Subscribe: Comments on: R.I.P. Tulocay. Here comes Coombsville!
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Preview: Comments on: R.I.P. Tulocay. Here comes Coombsville!

Comments on: R.I.P. Tulocay. Here comes Coombsville!

A blog about stuff I care about, from politics to wine

Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:16:28 +0000


By: Michael Turner

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 02:34:52 +0000

Steve, In answer to your question about someone starting a brand called Coombsville before the a.v.a. gets approved. Thomas Foster and I have done just that. The label will focus on Bordeaux varieties other than Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Coombsville area. We have released a Petit Verdot, Merlot, and a blend of equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We have plans to release Malbec and Cabernet Franc by itself as well in the future. Cheers, Michael Turner

By: Pete

Wed, 25 Jun 2008 23:54:31 +0000

The rules state that only brand names created after July 7, 1986, must meet the appellation of origin requirements of the appellation with which it shares a name. Rutherford Hill was created before July 7, 1986.

By: Tish

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 12:18:36 +0000

Stags Leap District and Rutherford are still elephants in the room, as I see it. The Tulocay and Calistoga situations seem to have put a spotlight on how dicey AVAs can be vis a vis winery names. Steve, I can understand you favoring NVV and TTB on Calistoga, but why then should two Stag's Leap -named wineries be allowed to make "Napa Valley" wines? Similarly, why should Rutherford Hill be able to make a portfolio of 12+ wines, none of which bear the Rutherford AVA?

By: Morton Leslie

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:39:03 +0000

When I first read about a Tulocay appellation I immediately associated it with Bill Cadman's long existing brand and not with the Coombsville area. If someone told me a vineyard was in Tulocay I'd have no idea what they were talking about. The Coombsville area, however, is known to many of us as a uniquely interesting place to grow grapes and one which, when someone says the vineyard is in the Coombsville area, we know exactly what they are saying - both where grown and what to expect from the grapes. Similarly I know pretty much where Calistoga is and what to expect from a grape variety from that area. These are good names for appellations because they roughly conform to popular understanding. Regarding grandfathering, this was done once because up until the formal AVA process someone using Stags Leap as a brand name had no idea that someone could come in and create an official AVA with their brand name. While their brand name may have misled individuals into believing their grapes were grown below Stag's Leap , until the AVA process it did not put their business plan in peril. But since the initiation of that AVA process and the initial grandfathering, anyone who begins using a place name that misrepresents where their grapes are grown has been forewarned. They have done it at their own peril. Bill Cadman would not be guilty of this because of his long standing use of the name, predating the AVA process and grandfathering, and the fact it was never popularly associated with a growing region. In short he was not trying to fool anyone. He has a legitimate gripe that someone was stealing his brand name. If the TTB went forward with this AVA his brand name could be on every wine made in "Coombsville." The TTB obviously did the right thing. Now, anyone grabbing Coombsville in their winery name today or over the last two decades better have a business plan that includes Coombsville grapes. A claim of ignorance on their part will ring as false as it does for Calistoga Estate and Calistoga Cellars. Spring Mountain Vineyard (SMV) faced the same predicament as Cadman except Spring Mountain was a place name long associated with the cool wet mountainous area behind St. Helena. SMV had no intention of misleading anyone. They had a business plan, originating in 1992, and built on 100% grapes grown on the slopes of Spring Mountain. But in 1993 other wineries on Spring Mountain wanted a designation for their wines that reflected their unique terroir. SMV did not want dozens of wineries using their trademarked brand name, but could see how a legitimate AVA could validate their own business. Both sides came to an accommodation with Spring Mountain District. This is the way it is supposed to work.

By: steve

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:32:07 +0000

That's why I said it gives me a headache. I'm not paid enough to try to figure this AVA stuff out. Make me Secretary of the Treasury and I'll give it some thought.