Home Industry News Releases Petition Filed to Establish Pocket Peak AVA in Sonoma County 

Petition Filed to Establish Pocket Peak AVA in Sonoma County 

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Proposed sub-region delineates Alexander Valley’s eastern highlands 

June 8, 2022 (Santa Rosa, California) – A collective group of Sonoma County winegrowers have filed a  petition with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to establish a new Pocket Peak American  Viticultural Area (AVA). Located in the foothills of Pocket Peak, Geyser Peak, and Black Mountain, the  

proposed AVA overlooks the Alexander Valley and is located entirely within the Alexander Valley AVA in  northeastern Sonoma County, California.  

The proposed Pocket Peak AVA is located east of the communities of Cloverdale, Asti, and Geyserville.  The approximate boundary runs south from Big Sulphur Creek, shares the eastern boundaries of the  Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma AVAs, runs adjacent to the Knights Valley AVA in the east, then  follows the approximate distinction in soils, slopes, and climate between the valley and highland  locations to the south and west.  

The Pocket Peak AVA takes its name from the nearby summit, rising 2,256 feet above sea level along the  Mayacamas Mountains, approximately 1.25 miles east of the proposed AVA. Pocket Peak is one of three  mountains commonly associated with the eastern Alexander Valley highlands, along with Geyser Peak  and Black Mountain. 

Identified as distinct from the prevailing Alexander Valley AVA due to differences in topography, climate,  precipitation, and soils, the proposed region covers approximately 30,755 acres of land and 2,915 acres  of planted vines. Factors distinguishing the region from the surrounding Alexander Valley AVA were  determined through a comprehensive study completed in March 2019.  

Commenting on the relationship between Pocket Peak and the Alexander Valley, Christopher Jackson,  Second-Generation Proprietor of Stonestreet Estate Vineyards, says, “We’re proud to share in the  incredible topographical and climatic diversity of expression in the Alexander Valley. Our home in Pocket  Peak is a special place. The range of soils, coastal influence, elevation, and the natural beauty of the  mountains make it one of the most remarkable places for grape growing. Similar to the AVAs found in  Napa Valley or Santa Barbara, we believe the distinct features of Alexander Valley deserve to be  explored and celebrated for their individuality.” 

“In my experience making wine throughout California over the last decade, there is a distinct  characteristic in the Alexander Valley’s eastern hillsides that the Pocket Peak AVA defines,” says Jesse  Katz, Founder and Winemaker of Aperture Cellars. “One of the greatest challenges for consumers, and  one I often experience myself, is the level of variability in the style from Alexander Valley. Defining this  unique area as its own AVA would be a huge help to consumers in understanding the region and the  evolution of Sonoma County.”

Courtney Foley, Executive Vice President and Second-Generation Vintner of Foley Family Wines, says,  “As the Alexander Valley winemaking community continues to evolve, it’s important to increase visibility  into the differences that make each growing area so special. Fruit grown in the mountains is notably  different from fruit grown in the valley – this extends not only to how the wines taste, but also the  farming practices needed to successfully showcase these higher elevation sites,” she says. 

JW Reynoso, Vice President of Reynoso Family Vineyards, says, “there are significant terroir distinctions  between Pocket Peak and the surrounding areas. These distinctions produce fruit with significantly  different characteristics – even within varieties – and the ability to recognize the Pocket Peak area will provide greater precision and efficiency in the Alexander Valley AVA grape market.” 

From a storytelling perspective, “Pocket Peak is home to profound wine stories yet to be told,” says  Jackson. “As consumers continue to look for authenticity in their wines, the ability to be more specific  about these historic, higher elevation sites will lead to stronger and more focused stories for  winemakers and grape growers,” Foley agrees. 

For more information and to view a list of winegrowers in support of the proposed Pocket Peak AVA, please visit the website: https://www.pocketpeakava.com/ 

About Pocket Peak AVA 

The Pocket Peak AVA is a proposed American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the eastern highlands of the  Alexander Valley AVA in Sonoma County. Filed by a collective group of Sonoma County winegrowers, the  petition recognizes the region’s higher elevation vineyards as distinct from the valley and prevailing  Alexander Valley AVA in terms of topography, climate, precipitation, and soils. Precedence for the  establishment of the Pocket Peak AVA was based on a comprehensive geographic study of the area  completed in March 2019. For more information about the area and its petition status, please visit:  https://www.pocketpeakava.com/.

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