California’s Newest AVA

New AVA Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance PGWA


If you’re familiar with California’s famous wine regions, you may know that all of them are made up of smaller sub-appellations, like Napa’s Rutherford, Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, or Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills. 2017 saw the establishment of Sonoma’s newest AVA (American Viticultural Area), the Petaluma Gap AVA.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved the Petaluma Gap AVA on December 7, 2017, acknowledging the region’s distinctive topography and the effects of the Petaluma Gap’s signature wind and fog on grapevines. According to the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Association (PGWA), of the 4,000 acres of vineyards in the region, 75% are planted to Pinot Noir, with the other 25% split equally between Chardonnay and Syrah.

“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.”

Photo courtesy of PGWA.

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