line 
the coast immediately outside the length of the proposed southern 
boundary and, other than Point Dume, the land south of State Route 1 is 
excluded from the proposed viticultural area because these public 
beaches are unavailable for commercial viticulture.
    The western boundary of the proposed viticultural area runs between 
State Route 1, near the Naval Air Weapons Station and Naval Base 
Ventura County, and U.S. Highway 101 east of the Camarillo Airport and 
follows a series of roads and elevation contours. The regions to the 
west of the proposed boundary were excluded from the proposed 
viticultural area because their flat, low elevations and marshy 
coastline are topographically distinctive from the marine terraces and 
high, steep mountains of the proposed viticultural area. Additionally, 
because most of this region is covered by military installations and 
the dense urban areas of Oxnard and Camarillo, there is little suitable 
land available for commercial viticulture.

Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Malibu Coast 
viticultural area are topography, soils, and climate. Because the 
proposed viticultural area is bordered by public beaches and the 
Pacific Ocean to the south, and both Topanga State Park and the heavily 
urbanized city of Los Angeles to the east, the discussion of 
distinguishing features only compares the proposed viticultural area 
with the regions to the north and west.
Topography
    The topography of the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area is 
characterized by the Santa Monica Mountains, which are oriented along 
an east-west axis between the cities of Los Angeles, to the east, and 
Oxnard and Camarillo, to the west. The mountain range begins as low 
marine terraces along the coastline and rapidly rises towards the 
north, increasing in steepness and elevation, with a maximum height of 
3,111 feet at Sandstone Peak, in the western portion of the proposed 
viticultural area. Small steep-sided valleys and narrow, north-south 
oriented canyons that empty into the Pacific Ocean are also 
interspersed throughout the mountainsides. According to the petition, 
the steep slopes provide excellent water drainage for vineyards. 
Additionally, the north-south orientation of the canyons allows cool, 
moist air and fog from the Pacific Ocean to travel deep into the 
proposed viticultural area and thus contributes to the moderate 
temperatures within the proposed viticultural area.
    The slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains within the proposed 
viticultural area tilt predominately toward the south, allowing the 
vineyards planted on the south-facing slopes to receive high amounts of 
solar radiation. The southerly orientation of the slopes also exposes 
the vineyards to sunlight that is reflected off the water of the 
Pacific Ocean, an effect known as a ``second sun.'' The high level of 
solar radiation warms the soil in the vineyards quickly, which 
stimulates vine growth and fruit maturation. The warmed soil then 
slowly releases the stored heat back into the air in the early morning, 
at night, and during periods of cloud cover, providing a source of 
warmth to the vines during the times when the surrounding air 
temperature is cool.
    Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, and the Simi Hills are located to the 
north of the proposed viticultural area, and the elevations within 
these regions are generally lower than elevations within the proposed 
Malibu Coast viticultural area. According to USGS maps provided with 
the petition, elevations within Conejo Valley and Simi Valley range 
between 640 and 700 feet. Elevations within the Simi Hills range 
between 1,800 and 2,400 feet. The Simi Hills have a north-south 
orientation, compared to the east-west orientation of the Santa Monica 
Mountains, and therefore do not receive as much solar radiation as the 
southward-facing slopes of the proposed viticultural area. Although 
there are canyons within the region north of the proposed viticultural 
area, the canyons do not stretch all the way to the ocean and thus do 
not serve as conduits for the cool, moist Pacific air and fog to reach 
the inland areas.
    The terrain in the region west of the proposed viticultural area is 
lower and flatter than the terrain of the proposed viticultural area. 
Elevations to the west of the proposed viticultural area range from sea 
level along the shore of the Pacific Ocean to approximately 200 feet 
near the city of Camarillo, as shown on

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USGS maps. The coastline of the region west of the proposed 
viticultural area is dominated by the low, flat wetlands of Mugu Lagoon 
and lacks the marine terraces that characterize the coastline of the 
proposed viticultural area.
Soils
    The soils of the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area are 
derived from both volcanic parent rock and sedimentary parent rock, 
including combinations of sandstone, slate, and shale. According to the 
petition, this combination of both volcanic and sedimentary soils is 
unique among other California coastal regions, which generally lack 
volcanic soils.
    Seventy-five percent of the soils within the proposed viticultural 
area are of four soil associations: Cotharin-Talepop-Rock Outcrop; 
Mipolomol-Topanga-Sapwi; Chumash-Malibu-Boades; and Zumaridge-Rock 
Outcrop-Kawenga. Soils of the Cotharin-Talepop-Rock Outcrop association 
derive from volcanic rocks. The Mipolomol-Topanga-Sapwi, Chumash-
Malibu-Boades, and Zumaridge-Rock Outcrop-Kawenga associations all have 
soils that are derived from sedimentary sources. All four of the soil 
associations are described as shallow, well drained soils commonly 
found on steep slopes. Shallow soils prevent overly vigorous vine 
growth and produce a thinner leaf canopy that allows sunlight to reach 
the fruit. In humid regions such as the proposed viticultural area, 
mildew and rot can form on fruit that is too shaded by the leaf canopy. 
Well drained soils are beneficial to viticulture because water does not 
accumulate long enough to lead to root rot or mildew.
    The petition states that continuous human habitation within the 
Santa Monica Mountains of the proposed viticultural area has altered 
the nutrient content of the soils. Humans have inhabited the mountains 
for approximately 8,000 years, and large villages have been common 
throughout that time. The large number of bones and shells deposited in 
waste pits by the inhabitants throughout the ages has raised the level 
of calcium and phosphorus in the soils to higher levels than in the 
surrounding regions, according to the United States Department of 
Agriculture's 2006 edition of the ``Soil Survey of the Santa Monica 
Mountains National Recreation Area.'' Both calcium and phosphorus are 
important nutrients for vine growth and fruit development.
    The region located to the north of the proposed viticultural area 
contains soils of the Rincon-Huerhuero-Azule association. These soils 
are comprised of alluvium and are found on level to moderately steep 
slopes. The soils are described as being very deep and moderately well 
drained.
    The regions to the west of the proposed viticultural area contain 
soils of the Sulfic Fluvaquents-Camarillo-Pacheco and the Camarillo-
Hueneme-Pacheco association. These soils are comprised of alluvium 
derived primarily from sedimentary rocks and are found on nearly level 
terrain such as flood plains and tidal flats. These soils are also very 
deep and poorly drained.
Climate
    The climate of the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area is 
influenced by air masses over both the Pacific Ocean and the inland 
valleys to the north of the proposed viticultural area. During the 
afternoon, the warm air of the inland valleys rises. As the warm air 
rises, it pulls cool, moist air from the ocean along the canyons and up 
the mountainsides of the proposed viticultural area. These moist 
breezes raise the relative humidity levels within the proposed 
viticultural area to about 50 percent during the summer. The moisture 
in the air reduces heat stress on the vineyards. At night, the breezes 
change direction as the relatively warmer air over the ocean rises and 
pulls the cooler, drier nighttime air from the inland valleys into the 
proposed viticultural area. The dry nighttime breezes help remove 
excess moisture from the vines and fruit and reduce the growth of 
mildew.
    The proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area has moderate growing 
season temperatures. Growing degree day \1\ (GDD) accumulations 
gathered within the proposed viticultural area between 2005 and 2009 
show that the proposed viticultural area receives between approximately 
2,500 and 3,000 GDD units annually. This data categorizes the proposed 
viticultural area as a Region II or low Region III climate on the 
Winkler scale.
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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).
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    Rainfall within the proposed viticultural area varies depending on 
elevation. Along the coastline and the lower marine terraces, rainfall 
averages 12 to 16 inches annually. At higher elevations within the 
proposed viticultural area, rainfall may be as high as 30 inches 
annually.
    The region to the north of the proposed viticultural area is 
primarily influenced by the inland air mass, with little marine 
influence. Although warm air rising from both Conejo Valley and Simi 
Valley draws moist air inland from the Pacific Ocean, most of the 
marine air is significantly drier by the time it travels over the Santa 
Monica Mountains and reaches the valleys. As a result, relative 
humidity levels within the inland valleys are lower than those of the 
proposed viticultural area, with humidity levels averaging 20 percent 
or lower during the summer. Lower humidity levels also result in less 
rainfall in the inland valleys, with the weather station at Canoga Park 
averaging only 16.47 inches of rain a year. Because the Pacific air has 
also warmed by the time it reaches the inland valleys, temperatures are 
hotter in the region north of the proposed viticultural area. The 
Canoga Park weather station recorded an average of 5,176 GDD units, 
placing the area in the very warm Region V category.
    The region to the west of the proposed viticultural area shares a 
similar climate with the lower coastal elevations of the proposed 
Malibu Coast viticultural area. However, because much of the land is 
either within the dense urban areas of Oxnard and Camarillo or reserved 
for military purposes, it is generally unsuitable for commercial 
viticulture.

