After a long and winding road to approval, the TTB just today voted to approved Oregon’s 18th AVA, the 3,770-acre “Rocks District of Milton–Freewater” American Viticultural Area.
Located in Umatilla County, Oregon, the new AVA is entirely within the existing Walla Walla Valley AVA, which straddles the Oregon-Washington State border and is, in turn, located entirely within the Columbia Valley AVA. Known for its rocky soil, the new AVA is located where the Walla Walla River flows out of the foothills of the Blue Mountains on its way to the Walla Walla Valley.
The AVA, which includes part of the town of Milton-Freewater, is located entirely within the state of Oregon – which means that many of the wineries that currently use the grapes of the area are located in Washington State and therefore, according to current laws, might not be able to use the AVA on their labels. How this shakes out is yet to be seen.
The TTB will publish its final ruling on Monday, February 9th, with the rule (and the AVA) becoming effective on March 11, 2015. To read the final ruling, click here.
Stay tuned for more information!