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August 2017
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Federal regulators today granted Calistoga AVA status.

Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena spearheaded the movement over the last 6 years, culminating in the recent announcement.

The big loser here is Robert Young, Co-owner of Calistoga Cellars.  You see, once an area is granted AVA status, wineries may not label with the AVA name unless grapes are being used from that specific region, as consumers often look for wines to come from a specific place.  Calistoga Cellars sources grapes from all over Napa Valley, and not just Calistoga, therefore they must cease and desist using their long time name within 3 years.

Sometimes what is good for the whole isn’t great for the individual.  However, in the long run, my money is that Young and his winery are the better for it, even though there will be a little pain in the interim.

Congratulations to Calistoga on being recognized as a special area from which grapes come and wine is made, and best of luck to Calistoga Cellars while you rebuild your brand or find new grape contracts within your shiny new AVA.

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