Comparison of the Proposed Malibu Coast Viticultural Area to the 
Existing Malibu-Newton Canyon and Saddle Rock-Malibu Viticultural Areas

Malibu-Newton Canyon Viticultural Area
    The Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area was established by T.D. 
ATF-375, which published in the Federal Register on June 13, 1996 (61 
FR 29949). It is a bowl-shaped valley located high on the south-facing 
side of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County, California. 
The floor of the valley has an elevation of approximately 1,400 feet, 
with elevations at the rim of the valley ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 
feet along the southern rim to 2,100 to 2,800 feet along the northern 
rim. Although the viticultural area is located within a valley, the 
terrain of the valley floor includes rolling hills and very few 
expanses of level ground. According to the Web site of the single 
vineyard within the Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area, Rosenthal 
Estates, the vines are all planted on the slopes of these rolling hills 
and the walls of the valley to ensure the optimal soil and

[[Page 40648]]

drainage conditions for viticulture (see www.rosenthalestatewines.com)
    T.D. ATF-375 described the Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area 
as a microclimate within the larger Santa Monica Mountains. The 
southern rim of the valley is high enough to block the heaviest marine 
fogs from entering the viticultural area, but low enough to allow some 
of the cooling breezes into the canyon. The climate within the 
viticultural area is described as warm and sunny, with summer 
temperatures frequently exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Light fog is 
often present in the evenings and early mornings, as cooler air from 
higher elevations settles into the canyon. Rainfall averages 
approximately 24 inches annually. Soils within the Malibu-Newton Canyon 
viticultural area are described as a mixture of loam, clay, and silt 
and are moderately deep and moderately to highly fertile.
    The proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area, if approved, would 
include the Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area. Both the proposed 
and existing viticultural areas share several characteristics which 
affect viticulture. Both the Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area and 
most of the slopes of the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area face 
south, exposing both regions to high amounts of solar radiation that 
promote efficient photosynthesis in grapevines. The amounts of average 
annual rainfall within the Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area and 
the proposed viticultural area fall within the same range of 
precipitation. Additionally, T.D. ATF-375 states that the soils of the 
Malibu-Newton Canyon are calcareous, meaning they contain high levels 
of calcium, which is a characteristic of the soils of the proposed 
Malibu Coast viticultural area. Calcium plays an important role in the 
development of grape clusters. Finally, the vineyards within the 
Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area are planted on sloping 
hillsides, as are most of the vineyards in the proposed Malibu Coast 
viticultural area, and therefore require similar cultivation 
techniques.
    The Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area also has some unique 
features that distinguish it from the surrounding proposed Malibu Coast 
viticultural area. The Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural area is a 
single bowl-shaped valley, whereas the proposed Malibu Coast 
viticultural area encompasses an entire mountain range characterized by 
marine terraces and steep slopes, although other steep-sided canyons 
and valleys do exist within the proposed viticultural area. 
Additionally, both the bowl shape and the high elevation of the Malibu-
Newton Canyon viticultural area shield it from much of the marine fog, 
which is more common along the lower slopes and within the long, 
narrow, north-south ranging canyons within the proposed Malibu Coast 
viticultural area.
Saddle Rock-Malibu Viticultural Area
    The Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area was established by T.D. 
TTB-52, which published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2006 (71 FR 
40397). The viticultural area is described as a valley in the higher 
elevations of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County, 
California. Elevations within the Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area 
range from 1,700 to 2,236 feet. According to T.D. TTB-52, the 
viticultural area is on the north-facing leeward side of the crest of 
the Santa Monica Mountains, which limits the extent of the cooling 
marine influence and marine fog. As a result, the climate is warm and 
dry, with an average of 4,000 GDD units. The soils are described as a 
mixture of clay and loam that is well drained.
    The proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area, if approved, would 
include the Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area. Both the proposed and 
existing viticultural areas share several characteristics, including 
high elevations, well-drained soils, and warm temperatures. However, 
the Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area also has features that 
distinguish it from the surrounding proposed Malibu Coast viticultural 
area. The Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area is in a sheltered 
location on the leeward side of the ridgeline, which blocks most of the 
cool, moist marine influence and produces a microclimate that is warmer 
than the average climate of the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural 
area. Additionally, the Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area is a 
single valley that contrasts with the steep mountain landscape that 
dominates the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area, although the 
proposed viticultural area does contain several other canyons and high 
valleys.

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the 44,590-acre Malibu 
Coast viticultural area merits consideration and public comment, as 
invited in this notice.

Boundary Description

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

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, ``Malibu Coast,'' will be recognized as a name of 
viticultural significance under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3). The text of the 
proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers 
using ``Malibu Coast'' 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 as an appellation of origin.
    The approval of the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area would 
not affect any existing viticultural area, and any bottlers using 
``Saddle Rock-Malibu'' or ``Malibu-Newton Canyon'' as an appellation of 
origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the 
Saddle Rock-Malibu or Malibu-Newton Canyon viticultural areas would not 
be affected by the establishment of this new viticultural area. The 
establishment of the Malibu Coast viticultural area would allow 
vintners to use ``Malibu Coast'' or ``Saddle Rock-Malibu'' as 
appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the 
Saddle Rock-Malibu viticultural area if the wines meet the eligibility 
requirements for the appellation. Additionally, vintners would be 
allowed to use ``Malibu Coast'' or ``Malibu-Newton Canyon'' as 
appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the 
Malibu-Newton Canyon 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, at least 85 percent 
of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area 
represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions 
listed in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(3). If the wine is not eligible for labeling 
with a viticultural area name and that name appears in the brand name, 
then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the 
brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the 
viticultural area name appears in another reference on the

[[Page 40649]]

label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval 
of a new label.
    Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing a 
viticultural area name that was used as a brand name on a label 
approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

Public Participation

Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on 
whether it should establish the proposed Malibu Coast viticultural 
area. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency 
and accuracy of the name, boundary, topography, soils, climate, and 
other required information submitted in support of the petition. In 
addition, TTB is interested in comments on whether the geographic 
features of the existing Saddle Rock-Malibu and Malibu-Newton Canyon 
viticultural areas are so distinguishable from those of the proposed 
Malibu Coast viticultural area that either or both of the existing 
viticultural areas should not be part of the proposed viticultural 
area. Please provide any available specific information in support of 
your comments.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Malibu Coast viticultural area on wine labels that include the 
term ``Malibu Coast'' 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.

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-
0007 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under 
Notice No. 138 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 
notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 138 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 TTB 
considers all comments as originals.
    If you are commenting on behalf of an association, 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 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 enclose any material in 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 electronic or mailed comments TTB receives about this proposal. 
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. 138. 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.
    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 the Bureau considers unsuitable for 
posting.
    You may also view copies of this notice, all related petitions, 
maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed 
comments that TTB receives 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 TTB's 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, no regulatory assessment 
is required.

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.

[[Page 40650]]

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

0
2. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.-------- to read as follows:


Sec.  9.------  Malibu Coast.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Malibu Coast''. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, 
``Malibu Coast'' is a term of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The 10 United States Geological Survey 1:24,000 
scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Malibu 
Coast viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Canoga Park, Calif., 1953; photorevised 1967;
    (2) Topanga, CA, 1991;
    (3) Malibu Beach, CA, 1995;
    (4) Point Dume, CA, 1995;
    (5) Triunfo Pass, CA, 1994;
    (6) Point Mugu, Calif., 1949; photorevised 1967; photoinspected 
1974;
    (7) Carmarillo, Calif., 1950; photorevised 1967;
    (8) Newbury Park, Calif., 1950; photorevised 1967;
    (9) Thousand Oaks, Calif., 1950; photorevised 1981;
    (10) Calabasas, Calif., 1952; photorevised 1967;
    (c) Boundary. The Malibu Coast viticultural area is located in Los 
Angeles and Ventura Counties, California. The boundary of the Malibu 
Coast viticultural area is as follows:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Canoga Park map beside Mulholland 
Drive at the 1,126-foot benchmark (BM 1126), located on the marked Los 
Angeles city boundary and the northern boundary of section 24, T1N/
R17W. From the beginning point, proceed east-southeasterly along the 
Los Angeles city boundary approximately 3.25 miles to the marked 1,718-
foot elevation point; then
    (2) Proceed south-southwesterly along the Los Angeles city boundary 
approximately 4.35 miles, crossing onto the Topanga map, to the 
northeast corner of section 19, T1S/R16W; then
    (3) Proceed east-southeasterly along the Los Angeles city boundary 
approximately 1.7 miles to the point east of Topanga Canyon where the 
city boundary turns south, and then continue southerly along the city 
boundary approximately 1.9 miles to the boundary's intersection with 
State Route 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway); then
    (4) Proceed westerly on State Route 1, crossing onto the Malibu 
Beach map and then the Point Dume map, to the road's intersection with 
the unnamed intermittent creek located within Walnut Canyon (near the 
Zuma Fire Station); then
    (5) Proceed southeasterly (downstream) along the unnamed 
intermittent creek located within Walnut Canyon to the Pacific Ocean's 
shoreline; then
    (6) Proceed southwesterly along the Pacific Ocean shoreline 
approximately 1.5 miles to Point Dume and then continue northwesterly 
along the Pacific Ocean shoreline approximately 1.3 miles to the mouth 
of an unnamed intermittent stream; then
    (7) Proceed northeasterly along the unnamed intermittent stream 
(upstream) approximately 0.35 mile to the stream's intersection with 
State Route 1 (at BM 30); then
    (8) Proceed westerly on State Route 1 approximately 17.4 miles, 
crossing onto the Triunfo Pass map and then the Point Mugu map, to the 
road's intersection with an unnamed light-duty road known locally as 
Calleguas Creek Road; then
    (9) Proceed north-northeasterly approximately 1.2 miles on 
Calleguas Creek Road, crossing onto the Camarillo map, to the road's 
intersection with an unnamed, unimproved road known locally as Caryl 
Drive; then
    (10) Encircle an unnamed 350-foot hill by proceeding westerly on 
Caryl Drive approximately 0.2 mile to the road's intersection with an 
unnamed, unimproved road, then continuing on that unnamed, unimproved 
road around the hill in a clock-wise direction for approximately 0.8 
mile until the road intersects again with Caryl Drive; then
    (11) Proceed easterly on Caryl Drive approximately 0.55 mile to the 
road's intersection with an unnamed, unimproved road at Broome Ranch; 
then
    (12) Proceed easterly on the unnamed, unimproved road approximately 
0.2 mile to the road's intersection with the 80-foot elevation line; 
then
    (13) Proceed initially northeasterly along the meandering 80-foot 
elevation line, and then continue to follow the meandering 80-foot 
elevation line westerly, then northeasterly to its intersection with 
West Potrero Road (near Camarillo State Hospital, now the site of 
California State University Channel Islands); then
    (14) Proceed easterly on West Potrero Road approximately 0.5 mile 
to the road's third intersection with the 200-foot elevation; then
    (15) Proceed northerly along the 200-foot elevation line 
approximately 0.75 mile, crossing over an unnamed intermittent creek in 
Long Grade Canyon, to the elevation line's intersection with a second 
unnamed intermittent stream; then
    (16) Proceed westerly (downstream) along the unnamed intermittent 
stream approximately 0.75 mile to the stream's intersection with an 
unnamed medium-duty road known locally as Camarillo Street; then
    (17) Proceed northerly on Camarillo Street approximately 0.7 mile 
to the street's intersection with an unnamed light-duty road at the 
south-bank levee for Calleguas Creek; then
    (18) Proceed easterly on the unnamed light-duty road approximately 
0.9 mile to the road's intersection with the 100-foot elevation line; 
then
    (19) Proceed initially westerly and then continue easterly and then 
northerly along the meandering 100-foot elevation line, crossing back 
and forth between the Camarillo map and the Newbury Park map, to the 
100-foot elevation line's intersection with the T1N/T2N boundary line 
near Conejo Creek on the Newbury Park map; then
    (20) Proceed east along the T1N/T2N boundary line approximately 0.7 
mile to its intersection with U.S. Highway 101 (Ventura Boulevard); 
then
    (21) Proceed easterly on U.S. Highway 101 approximately 1.8 miles 
to the highway's intersection with Conejo Road (known locally as Old 
Conejo Road); then
    (22) Proceed southerly and then easterly on Conejo Road 
approximately 0.75 mile to the road's intersection with Borchard Road 
(also known locally as N. Reino Road); then
    (23) Proceed southerly on Borchard Road (also known locally as N. 
Reino Drive) approximately 0.9 mile to the point where Borchard Road 
(N. Reino Road) turns eastward, and then continue easterly on Borchard 
Road approximately 1.75 miles to Borchard Road's intersection with U.S. 
Highway 101 (Ventura Boulevard); then
    (24) Proceed easterly on U.S. Highway 101 (Ventura Boulevard/
Freeway) approximately 5 miles, crossing onto the Thousand Oaks map, to 
the highway's sixth and last intersection with the 920-foot elevation 
line in section 14, T1N/R19W (approximately 0.2 mile west of the 
intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and an unnamed road known locally as 
Hampshire Road); then
    (25) Proceed southerly and then southwesterly along the meandering 
920-foot elevation line to its intersection with an unnamed medium-duty 
road known locally as E. Potrero Road, section 27, T1N/R19W; then
    (26) Proceed easterly on E. Potrero Road approximately 0.55 mile to 
its intersection with an unnamed heavy-

[[Page 40651]]

duty road known locally as Westlake Boulevard, section 26, T1N/R19W; 
then
    (27) Proceed northeasterly on Westlake Boulevard approximately 0.4 
mile to the road's second intersection with the 900-foot elevation 
line, section 26, T1N/R19W; then
    (28) Proceed easterly along the 900-foot elevation line, crossing 
the Los Angeles County-Ventura County boundary, to the elevation line's 
intersection with the boundary of the Las Virgenes Land Grant 
(concurrent at this point with the northern boundary of section 31, 
T1N/R18W); then
    (29) Proceed northeasterly along the Las Virgenes Land Grant 
boundary approximately 0.3 mile, crossing Triunfo Canyon, to the 
boundary's intersection with the 1,000-foot elevation line; then
    (30) Proceed westerly and then east-northeasterly along the 1,000-
foot elevation line to the line's intersection with the Las Virgenes 
Land Grant boundary, and then continue northeasterly along the Las 
Virgenes Land Grant boundary approximately 0.2 mile to the boundary's 
intersection with U.S. Highway 101 (Ventura Freeway); then
    (31) Proceed easterly on U.S. Highway 101 (Ventura Freeway) 
approximately 5.7 miles, crossing onto the Calabasas map, to the 
highway's intersection with the northern boundary of section 30, T1N/
R17, near Brents Junction; then
    (32) Proceed west along the northern boundary of section 30, T1N/
R17W approximately 0.5 mile to its intersection with the 1,000-foot 
elevation line; then
    (33) Proceed northerly, southerly, and easterly along the 
meandering 1,000-foot elevation line, encompassing portions of Las 
Virgenes, East Las Virgenes, and Gates Canyons, to the elevation line's 
intersection with the western boundary of section 21, T1N/R17W; then
    (34) Proceed north along the western boundaries of sections 21 and 
16, T1N/R17W, to the section line's intersection with the Los Angeles 
County-Ventura County boundary line; then
    (35) Proceed east along the Los Angeles County-Ventura County 
boundary line approximately 0.45 mile, and then proceed north along the 
county boundary line approximately 0.1 mile to the county boundary's 
intersection with Long Valley Road; then
    (36) Proceed east-southeasterly on Long Valley Road approximately 
1.7 miles to the road's intersection with the Los Angeles city boundary 
(approximately 0.1 mile north of U.S. Highway 101 (Ventura Freeway)), 
section 23, T1N/R17W; then
    (37) Proceed south along the Los Angeles city boundary 
approximately 0.2 mile, then east-northeasterly approximately 0.2 mile, 
and then southeasterly approximately 0.9 mile to the city boundary's 
intersection with the northern boundary of section 26, T1N/R17W; then
    (38) Proceed east-northeasterly along the Los Angeles city boundary 
approximately 0.3 mile, and then continue easterly along the city 
boundary approximately 0.5 mile, crossing onto the Canoga Park map, and 
returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: June 24, 2013.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-15876 Filed 7-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P