[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 67 (Friday, April 6, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14795-14801]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-07089]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2018-0006; Notice No. 175]
RIN 1513-AC39


Proposed Establishment of the Van Duzer Corridor Viticultural 
Area and Clarification of the Eola-Amity Hills Viticultural Area 
Boundary Description

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to 
establish the approximately 59,871-acre ``Van Duzer Corridor'' 
viticultural area in portions of Polk and Yamhill Counties, Oregon. The 
proposed viticultural area lies entirely within the existing Willamette 
Valley viticultural area. TTB also is proposing to clarify the boundary 
description of the adjacent Eola-Amity Hills viticultural area. TTB 
designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the 
origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines 
they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to 
its regulations.

DATES: Comments must be received by June 5, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please send your comments on this notice to one of the 
following addresses:
     Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online 
comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2018-0006 
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 400, 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 or view or obtain copies 
of the petition and supporting materials.

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, dated December 
10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), 
to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the 
administration and enforcement of these provisions.

[[Page 14796]]

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to 
establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate 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 (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 the 
wine's 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 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 or modification 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;
     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;
     An explanation of the proposed AVA is sufficiently 
distinct from an existing AVA so as to warrant separate recognition, if 
the proposed AVA is to be established within, or overlapping, an 
existing AVA; and
     A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA 
boundary based on USGS map markings.

Van Duzer Corridor Petition

    TTB received a petition from Mr. Jeff Havlin, the owner of Havlin 
Vineyard and chair of the Van Duzer Corridor AVA Committee, on behalf 
of himself and other local grape growers and vintners, proposing the 
establishment of the ``Van Duzer Corridor'' AVA.
    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located in Oregon and covers 
portions of Yamhill and Polk Counties which are north-northwest of the 
city of Salem and northeast of the city of Dallas. The proposed AVA 
lies entirely within the established Willamette Valley AVA (27 CFR 
9.90) and does not overlap any other existing or proposed AVA. The 
proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA covers approximately 59,871 acres and 
contains 6 wineries and 17 commercially-producing vineyards that cover 
a total of approximately 1,000 acres.
    The distinguishing features of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA 
are its topography, climate, and soils. Unless otherwise noted, all 
information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this 
document are from the petition for the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA 
and its supporting exhibits.

Name Evidence

    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA takes its name from a natural 
break in Oregon's Coastal Ranges which border the western side of the 
Willamette Valley.\1\ Although the Coastal Ranges create a barrier to 
air moving inland, this gap creates a wind corridor by providing an 
opening for cool, moist Pacific Ocean air to flow eastward into the 
Willamette Valley. An Oregon real estate site notes that temperatures 
in the Willamette Valley are cooled by breezes moving through ``the Van 
Duzer Corridor, which runs from Lincoln City on the coast to Salem in 
the Valley.'' \2\ The dining and culinary page of a travel site 
dedicated to the Salem area encourages readers to ``[h]ead west along 
Highway 22 to loop through the Van Duzer Corridor. Here vines get the 
benefit of temperate afternoon breezes and cool evenings--perfect 
growing conditions for exceptional Pinot noir.'' \3\ TTB notes that 
State Highway 22 forms the southern and southwestern boundaries of the 
proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA.
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    \1\ The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is distinct from the 
H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor. Both the proposed AVA 
and the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor derive their 
name from the late Henry Brooks Van Duzer, a former Chairman of the 
Oregon State Highway Commission. See H.B. Van Duzer Forest State 
Scenic Corridor--History/FAQ, Oregon State Parks, http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkHistory&parkId=160; see also http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/760.
    \2\ http://www.buccolagroup.com/region/willamette-valley/about.
    \3\ http://www.travelsalem.com/Dining/Dining-Overview.
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    The term ``Van Duzer Corridor'' also is commonly used by local wine 
industry members to describe the region of the proposed AVA. For 
example, an article about Johan Vineyards, which is within the proposed 
AVA, describes the vineyard's location as ``in the southwestern corner 
of the Van Duzer Corridor.'' \4\ A local entertainment blog posted a 
story about two wineries within the proposed AVA and stated that the 
wineries ``lie within the Van Duzer Corridor, the gap in the coastal 
hills bordering Salem * * * .'' \5\ An article featuring Pinot noir 
wines of the proposed AVA notes, ``The influence of the Van Duzer 
Corridor extends inland to the McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills 
appellations as well as the vineyards in the Dallas area of the 
Willamette Valley.'' \6\ TTB notes that the proposed Van Duzer Corridor 
AVA is located just north of Dallas, Oregon. Additionally, the 
established McMinnville AVA (27 CFR 9.181) is due north of the proposed 
AVA, and the established Eola-Amity Hills AVA (27 CFR 9.202) is 
adjacent to the proposed AVA's eastern boundary. The website for the 
St. Innocent Winery, which is located in the established Eola-Amity 
Hills AVA east of the proposed AVA, states that the Willamette Valley 
``is affected by winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean through the Van 
Duzer Corridor eastward. * * * The Eola-Amity Hills AVA is 15 miles due 
east from the mouth of the Van Duzer Corridor.'' \7\ A map on the St. 
Innocent Winery's website shows the wine regions of Oregon, and an 
arrow pointing to the region of the proposed AVA is marked as ``Van 
Duzer Corridor.'' Finally, a wine blog that features the wines of the 
Pacific Northwest and western Canada includes an article on the Van 
Duzer Vineyard, which is located in the proposed AVA, and notes that 
the vineyard ``is planted

