December 3, 2009

St Helena, CA--the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) announce that the long-awaited recognition of one of America's most historic wine places, Calistoga, an area within the Napa Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) has been approved by the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the US Department of Treasury as the Calistoga AVA. This milestone represents years of hard work and unwavering leadership of US Representative Mike Thompson (D-St Helena).

"We could not have achieved this incredible victory for wine consumers and the wine industry had it not been for Representative Mike Thompson. He has worked tirelessly to ensure truth-inwine-labeling for consumers and intimately understands the need for forthright protection of wine's place of origin," said NVV Executive Director Linda Reiff.

Though the region has been renowned for winemaking for more than a hundred years, wine producers that sprung up in recent years began using the name Calistoga in their brand labeling. Their wine did not come from the proposed AVA and they were road-blocking vintners and growers by opposing the recognition so that they could continue to mis-describe the wines they produced--branding them as from Calistoga when they were not.

In 2007, the TTB proposed a grandfathering of these mis-descriptive brands, which would have unfairly created a special, or preferred, class for these upstart wine brands. Had this rule making gone forward, this would have established precedent favoring those who mislead consumers about place of origin while trading on the hard work and quality reputation of the long-time growers and vintners from Calistoga.

The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. The organization celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents 375 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit

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