[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 138 (Friday, July 18, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41894-41897]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16921]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2013-0007; T.D. TTB-121; Ref: Notice No. 138]
RIN 1513-AC01


Establishment of the Malibu Coast 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 ``Malibu Coast'' viticultural area, which covers approximately 
44,590 acres in portions of Los Angeles County and Ventura County, 
California. The viticultural area includes the established 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.

DATES: This final rule is effective August 18, 2014.

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 
December 10, 2013, 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) authorizes 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 to TTB of petitions 
for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas 
(AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

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 AVAs allows vintners to 
describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and 
helps consumers to identify wines they may

[[Page 41895]]

purchase. Establishment of an AVA 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 (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) 
outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any 
interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region 
as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes 
the standards for petitions for the establishment of AVAs. Petitions to 
establish an AVA must include the following:
     Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is 
nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;
     An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of 
the proposed AVA;
     A narrative description of the features of the proposed 
AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical 
features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and 
distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA boundary;
     The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of 
the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon; and
     A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA 
boundary based on USGS map markings.

Malibu Coast Petition

    TTB received a petition from Ralph Jens Carter on behalf of the 
vintners and grape growers in the Malibu area of California, proposing 
the establishment of the ``Malibu Coast'' AVA. The proposed AVA is 
bordered by the city of Los Angeles to the east, the cities of Oxnard 
and Camarillo to the west, and the communities of Thousand Oaks, Conejo 
Valley, Calabasas, and Greenwich Village to the north. The proposed AVA 
contains approximately 44,590 acres of privately owned land within the 
rugged terrain of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. 
Within the proposed AVA are 52 commercially producing vineyards 
covering approximately 198 acres. The steep mountains, valleys, and 
canyons of the proposed AVA make grape growing difficult and contribute 
to the small size of the individual vineyards.
    The proposed Malibu Coast AVA is located in portions of Ventura 
County and Los Angeles County, California. The proposed AVA is not 
located within any established AVA. However, the established Malibu-
Newton Canyon (27 CFR 9.152) and Saddle Rock-Malibu (27 CFR 9.203) AVAs 
are located within the boundaries of the proposed Malibu Coast AVA.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received

    TTB published Notice No. 138 in the Federal Register on July 8, 
2013 (78 FR 40644), proposing to establish the Malibu Coast AVA. In the 
document, TTB summarized the evidence from the petition regarding the 
name, boundary, and distinguishing features for the proposed AVA. The 
distinguishing features of the proposed AVA include topography, soils, 
and climate. The document also compared the distinguishing features of 
the proposed AVA to the surrounding areas, as well as a comparison of 
the proposed AVA to the established Malibu-Newton Canyon and Saddle 
Rock-Malibu AVAs. For a description of the evidence relating to the 
name, boundary, and distinguishing features of the proposed AVA, as 
well as a comparison of the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA 
to the surrounding areas and the established Malibu-Newton Canyon and 
Malibu-Saddle Rock AVAs, see Notice No. 138.
    In Notice No. 138, TTB solicited comments on the accuracy of the 
name, boundary, climatic, and other required information submitted in 
support of the petition. In addition, TTB solicited comments on whether 
the geographic features of the established Saddle Rock-Malibu and 
Malibu-Newton Canyon AVAs are so distinguishable from the proposed 
Malibu Coast AVA that one or both of the established AVAs should not be 
part of the proposed AVA. The comment period closed on September 6, 
2013.
    In response to Notice No. 138, TTB received a total of 23 comments, 
all of which supported the establishment of the Malibu Coast AVA. 
Commenters included vineyard owners, vintners, local residents, and the 
editorial director of a wine and food blog. TTB received no comments 
opposing the Malibu Coast AVA, as proposed. TTB also did not receive 
any comments in response to its question of whether the established 
Saddle Rock-Malibu and Malibu-Newton Canyon AVAs are so distinguishable 
from the proposed AVA that one or both of the established AVAs should 
not be part of the proposed Malibu Coast AVA.

