#Petaluma Celebrates “The Birth of an AVA – Petaluma Gap”

Recently the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library had a fantastic display of our city’s viticulture history.  Kaye Chandler did a great job in capturing the display on video (which can be found on the next page of this article).  Over the years our town’s rolling hills have evolved into what now is starting to look like the Sonoma or Napa Valley.  After reviewing Kaye’s film you realize that Petaluma families have been making wine since the mid 1900s (some sources say for over 150 years).

Keller Estate & Petaluma River, Photo by Wayne Dunbar

While we have a rich history in viticulture, 2015 marks the birth of a new American Viticulture Area (AVA), The Petaluma GAP. An AVA is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau and United States Department of Treasury. The geographic features that distinguish the Petaluma GAP is the wind and the fog. The “GAP” refers to the wind gap named after a coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific through the town of Petaluma and then roars south to San Pablo Bay which makes this AVA ideal for growing certain grapes (Pinot, Chardonnay & Syrah).  The AVA designation allows the wine makers to label their bottles indicating the grapes in the wine came from this region.

On Friday, January 30 from 6-8PM located at the Healdsburg Public Library the “The Birth of an AVA – Petaluma GAP” event will be hosted by the Wine Library Associates of Sonoma County and the Petaluma GAP Winegrowers Alliance.  This is a great opportunity to have some wine and learn about the region.  Tickets are $35 per person but only $25 for Wine Library and Alliance members.  You can reserve tickets by calling (707) 433-1660 or purchasing tickets on Eventbrite.


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