The Paso Robles wine region is being subdivided into 11 distinct areas, capping a seven-year effort by local vintners and grape growers to better describe the origin of their wines — and allow consumers to better identify wines they buy.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was expected to issue a final ruling Thursday creating the 11 new viticultural areas: Adelaida District, Creston District, El Pomar District, Paso Robles Estrella District, Paso Robles Geneseo District, Paso Robles Highlands District, Paso Robles Willow Creek District, San Juan Creek, San Miguel District, Santa Margarita Ranch and Templeton Gap District.
Fifty-nine members of the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area Committee petitioned for the change in 2007, but it wasn’t until September 2013 that federal regulators issued the proposal to the TTB.
All districts will remain a part of the larger Paso Robles American Viticultural Area, but winemakers will now be able to label their wines with the more specific regions as well, which will help promote tourism in the wine region, said Stacie Jacobs, chief executive officer of Visit San Luis Obispo County, a tourism marketing group.
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"The new 11 AVAs give wine tourists an even greater knowledge base and interest in further exploring the wines of Paso Robles,” she said. “The master AVA plan validates the region by defining its diversity and showcases the maturity of the Paso Robles wine region.”
The ruling will take effect Nov. 10. The public may view the rulemaking record for the 11 new viticultural areas at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=TTB-2013-0009.