The SOMM Journal

April / May 2018

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Page 85 of 108

{ }  85 The AVA currently includes nine wineries and 80 winegrowers— many of whom sell fruit to wineries throughout northern California. In addition to the boutique vineyard–sourced grapes commonly used in blends or small-lot bottlings, the region is also home to an impressive list of vineyard-designate wines from unique sites that include Gap's Crown, Keller Estate, Sangiacomo Vineyards, Griffin's Lair, Blue Wing Vineyard, Terra de Promissio, Rockin' H Ranch, Clary Ranch, Armagh Vineyard, and Devil's Gulch Ranch. Along with notable producers regularly working with fruit from the region—among them Kosta Browne, Wind Gap, Roger Roessler, Flowers, Cline, Pellet Estate, and Landmark—another big fan of The Gap is Adam Lee, one of California's most influential winemakers. "With low yields and long hang time, working with Pinot Noir grapes from Petaluma can definitely test the patience of a winemaker," says the founder of the Santa Rosa–based Siduri Wines. "But there is always enough sun to lift the fruit and support the tannins needed to make rich, powerful, and elegant styles of wines that make it well worth the wait." A decade after the PGWA was founded in 2005, the organi - zation submitted its original application in February 2015. After quickly fulfilling the stages necessary for approval during the admin- istration of President Barack Obama, the long delay was caused when President Donald Trump did not appoint a new Treasury Department official to sign the final document until this past August. As a result, the Petaluma Gap—the 17th sub-AVA within Sonoma County—is the first AVA to earn an official designation since October 2016. Local winegrower and PGWA board member Doug Cover, who chaired the Petaluma Gap AVA committee, credits U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Mike Thompson (D-Santa Rosa) for keeping the process moving despite this bureaucratic shuffle. "Patience, persistence, and getting pissed off is what got us places," Cover quipped last December. As of December 8, 2017, TTB's approval of the appellation allows wine producers to begin using the Petaluma Gap AVA on their labels. Rickey Trombetta, President of the Board of Directors of the PGWA, sees this as a win-win for all parties involved. "Besides allow - ing us to show the distinction between this winegrowing region from the others in Northern California, the designation of the Petaluma Gap appellation will provide an educational platform that can be used to teach sommeliers, wine buyers, members of the media, and consumers about the unique role the wind plays in helping us create world-class wines with a true sense of place," Trombetta said. Griffin's Lair Vineyard, located within the windy Petaluma Gap AVA, is planted to Pinot Noir and Syrah. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PETALUMA GAP WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PETALUMA GAP WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE Fog settles in the Azaya Vineyard during harvest at McEvoy Ranch in the Petaluma Gap AVA.

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