In February 2015, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA) applied to the American Viticultural Area (AVA) to become the next appellation. Nearly three years later, the application has been approved, and Petaluma Gap’s growers can now add the AVA designation on their bottles.
“Being able to proudly include this designation on our labels makes it easier for consumers to seek out and identify the wines of our members,” said Rickey Trombetta Stancliff, president of the board of directors of the PGWA and CEO of Trombetta Family Wines.
“It’s really significant,” Stancliff said. “Now, instead of competing with a cast of thousands (in Sonoma County), we’re down to a much smaller number, a more rarefied group. It really helps a little brand like ours stand up and get noticed.”
The brand stretches over 203,000 acres of Sonoma and Marin counties, from Tomales Bay to Sonoma Mountain. The Petaluma Gap AVA will thus extend from the coast at the northern tip of Tomales Bay to Sonoma Mountain. It becomes the 17th sub-AVA within Sonoma County — and to the best of the petition drafters’ knowledge, the only one in California defined by its wind patterns, which can result in wines with high acidity and high tannin.