Map courtesy of the Napa Valley Vintners
Calistoga has become the latest AVA (American Viticultural Area) after a long battle. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Treasury Bureau (TTB) approved the establishment of this AVA on December 3.
The five-year battle was mainly held up because two wineries, Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estates, which are not based in the new AVA. In fact, Calistoga Cellars is in Mendocino County and Calistoga Estates is in Sonoma. Under the existing rules of the TTB, if a wine uses the name of an AVA on the label, then 75% of the grapes used to produce that wine, must come from that AVA. The two wineries do not use that 75% minimum in the production of their wines so they were faced with changing their brands. The TTB is giving Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estates three years to phase out the use of the word “Calistoga” in their brand.
Representative Mike Thompson who says, “I am extremely pleased to announce that Calistoga has finally been designated as an American Viticultural Area, a long overdue and much deserved distinction. I look forward to celebrating this tremendous victory with the wine supporters here in the Napa Valley and across the globe who have worked tirelessly to recognize one of world’s premier growing regions.
“I especially thank the Calistoga growers and the Napa Valley Vintners for their leadership and determination over the past six years. It has been a long road, but like the incredible wines made in Calistoga, we will savor this wonderful news. This announcement is a testament to the decades of hard work Napa Valley grape growers and winemakers have put into making their wines the envy of the world. We should all raise a glass to the new Calistoga AVA.”
Calistoga is the 15th sub-appellation in the Napa Valley