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Thursday, Nov. 04, 2010

It's official: There's no district in Yamhill-Carlton

Starting Dec. 3, it will simply -- and officially -- be known as Yamhill-Carlton.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced Wednesday that it has renamed the Yamhill-Carlton District viticultural area of Oregon's North Willamette Valley as the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area.

The AVA was established in 2004, an effort spearheaded by Alex Sokol-Blosser and winemaker Ken Wright that created an appellation surrounding the towns of Yamhill and Carlton in Yamhill County.

The name was derived in part from a reference to the Yamhill-Carlton School District.

In 2008, Wright submitted a petition to drop "district" from the AVA. He wrote that when the viticultural area was first proposed, "the inclusion of the word `District' was completely discretionary and added only to enforce the idea of the AVA being a regionalized area."

He noted, "Historically, the area has always been referred to as simply `Yamhill-Carlton.' Additionally, the length of the current name is very difficult to fit on a label. Many wineries have found it impossible, given their current label graphics, to utilize the name."

Laurent Montalieu, winemaker at Solena Cellars, wrote in support of the petition, "Historically, the area has been more commonly referred to as Yamhill-Carlton rather than the Yamhill-Carlton District, as well as the wines."

Governments throughout the world designate appellations and viticultural areas "to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase."