Comments are being solicited for the proposed The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Oregon. The crafter of the proposal, Geologist Kevin Pogue, states in Great Northwest Wine that the terroir of the proposed AVA is "one unit" due to 97% of the soil being just one type, on one landform, and with consistent elevation.
Though the proposed AVA is within the current Walla Walla Valley AVA (which is in both Oregon and Washington State) The Rocks (as the region is commonly called) is only in Oregon. And this puts Washington wineries in a pickle. Author Eric Degerman explaines, "By federal law, because it does not cross the state border, only wineries in Washington with a Oregon production facility will be able to use The Rocks on their labels — even if they are in the Walla Walla Valley."
Reaction the petition is already honing in on this point: "Prohibiting the Washington wineries located in Walla Walla, WA, from being able to label with the new AVA does not seem reasonable when the new AVA lies entirely within the Walla Walla Valley AVA that exists today."
Christophe Baron of Cayuse Vineyards brought initial publicity to The Rocks, as the region reminded him of Chateauneuf du Pape. Here are the other wineries with vineyards in the proposed AVA:
Sleight of Hand
Watch a video of Pogue filmed on location: