[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 191 (Wednesday, October 2, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60693-60695]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23944]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2013-0001; T.D. TTB-116; Ref: Notice No. 132]
RIN 1513-AB98


Establishment of the Ballard Canyon Viticultural Area

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

ACTION: Final rule; Treasury decision.

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SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) establishes 
the approximately 7,800-acre ``Ballard Canyon'' viticultural area in 
Santa Barbara County, California. The viticultural area lies entirely 
within the larger Santa Ynez Valley viticultural area and the 
multicounty Central 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.

DATES: This final rule is effective November 1, 2013.

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 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 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.

Ballard Canyon Petition

    TTB received a petition from Wesley D. Hagen, a vineyard manager 
and winemaker, on behalf of 26 other vintners and grape growers in the 
Ballard Canyon area of California, proposing the establishment of the 
``Ballard Canyon'' American viticultural area. The proposed 
viticultural area contains approximately 7,800 acres, of

[[Page 60694]]

which approximately 565 acres are dedicated to commercially producing 
vineyards. The petition states that there are 10 commercial vineyards 
located within the proposed viticultural area, with Syrah being the 
primary grape variety grown. According to the petition, the 
distinguishing features of the proposed Ballard Canyon viticultural 
area include wind, temperature, and soils.
    The proposed Ballard Canyon viticultural area is located in Santa 
Barbara County, California, to the west of the town of Ballard. The 
proposed viticultural area lies at the center of the Santa Ynez Valley 
viticultural area (27 CFR 9.54), which, in turn, is within the larger 
multicounty Central Coast viticultural area (27 CFR 9.75). The Santa 
Ynez Valley viticultural area currently contains two smaller, 
established viticultural areas: Sta. Rita Hills (27 CFR 9.162), which 
lies to the west of the proposed viticultural area, and Happy Canyon of 
Santa Barbara (27 CFR 9.217), which lies to the east of the proposed 
Ballard Canyon viticultural area. The Sta. Rita Hills and the Happy 
Canyon of Santa Barbara viticultural areas do not share a boundary with 
or overlap the proposed Ballard Canyon viticultural area.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received

    TTB published Notice No. 132 in the Federal Register on January 16, 
2013 (78 FR 3370), proposing to establish the Ballard Canyon 
viticultural area. In the notice, TTB summarized the evidence from the 
petition regarding the name, boundary, and distinguishing features for 
the proposed viticultural area. The distinguishing features of the 
proposed viticultural area include wind, temperature, and soil. The 
notice also compared the distinguishing features of the proposed 
viticultural area to the surrounding areas. For a description of the 
evidence relating to the name, boundary, and distinguishing features of 
the proposed viticultural area, and for a comparison of the 
distinguishing features of the proposed viticultural area to the 
surrounding areas, see Notice No. 132.
    In Notice No. 132, TTB solicited comments on the accuracy of the 
name, boundary, climatic, and other required information submitted in 
support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed viticultural 
area's location within the existing Santa Ynez Valley and Central Coast 
viticultural areas, TTB solicited comments on whether the evidence 
submitted in the petition regarding the distinguishing features of the 
proposed viticultural area sufficiently differentiates the proposed 
viticultural area from the two existing viticultural areas. TTB also 
asked for comments on whether the geographical features of the proposed 
viticultural area are so distinguishable from the surrounding Santa 
Ynez Valley or Central Coast viticultural areas that the proposed 
Ballard Canyon viticultural area should no longer be part of the two 
existing viticultural areas. The comment period closed on March 18, 
2013.
    In response to Notice No. 132, TTB received a total of 3 comments, 
all of which supported the establishment of the Ballard Canyon 
viticultural area. Two commenters identified themselves as winery 
owners within the region of the proposed viticultural area, and the 
third commenter described himself as a ``wine industry professional'' 
who is familiar with wines produced in the Ballard Canyon area. None of 
the comments addressed the question of whether or not the Ballard 
Canyon viticultural area is so distinguishable from the Santa Ynez 
Valley and Central Coast viticultural areas that it should no longer be 
part of either existing viticultural area. TTB received no comments in 
opposition of the Ballard Canyon viticultural area as proposed.

TTB Determination

    After careful review of the petition and the comments received in 
response to Notice No. 132, TTB finds that the evidence provided by the 
petitioner supports the establishment of the approximately 7,800-acre 
Ballard Canyon viticultural area. Accordingly, under the authority of 
the FAA Act, section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and 
part 4 of the TTB regulations, TTB establishes the ``Ballard Canyon'' 
viticultural area in Santa Barbara County, California, effective 30 
days from the publication date of this document. TTB also determines 
that the land within the Ballard Canyon viticultural area will remain 
part of both the Santa Ynez Valley and Central Coast viticultural 
areas.

