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Calistoga latest AVA

Calistoga has become the latest American Viticultural Area – over five years since an initial application was filed.

The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Treasury Bureau (TTB) approved the establishment of the Calistoga AVA on 3 December.

The process was held up by the existence of Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estates, two wineries not based in Calistoga nor using the 75% minimum of local grapes required by the proposed AVA.

This attracted opposition to the AVA. TTB finally decided to give the wineries three years to phase out use of the word ‘Calistoga’ in their brand, establishing precedent for future AVA implementations.

Bo Barrett of renowned Calistoga winery Chateau Montelena originally petitioned to establish Calistoga as an AVA, saying that it had been widely recognized for more than 130 years.

The 1983 edition of Hugh Johnson’s ‘Modern Encyclopedia of Wine’ listed Calistoga amongst his ‘unofficially recognized appellations or sub-areas’.

Ten of the 12 defined sub-areas are now official AVAs.

The proposed area surrounds the northern Napa County town of Calistoga and is entirely within the existing Napa Valley AVA.

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Written by David Furer

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