Home Industry News Releases Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance Celebrates Designation as American Viticultural Area

Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance Celebrates Designation as American Viticultural Area

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Local Congressmen join members of the trade and media for vineyard ceremony and celebration.

Petaluma, California, June 4, 2018—The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA) celebrated its recent approval as the newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) by the U.S. Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) at a ceremony and wine tasting held at Gap’s Crown Vineyard in Penngrove, CA on Tuesday, May 29. The ceremony was held on a hilltop in the Gap’s Crown Vineyard, with expansive views of the Petaluma Gap and exposure to the afternoon’s constant wind, the AVA’s primary defining attribute.

More than one hundred attendees from the media and trade were joined by United States Congressmen Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman, both of whom were personally involved in the process of the region being granted the AVA. Representative Thompson spoke about the area’s long history of winemaking and the path to official AVA recognition. Congressman Huffman then presented the Congressional Record Statement to the Alliance.

“The first wines labeled with the Petaluma Gap AVA designation have begun to appear on store shelves and it’s very exciting” said newly-elected PGWA president Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking at Rodney Strong Vineyards. “Seeing the words ‘Petaluma Gap AVA’ on the label helps consumers better connect the dots between the unique character of our wines and the region in which our grapes are grown.”

The TTB’s AVA program was enacted to create a consistent level of specificity in the minds of consumers. The designations of these grape-growing regions around the U.S. are granted based on distinguishable geographic or climactic features. The petition for the Petaluma Gap AVA was submitted to the TTB in February 2015 and the final ruling was published on December 7, 2017. More than 20 different PGWA member wineries participated in this vineyard event, showcasing a broad array of the region’s wines alongside artisan cheese produced in Petaluma by Achadinha Cheese Company and Cowgirl Creamery, alongside food provided by Kin Restaurant in Windsor, CA. 

Erica Stancliff, vice-president of the PGWA and Winemaker at Trombetta Family Wines adds “We are thrilled by the support and encouragement shown us by the local community. Our focus is on conveying the story of our wines and this region to winelovers around the world.”

About the Petaluma Gap Wine Alliance

Founded in 2005, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA) exists to educate the wine trade and consumers about the Petaluma Gap and to increase awareness of the region’s unique growing conditions and resulting wine quality. PGWA additionally supports member winegrowers and vintners within the region through ongoing programs and communications designed to help maximize their success within the industry. The group’s membership is made up of grape growers, wineries, associate business members, sponsors and local community members with a passion for the region and its wine. Throughout the year, the group conducts educational events and tastings independently and through the Sonoma County Vintners.

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