Boundary Description

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

Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed 
below in the 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. With the establishment of this viticultural area, its 
name, ``Ballard Canyon,'' will be recognized as a name of viticultural 
significance under 27 CFR 4.39(i)(3). The text of the regulation 
clarifies this point. Once this final rule becomes effective, wine 
bottlers using the name ``Ballard Canyon'' in a brand name, including a 
trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, 
will have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the 
viticultural name as an appellation of origin.
    The establishment of the Ballard Canyon viticultural area will not 
affect any existing viticultural area, and any bottlers using ``Santa 
Ynez Valley'' or ``Central Coast'' as an appellation of origin or in a 
brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the Santa Ynez 
Valley or Central Coast viticultural areas will not be affected by the 
establishment of this new viticultural area. The establishment of the 
Ballard Canyon viticultural area will allow vintners to use ``Ballard 
Canyon,'' ``Santa Ynez Valley,'' and ``Central Coast'' as appellations 
of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the Ballard 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 label in a 
misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new 
label.
    Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing a 
viticultural area name that was used as a brand name on a label 
approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this regulation will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
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

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acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory 
flexibility analysis is required.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by 
Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory 
assessment is required.

Drafting Information

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

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

The Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB amends 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. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.230 to read as follows:


Sec.  9.230  Ballard Canyon.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Ballard Canyon''. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, 
``Ballard Canyon'' is a term of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The three United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Ballard Canyon viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Los Olivos, CA, 1995;
    (2) Zaca Creek, Calif., 1959; and
    (3) Solvang, CA, 1995.
    (c) Boundary. The Ballard Canyon viticultural area is located in 
Santa Barbara County, California. The boundary of the Ballard Canyon 
viticultural area is as described below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Los Olivos map at the 
intersection of State Route 154 and Foxen Canyon Road, section 23, T7N/
R31W.
    (2) From the beginning point, proceed southwesterly in a straight 
line approximately 0.3 mile, crossing onto the Zaca Creek map, to the 
intersection of Ballard Canyon Road and an unnamed, unimproved road 
known locally as Los Olivos Meadows Drive, T7N/R31W; then
    (3) Proceed south-southeasterly in a straight line approximately 1 
mile, crossing onto the Los Olivos map, to a marked, unnamed large 
structure located within a circular-shaped 920-foot contour line in the 
southwest corner of section 26, T7N/R31W; then
    (4) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
1.25 miles, crossing onto the Zaca Creek map, to the marked ``Ball'' 
801-foot elevation control point, T6N/R31W; then
    (5) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
1.45 miles, crossing onto the Solvang map, to a marked, unnamed 775-
foot peak, T6N/R31W; then
    (6) Proceed south-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.55 mile to a marked communication tower located within the 760-foot 
contour line, T6N/R31W; then
    (7) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 
0.25 mile to the intersection of Chalk Hill Road and an unnamed, light-
duty road known locally as Mesa Vista Lane, T6N/R31W; then
    (8) Proceed west-southwesterly in a straight line approximately 0.6 
mile to the southern-most terminus of a marked, unnamed stream known 
locally as Ballard Creek, T6N/R31W; then
    (9) Proceed northerly (upstream) along Ballard Creek approximately 
0.35 mile to the creek's intersection with the 400-foot contour line, 
T6N/R31W; then
    (10) Proceed southerly and then northwesterly along the 400-foot 
contour line approximately 1.5 miles, to the contour line's first 
intersection with Ballard Canyon Road, T6N/R31W; then
    (11) Proceed north-northeasterly in a straight line approximately 
1.7 miles, crossing onto the Zaca Creek map, to the western-most 
intersection of the 800-foot contour line and the T6N/T7N boundary line 
(approximately 0.9 mile east of U.S Highway 101); then
    (12) Proceed west along the T6N/T7N boundary line approximately 0.4 
mile to the boundary line's third intersection with the 600-foot 
contour line (approximately 0.5 mile east of U.S. Highway 101); then
    (13) Proceed northerly along the meandering 600-foot elevation 
contour line to the contour line's intersection with Zaca Creek, T7N/
R31W; then
    (14) Proceed northeasterly in a straight line for approximately 1.2 
miles to the western-most intersection of the southern boundary of the 
Corral de Quati Land Grant and the 1,000-foot contour line 
(approximately 0.4 mile east of U.S. Highway 101), T7N/R31W; then
    (15) Proceed easterly along the meandering 1,000-foot contour line 
approximately 1.5 miles to the contour line's third intersection with 
the southern boundary of the Corral de Quati Land Grant (approximately 
0.1 mile west of State Route 154), section 22, T7N/R31W; then
    (16) Proceed southeasterly in a straight line approximately 0.8 
mile, crossing onto the Los Olivos map, returning to the beginning 
point.

    Signed: August 6, 2013.
Mary G. Ryan,
Acting Administrator.
    Approved: September 25, 2013.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2013-23944 Filed 10-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P