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Fred Brander

Fred Brander led the effort to establish a Los Olivos District AVA. He is seen here celebrating his 2014 harvest.

A decade after winery owner Fred Brander first proposed the idea, the Los Olivos AVA was approved Wednesday by the Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

The TTB has established the "approximately 22,820-acre 'Los Olivos District' viticultural area in Santa Barbara County." The action becomes effective 30 days following the Jan. 21 publication of the "final rule" document in the Federal Register.

According to the Los Olivos District Winegrowers Alliance, the area is a "sub-region of the existing and much larger Santa Ynez Valley viticultural area.  It lies between the established AVAs of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the east and Ballard Canyon to the west." It encompasses Solvang, Los Olivos, Ballard, and Santa Ynez. 

Thirteen wineries, including Brander Vineyard will be able to use the new Los Olivos District AVA designation on their labels. Buttonwood, Roblar, Beckmen, and Sunstone are among those wineries.

A specific AVA (American Viticultural Areas) designation is helpful to wineries that want to promote the geographic pedigree of their wines, and to consumers who what to be more knowledgeable about the origin of what they're drinking.

The Los Olivos District AVA joins five other existing AVAs in the region: Happy Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Ballard Canyon and Sta. Rita Hills.

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