[[Page 14797]]

smack dab at the mouth of the Van Duzer Corridor * * *.'' \8\
     
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    \4\ http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/653.
    \5\ http://www.willamettelive.com/2012/news/from-left-coast-to-bethel-heights.
    \6\ http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/760.
    \7\ http://www.stinnocentwine.com/NewFiles/vineyard.html.
    \8\ http://www.northwestwineanthem.com/2013/02/mind-gap-van-duzer-vineyards.html.
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Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is a roughly triangular region 
of low, rolling hills east of the Oregon Coastal Ranges. Each of the 
proposed AVA's boundaries is drawn to delineate the low elevations of 
the proposed AVA from the surrounding higher elevations. The proposed 
northern boundary follows a straight line drawn between marked points 
on USGS quadrangle maps and separates the proposed AVA from the 
established McMinnville AVA, which is due north of the proposed AVA but 
does not share a boundary. The eastern boundary of the proposed AVA is 
concurrent with the western boundary of the established Eola-Amity 
Hills AVA and follows a series of roads and the 200-foot elevation 
contour. The proposed southern boundary runs east-west along a State 
highway north of the city of Dallas and the community of Rickreall. The 
proposed western boundary follows a north-south road to separate the 
proposed AVA from the higher elevations of the Coastal Ranges.

Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA 
are its soils, topography, and climate.
Soils
    The soils of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA are primarily 
uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silts with alluvial overlay, as 
well as some uplifted basalt. The soils are typically shallow, well-
drained, and have a bedrock of siltstone. The primary soil series 
within the proposed AVA include Helmick, Steiwer, Hazelair, Chehulpum, 
Helvetia, and Santiam.
    According to the petition, the high silt and clay levels cause the 
soils to be ``buffered,'' meaning that the soils can absorb increased 
amounts of added acidic or alkaline substances without affecting the 
overall pH level of the soil. An increase or decrease in soil pH can 
affect the way plant roots absorb minerals and nutrients, so the 
ability of the soils to maintain a stable pH level is beneficial to 
vineyards within the proposed AVA. The petition also states that the 
sediments in the soil quickly absorb and ``lock up'' rainfall, so the 
vines are less able to uptake water. As a result, if heavy rains occur 
near harvest time, the grapes are less likely to swell and split due to 
an excessive uptake of water. The vines are also less prone to 
excessive growth or leaf production than vines planted in soils that 
allow for more uptake of water. According to the petition, a thinner 
leaf canopy allows more sunlight to reach the ripening fruit, inhibits 
the growth of mildew and mold by promoting air circulation.
    The soils immediately outside the northern and western boundaries 
of the proposed AVA contain uplifted marine sediments, similar to the 
soils of the proposed AVA. However, the soils are primarily from 
different soil series, including Yamhill, Nekia, and Peavine. Moving 
farther north and west, the soils begin to contain higher 
concentrations of basalt and other volcanic materials. East of the 
proposed AVA, within the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the soils also contain 
larger amounts of volcanic materials than are found within the proposed 
AVA, including soils of the Nekia, Jory, and Ritner series. South of 
the proposed AVA, the soils contain large concentrations of Ice Age 
loess, which is not commonly found in the proposed AVA.
Topography
    Within the wind corridor known as the ``Van Duzer Corridor,'' the 
topography is characterized by low elevations and gently rolling hills. 
The low elevations allow cool breezes to flow relatively unimpeded from 
the Pacific Ocean, through the Coastal Ranges, and into the proposed 
AVA. For most of its length, the wind corridor known as the ``Van Duzer 
Corridor'' is narrow, squeezed by high elevations to the north and 
south, and there is little room for suitable vineyard sites within this 
portion of the corridor.
    The eastern end of the wind corridor, where the proposed Van Duzer 
Corridor AVA is located, has the same low elevations and rolling hills 
as the western portion. However, because the wind corridor widens at 
its eastern end, there is more room for vineyards. Elevations within 
the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA range from approximately 180 feet 
to a high point of 589 feet, as shown on the USGS quadrangle maps 
included with the petition. Because the elevations within the proposed 
AVA are too low to impede the eastward-flowing marine air, wind speeds 
are higher within the proposed AVA and temperatures are typically 
cooler than within the surrounding regions that have higher elevations. 
Wind speed and temperature and their effects on viticulture will be 
discussed in more detail later in this document.
    To the north of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA, within the 
established McMinnville AVA, elevations reach up to 1,000 feet. East of 
the proposed AVA, the higher elevations of the established Eola-Amity 
Hills AVA form the eastern edge of the wind corridor, reducing the wind 
speeds and preventing the Pacific air from travelling farther east. 
Elevations within the Eola-Amity Hills AVA can reach approximately 
1,160 feet. South of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA, elevations 
reach over 700 feet, as shown on the USGS Dallas, Oregon quadrangle 
map. In the Coastal Ranges west of the proposed AVA, elevations can 
rise close to 3,000 feet.
Climate
    The petition to establish the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA 
included information about the region's climate, in particular the wind 
speed and cumulative growing degree days (GDDs).\9\ According to the 
petition, wind speed and GDD data were not available for the regions to 
the west and south-southwest of the proposed AVA due to a lack of 
publicly accessible weather stations.
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    \9\ In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat 
accumulation during the growing season, measured in annual growing 
degree days (GDDs), 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. See 
Albert J. Winkler, General Viticulture (Berkeley: University of 
California Press, 1974), pages 61-64.
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    Wind speed: Because the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located 
within a wind corridor, the petition states that wind speeds within the 
proposed AVA are typically higher than in the surrounding regions, 
where higher elevations block the wind and slow its movement inland. 
According to the petition, consistently high wind speeds contribute to 
thicker grape skins, which increase the levels of phenolic compounds in 
the fruit. Phenolic compounds contribute to the taste, aroma, and 
mouthfeel of wines. The petition also states that wines made from 
thicker-skinned grapes often have a darker, richer color than wines 
made from grapes with thin skins.
    The following table summarizes the average growing season \10\ wind 
speeds for a vineyard in the center of the proposed AVA, as well as 
from McMinnville Municipal Airport (north of the proposed AVA) and the 
Salem Municipal Airport (south-southeast of the proposed AVA).
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    \10\ Growing season is defined as the period between April 1 and 
November 1.

[[Page 14798]]



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                                                        Average growing season wind speed (miles per hour)
                    Location                     ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2012            2013            2014            2015
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Proposed AVA (Andante Vineyards)................            11.2             9.9             9.8          \11\ 9
McMinnville airport.............................            5.05             4.2            5.85             6.9
Salem airport...................................             6.3             4.6            6.45             8.1
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    Cumulative growing degree days: According to the petition, 
temperatures within the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA are moderated 
by the strong Pacific marine breezes. As evidence, the petition 
includes data on cumulative GDDs for the proposed AVA and surrounding 
regions, which are shown in the following table.
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    \11\ Due to technical difficulties with the weather station, 
2015 data from Adante Vineyards was only available through September 
14.

