The Calistoga City Council has been considering whether they apply the same standards to wineries and tasting rooms inside the city as the county applies to them outside, requiring that 75 percent of the grapes used in their production be grown in Napa County. The County regulation is known as the Wine Definition Ordinance. Enacted in 1990, the ordinance was intended as a protection for the trade name “Napa Valley”, ensuring that anyone calling themselves a Napa Valley winery in fact grows and produces their wine in the county. But attendees at the City Council meeting last week advocated against the ordinance, saying it would hurt small businesses and limit winemakers in Calistoga to using only the limited number of varietals grown in the county.

While the Wine Definition Ordinance only applies in unincorporated areas of Napa County, only the cities of Calistoga and American Canyon have yet to adopt some regulation regarding the content of wine made and sold within its borders. Supporters of the Ordinance say Calistoga needs the regulation in order to protect the recently-established Calistoga AVA, which requires that wines bearing the city’s name on the label use at least 85% local grapes in its production.

The City Council is set to meet again on August 2nd; more information is available from their website.


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