On November 15th, the Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance filed a petition with the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to create the Yucaipa Valley AVA.
An AVA, or “American Viticultural Area,” is a designation granted by the United States Federal Government that permits the commercial production of wine from grapes grown within the designated area. The submission of an AVA petition is the first crucial step toward creating a sustainable wine economy in the Yucaipa Yalley, an economy that will most likely completely transform Yucaipa and the area within the AVA’s designated boundaries.
This past July, the Yucaipa City Council granted the Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance (YVWA) $3,035 in order to allow the Alliance to commence work on drafting the AVA petition. Though the process was estimated to take 6-12 months to complete, the YVWA completed the petition and submitted it for review within 4 months.
The AVA petition, co-authored by Craig Suveg, Devin Cohen, and John Leuer, details the history of the Yucaipa Valley and the unique attributes that make the region perfect for viticulture. Exhaustive research has revealed a unique combination of high elevation, significant diurnal temperature shifts and soil composition promising the Yucaipa Valley with the potential to grow high quality grapes that can produce complex, long lasting wines. The proposed Yucaipa Valley AVA includes the cities of Yucaipa, Calimesa, Oak Glen, and surrounding county areas on several sides.
Now that the AVA petition is submitted, the Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance will work closely with the TTB over the coming 12-20 months to have the petition approved. Though approval is likely within a year and a half, vinification of land has already begun to accelerate. The Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance reports that 14 known vineyards have already been planted in the Yucaipa Valley, and that over 2,000 plantings are scheduled to be implemented by the YVWA Viticultural Program, supervised by Director Preston Todd, in the spring of 2019 alone.
This has been a monumental undertaking, and now that a wine country is on its way to Yucaipa there is more work to do than ever. If you’d like to support the efforts of the Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance to create a wine industry in our valley, you can make a tax deductible donation or join as a Wine Alliance Member below!