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                                                                  Cumulative growing degree days
                    Location                     ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2012            2013            2014            2015
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Proposed AVA (Andante Vineyards)................           2,080           2,243           2,624      \12\ 2,074
McMinnville airport.............................           2,298           2,369           2,819           2,753
Salem airport...................................           2,360           2,605           2,987           3,006
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    The table shows that the proposed AVA has lower GDD accumulations 
than the surrounding regions, indicating that its temperatures are 
generally cooler. As a result, fruit ripens more slowly, creating a 
longer hang time than for the same grape varietal grown in a region 
with higher GDD accumulations. The petition states that a longer hang 
time reduces acid respiration in the fruit, resulting in wines with 
balanced acidity levels.
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    \12\ Due to technical difficulties with the weather station, 
2015 data from Adante Vineyards was only available through September 
14.
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Summary of Distinguishing Features
    In summary, the topography, soils, wind speed, and cumulative 
growing degree days of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA distinguish 
it from the surrounding regions. In all directions from the proposed 
AVA, elevations are higher. Where climate data is available, from north 
and east of the proposed AVA, wind speeds are lower and GDD 
accumulations are higher than within the proposed AVA. With respect to 
soils, volcanic materials are more common in soils to the north, east, 
and west of the proposed AVA. South of the proposed AVA, soils contain 
higher concentrations of Ice Age loess.

Comparison of the Proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA to the Existing 
Willamette Valley AVA

    T.D. ATF-162, which published in the Federal Register on December 
1, 1983 (48 FR 54220), established the Willamette Valley AVA in 
northwest Oregon. The Willamette Valley AVA is described in T.D. ATF-
162 as a broad alluvial plain surrounded by mountains. Elevations 
within the AVA generally do not exceed 1,000 feet, which is generally 
considered to be the maximum elevation for reliable grape cultivation 
in the region. Soils are described as primarily silty loams and clay 
loams.
    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located in the northwestern 
portion of the Willamette Valley AVA and shares some broad 
characteristics with the established AVA. For example, elevations 
within the proposed AVA are below 1,000 feet, and the soils are 
primarily silty loams and clay loams.
    However, the proposed AVA's location at the eastern end of the only 
wind gap in the portion of the Coastal Ranges that borders the 
Willamette Valley AVA creates a unique microclimate. The persistently 
high wind speeds and lower growing degree day accumulations within the 
proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA distinguish the proposed AVA from the 
surrounding regions within the Willamette Valley AVA. Because of the 
high wind speeds and lower growing degree day accumulations, grapes 
grown within the proposed AVA typically have different physical 
characteristics and maturation rates than the same varietals grown in 
other parts of the Willamette Valley AVA.

Clarification of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA Boundary Description

    In this document, TTB also is proposing to make a correction and 
several clarifications to the boundary description of the existing 
Eola-Amity Hills AVA (27 CFR 9.202), which is adjacent to the proposed 
Van Duzer Corridor AVA. The Eola-Amity Hills AVA was established by 
T.D. TTB-51, which published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2006 
(71 FR 40404). Because one of the affected Eola-Amity Hills AVA 
boundaries is also concurrent with the boundary of the proposed AVA, 
TTB is proposing these clarifications in this document.
    First, TTB is proposing to correct the description of the beginning 
point for the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary in Sec.  9.202(c)(1). This 
paragraph currently states that the AVA boundary's beginning point is 
at ``the intersection of State Highways 22 and 223,'' which is located 
west of the town of Rickreall, Oregon. However, the AVA boundary's 
intended beginning point, as marked on the Rickreall, Oregon quadrangle 
map that was included with the original AVA petition, is at the 
intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road. This intersection 
is located farther east along State Highway 22 than the currently-
described beginning point. TTB believes the erroneous description of 
the Eola-Amity Hills boundary beginning point resulted from a 
misreading of the markings for State Highway 223 on the Rickreall, 
Oregon map.
    TTB believes that Oregon wine industry members always have 
understood the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary to begin at the 
intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road. TTB notes that 
commercially-produced maps of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA show its 
boundary located at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall 
Road. For example, see the Eola-Amity Hills AVA maps posted at http://eolaamityhills.com/explore-our-region/regional-map/ and http://
www.everyvine.com/wine-regions/

