Viticulture briefs

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TTB to consider new grape varieties

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which oversees regulation of the wine industry at the federal level, has proposed a new rule to include more grape variety names for use in designating American wines.

The bureau is amending its wine labeling regulations by adding some new varieties to the list, including ones suggested by local vintners.

The bureau wants to add “godello” to the list as proposed by the California American Terroirs of Sonoma. The variety is native to Spain and Portugal, though a number of wineries in California and Oregon grow it.

It also wants to approve “ribolla gialla” as proposed by Vare Vineyards of Napa. The fruit is a white grape grown along the Mediterranean in Italy and Slovenia. Vare has grown the variety and produced wine from it since 2004.

The proposed rule can be found at

Sonoma Summit event wraps up

The Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Winegrowers have hosted the ninth annual Sonoma Summit for top sommeliers across the country.

The event was held from Nov. 7 to 9 and featured classes, panel discussions and activities so attendees could learn more about Sonoma County wines.

Sommeliers came from restaurants in New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C.

Events were held at Rodney Strong Vineyards, Lynmar Estate, Comstock Winery, MacRostie Winery and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, providing perspective on the wide variety of wines in Sonoma County, which has 17 federally recognized wine regions.

“It really was a fantastic event and a great educational experience to understand Sonoma wines and the culture behind it,” Gabrielle Waxman, sommelier with Galatoire’s Restaurants in New Orleans, said in a statement.

Anderson Valley wineries to hold Alsace festival

The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association will host its International Alsace Varietals Festival to showcase the white wine varietals that were derived from the Alsace region in France.

The event will be held Feb. 25 and 26 at participating wineries in the valley located in Mendocino County.

The wines featured will range from riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, pinot blanc and muscat, with styles varying from very dry to late-harvest wines. Producers from across the United States, Europe and New Zealand will be pouring their wines.

Christine Dufault, associate professor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, will lead a food-and-wine pairing seminar and tasting as part of the event.

Tickets are on sale at the association’s website at

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

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