Petaluma Gap AVA

After many years of hard work we have our AVA. Look for press releases today.

Congrats! While I’ve been critical of the approval of some recent AVAs, this is one that makes sense. Glad to see the Petaluma Gap recognized as an AVA - I know it’s been a long process. [cheers.gif]

Here’s the announcement from the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance email this morning:

Petaluma, CA, December 7, 2017– The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA) applauds the final rulemaking by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), establishing the Petaluma Gap on California’s North Coast as its newest designated AVA. This ruling defines the unique grape-growing area in southern Sonoma County and northern Marin County and acknowledges the region’s distinctive aspects based on topography and the effects of persistent wind and fog on the grapevines. Of the 4,000 acres of vineyards in the 200,000-acre region, 75% are planted to Pinot Noir with most of the remaining acres equally planted to Chardonnay and Syrah; other grape varieties comprise less than 1% of the planted acreage.

“We are very excited to announce the official approval of the Petaluma Gap AVA in the Federal Register” said Rickey Trombetta, President of the Board of Directors of the PGWA. "Being able to proudly include this designation on our labels makes it easier for consumers to seek out and identify the wines of our members. Local winemakers have long known that grapes grown in the Petaluma Gap ripen more slowly than in surrounding regions, allowing later harvest times which results in more complex flavor development while preserving natural acidity. With today’s finalization of the AVA, wine lovers and members of the wine trade will have the opportunity to become more familiar with the distinctive quality and flavor profile of Petaluma Gap wines.”

The PGWA petition was submitted to the TTB in February 2015 and the proposal to establish the Petaluma Gap as an official AVA was published by the bureau in October, 2016. The final rule was published on December 7, 2017.

The Petaluma Gap AVA includes some 80 winegrowers and 9 wineries, with additional fruit sold to many other wineries throughout northern California.

Thanks Ken, it felt like it would never happen. Celebrating at the Gap Holiday Party tonight, perfect timing for the announcement.

Congratulations!!! :slight_smile:

I remember reading articles about the effort to designate the Petaluma Gap as its own AVA around ten years ago! I suppose the Sonoma Coast AVA approval stalled the efforts…?

Congratulations ! Great news.

This is an AVA that makes a lot of sense. Good news.

Hi Drew,

Sonoma Coast was 87 I believe. We really only got started working on the AVA in 2013 after some winemakers(myself included) were told we could no longer put “Petaluma Gap” on our labels by the TTB. It took convincing of local growers and winemakers that were perfectly happy at the time to go with Sonoma Coast. Tell farmer they can’t do something and watch how quickly you will get backing, LOL. One of the thinks that makes me most happy as an old commercial designer is that we don’t have to use conjunctive labelling. No more Sonoma Coast Sonoma County(yeeeeeccchhhh!)

That said the group had been meeting informally and formally going back to 2003.

Here is a good take on why it took so long

Great news! Congratulations Evan, you guys did great work. I know what a long and difficult process that was. I’m very excited to see how things develop!