[[Page 14799]]

region/Eola_-_Amity_Hills/. TTB is therefore proposing to amend 
paragraph (c)(1) to correct the description of the AVA boundary's 
beginning point.
    Second, TTB is proposing to amend the Eola-Amity Hills boundary 
instructions in Sec.  9.202(c)(12), (13), (15), and (16) for clarity. 
TTB believes the term ``township of Bethel'' in current paragraph 
(c)(12) may be confusing since Bethel appears on the Amity, Oregon map 
as the name of a crossroads, not as the name of a political or 
geographic township. Therefore, TTB proposes to remove the word 
``township'' from paragraph (c)(12) and to add a more precise 
description of the point where the AVA's boundary, following Oak Grove 
Road, intersects the 200-foot contour line.
    In paragraph (c)(13), TTB proposes to clarify the direction in 
which the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary proceeds along the 200-foot 
contour line from Oak Grove Road, to clarify the point at which that 
contour line intersects Zena Road, and to clarify that the boundary 
follows Zena Road for a short distance to its intersection with Oak 
Grove Road south of Bethel. In paragraph (c)(15), TTB is clarifying 
that the AVA boundary follows Frizzell Road to the road's first 
intersection with the 200-foot contour line. In paragraph (c)(16), TTB 
is clarifying that, in returning to the AVA's boundary's beginning 
point, the boundary crosses from the Amity, Oregon map onto the 
Rickreall, Oregon map.
    The proposed correction and clarifications are not intended to 
alter the acreage of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. TTB believes that the 
correction and clarifications described above do not affect the 
location of the AVA's boundary as originally intended by the AVA's 
petitioners and as it is currently understood by members of the Oregon 
wine industry. TTB also believes that the correction and clarifications 
will not affect the ability of any bottler to use the Eola-Amity Hills 
AVA name on a wine label. However, if any interested party believes the 
proposed correction or any of the proposed clarifications would affect 
the location of the AVA's boundary, or would affect their ability to 
use the Eola-Amity Hills AVA name on a wine label, please submit a 
comment to TTB as described in the Public Participation section of this 
notice.

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the approximately 
59,871-acre Van Duzer Corridor AVA merits consideration and public 
comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for 
AVA in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this 
proposed rule.

Maps

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

Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a 
wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true 
place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with 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 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.
    If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, ``Van Duzer 
Corridor,'' 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 proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, 
wine bottlers using the name ``Van Duzer Corridor'' 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 AVA name as an appellation of origin if this proposed rule is 
adopted as a final rule. TTB is not proposing ``Van Duzer,'' standing 
alone, as a term of viticultural significance if the proposed AVA is 
established, in order to avoid a potential conflict with a current 
label holder. Accordingly, the proposed part 9 regulatory text set 
forth in this document specifies only the full name ``Van Duzer 
Corridor'' as a term of viticultural significance for purposes of part 
4 of the TTB regulations.
    The approval of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA would not 
affect any existing AVA, and any bottlers using ``Van Duzer Corridor'' 
as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from 
grapes grown within the Van Duzer Corridor AVA would not be affected by 
the establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the proposed 
Van Duzer Corridor AVA would allow vintners to use ``Van Duzer 
Corridor'' and ``Willamette Valley'' as appellations of origin for 
wines made from grapes grown within the proposed Van Duzer Corridor 
AVA, if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the 
appellation.

Public Participation

Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on 
whether it should establish the proposed AVA. TTB is also interested in 
receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, 
boundary, soils, climate, and other required information submitted in 
support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Van Duzer 
Corridor AVA's location within the existing Willamette Valley AVA, TTB 
is interested in comments on whether the evidence submitted in the 
petition regarding the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA 
sufficiently differentiates it from the existing Willamette Valley AVA. 
TTB is also interested in comments on whether the geographic features 
of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the surrounding 
Willamette Valley AVA that the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA should 
no longer be part of that AVA. Please provide any available specific 
information in support of your comments. Finally, TTB is interested in 
comments on whether the proposed correction and clarifications to the 
Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary are accurate and necessary to avoid 
reader confusion.
    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the 
proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA on wine labels that include the term 
``Van Duzer Corridor'' 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 AVA 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 AVA 
will have on an existing viticultural enterprise. TTB is also 
interested in receiving suggestions for ways to avoid

[[Page 14800]]

conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different name for 
the AVA.