TTB Determination

    After careful review of the petition and the comments received in 
response to Notice No. 138, TTB finds that the evidence provided by the 
petitioner supports the establishment of the Malibu Coast AVA. 
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 ``Malibu Coast'' AVA in portions of Los Angeles County 
and Ventura County, California, effective 30 days from the publication 
date of this document.
    TTB has also determined that the established Saddle Rock-Malibu and 
Malibu-Newton Canyon AVAs will be part of the Malibu Coast AVA because 
all three AVAs share similar characteristics, including high 
elevations, warm temperatures, marine fog, and well-drained soils that 
contain volcanic material. However, both the Saddle Rock-Malibu and 
Malibu-Newton Canyon AVAs have unique features that distinguish them 
from the larger surrounding Malibu Coast AVA. The two smaller AVAs are 
located in valleys set within the larger mountain range that comprises 
the Malibu Coast AVA and are somewhat sheltered from the marine fog by 
the high valley rims. As a result, temperatures within the two smaller 
AVAs are somewhat warmer than those found in the less-sheltered areas 
of the Malibu Coast AVA.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the AVA 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 AVA, its name, ``Malibu 
Coast,'' will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance 
under Sec.  4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (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 ``Malibu Coast'' 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 AVA name as an appellation of origin.
    For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name or with a brand name that 
includes an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived 
from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the 
wine

[[Page 41896]]

must meet the other conditions listed in Sec.  4.25(e)(3) of the TTB 
regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for 
labeling with an AVA 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 AVA 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 an AVA 
name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 
1986. See Sec.  4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) 
for details.
    The approval of the proposed Malibu Coast AVA will not affect any 
existing AVA, 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 AVAs will not be affected by the establishment of 
this new AVA. The establishment of the Malibu Coast AVA will allow 
vintners to use ``Malibu Coast'' or ``Saddle Rock-Malibu'' as 
appellations of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown 
within the Saddle Rock-Malibu AVA, if the wines meet the eligibility 
requirements for the Saddle Rock-Malibu appellation. Similarly, 
vintners will be allowed to use ``Malibu Coast'' or ``Malibu-Newton 
Canyon'' as appellations of origin for wines made primarily from grapes 
grown within the Malibu-Newton Canyon AVA, if the wines meet the 
eligibility requirements for the Malibu-Newton Canyon appellation. 
Finally, vintners may use both ``Malibu Coast'' and ``Saddle Rock- 
Malibu'' or both ``Malibu Coast'' and ``Malibu-Newton Canyon'' on the 
same label if the wine meets the eligibility requirements to use either 
``Saddle-Rock Malibu'' or ``Malibu-Newton Canyon,'' as appropriate, as 
an appellation of origin. See Sec.  4.25(e)(4) of the TTB regulations 
(27 CFR 4.25(e)(4)) 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 an AVA 
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

    It has been determined that 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.  9.235 to read as follows:


Sec.  9.235  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 (USGS) 
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; and
    (10) Calabasas, Calif., 1952; photorevised 1967.
    (c) Boundary. The Malibu Coast viticultural area is located in 
portions of Los Angeles County and Ventura County, in California. The 
boundary of the Malibu Coast viticultural area is as described below:
    (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 line and the northern boundary line of section 
24, T1N/R17W. From the beginning point, proceed east-southeasterly 
along the Los Angeles city boundary line approximately 3.25 miles to 
the marked 1,718-foot elevation point; then
    (2) Proceed south-southwesterly along the Los Angeles city boundary 
line 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 
line approximately 1.7 miles to the point east of Topanga Canyon where 
the city boundary line turns south, and then continue southerly along 
the city boundary line approximately 1.9 miles to the boundary line'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 
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

[[Page 41897]]

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 the line's 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-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-Ventura County line, to the elevation line's 
intersection with the boundary line of the Las Virgenes Land Grant 
(concurrent at this point with the northern boundary line of section 
31, T1N/R18W); then
    (29) Proceed northeasterly along the Las Virgenes Land Grant 
boundary line approximately 0.3 mile, crossing Triunfo Canyon, to the 
boundary line'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 line, and then continue northeasterly along the Las 
Virgenes Land Grant boundary line approximately 0.2 mile to the 
boundary line'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 line of section 30, 
T1N/R17, near Brents Junction; then
    (32) Proceed west along the northern boundary line 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 line of section 21, T1N/R17W; 
then
    (34) Proceed north along the western boundary lines of sections 21 
and 16, T1N/R17W, to the section line's intersection with the Los 
Angeles-Ventura County line; then
    (35) Proceed east along the Los Angeles-Ventura County line 
approximately 0.45 mile, and then proceed north along the county line 
approximately 0.1 mile to the county line'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 
line (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 line 
approximately 0.2 mile, then east-northeasterly approximately 0.2 mile, 
and then southeasterly approximately 0.9 mile to the city boundary 
line's intersection with the northern boundary line of section 26, T1N/
R17W; then
    (38) Proceed east-northeasterly along the Los Angeles city boundary 
line approximately 0.3 mile, and then continue easterly along the city 
boundary line approximately 0.5 mile, crossing onto the Canoga Park 
map, and returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: April 15, 2014.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
    Approved: May 14, 2014.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2014-16921 Filed 7-17-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P