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-2018-
0006 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under 
Notice No. 175 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml">https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments 
submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use 
Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ``Help'' tab.
     U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the 
Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and 
Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or 
have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 
1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.
    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this 
notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 175 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.
    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for 
yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If 
you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include 
the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you 
comment via 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

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected 
supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about 
this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2018-0006 on the Federal e-
rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A 
direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 175. You may 
also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page 
at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use 
Regulations.gov, click on the site's ``Help'' tab.
    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization 
(if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all 
address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous 
attachments or material that 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. 
Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other 
similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA 
petition. 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

    It has been determined that this proposed 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 notice of proposed rulemaking.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

Proposed Regulatory Amendment

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

PART 9--AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS

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

    Authority:  27 U.S.C. 205.

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

0
2. Amend Sec.  9.202 by revising paragraphs (c)(1), (12), (13), (15), 
and (16) to read as follows:


Sec.  9.202  Eola-Amity Hills.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) The beginning point is on the Rickreall, Oregon, map at the 
intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road, near the Oak Knoll 
Golf Course, in section 50, T7S, R4W;
* * * * *
    (12) Follow Old Bethel Road, which becomes Oak Grove Road, south 
until the road intersects the 200-foot contour line approximately 400 
feet north of Oak Grove Road's northern intersection with Zena Road, 
just northwest of Bethel; then
    (13) Follow the 200-foot contour line easterly and then southerly 
until its first intersection with Zena Road, and then follow Zena Road 
west approximately 0.25 mile to its southern intersection with Oak 
Grove Road, south of Bethel; then
* * * * *
    (15) Follow Frizzell Road west for approximately 0.25 mile to its 
first intersection with the 200-foot contour line, then
    (16) Follow the 200-foot contour line generally south, crossing 
onto the Rickreall, Oregon, map, until the contour line intersects the 
beginning point.


[[Page 14801]]


0
3. Subpart C is amended by adding Sec.  9.___to read as follows:


Sec.  9.___   Van Duzer Corridor.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this 
section is ``Van Duzer Corridor''. For purposes of part 4 of this 
chapter, ``Van Duzer Corridor'' is a term of viticultural significance.
    (b) Approved maps. The five United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the 
Van Duzer Corridor viticultural area are titled:
    (1) Sheridan, Oreg., 1956; revised 1992;
    (2) Ballston, Oreg., 1956; revised 1992;
    (3) Dallas, Oreg., 1974; photorevised 1986;
    (4) Amity, Oreg., 1957; revised 1993; and
    (5) Rickreall, Oreg., 1969; photorevised 1976;
    (c) Boundary. The Van Duzer Corridor viticultural area is located 
in Polk and Yamhill Counties, in Oregon. The boundary of the Van Duzer 
Corridor viticultural area is as described below:
    (1) The beginning point is on the Sheridan map at the intersection 
of State Highway 22 and Red Prairie Road. From the beginning point, 
proceed southeasterly along State Highway 22 for a total of 12.4 miles, 
crossing over the Ballston and Dallas maps and onto the Rickreall map, 
to the intersection of the highway with the 200-foot elevation contour 
west of the Oak Knoll Golf Course; then
    (2) Proceed north on the 200-foot elevation contour, crossing onto 
the Amity map, to the third intersection of the elevation contour with 
Frizzell Road; then
    (3) Proceed east on Frizzell Road for 0.3 mile to the intersection 
of the road with Oak Grove Road; then
    (4) Proceed north along Oak Grove Road for 1.7 miles to the 
intersection of the road with Zena Road; then
    (5) Proceed east on Zena Road for approximately 0.25 mile to the 
second intersection of the road with the 200-foot elevation contour; 
then
    (6) Proceed northwest along the 200-foot elevation contour to the 
intersection of the elevation contour with Oak Grove Road; then
    (7) Proceed north along Oak Grove Road (which becomes Old Bethel 
Road) approximately 7.75 miles to the intersection of the road with 
Patty Lane; then
    (8) Proceed west in a straight line for a total of 10.8 miles, 
crossing over the Ballston map and onto the Sheridan map, to the 
intersection of the line with State Highway 18; then
    (9) Proceed southwest along State Highway 18 for 0.3 miles to the 
intersection of the highway with Red Prairie Road; then
    (10) Proceed south along Red Prairie Road for approximately 5.3 
miles, returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: November 30, 2017.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
    Approved: March 30, 2018.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2018-07089 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4810-31-P