Visit Napa Valley says visitors enjoy our “scenic views” most of all.
This a concept not lost on the proponents of Yountville Hill Winery, who propose a viewing platform high above the valley on the hill east of Brix restaurant.
No doubt they expect their visitors (maybe 1 percent of Highway 29 motorists) to turn right, ascend a steep driveway held in place by a quarter-mile of embankments as high as 28 feet, and arrive on top to see a stunning view. If it works as planned, it’ll be a gold mine. Good for them.
Unfortunately, the other 99 percent of motorists would see an equally stunning view of embankments and cantilevered tasting rooms that would desecrate the viewshed loved by residents and visitors alike. Bad for us.
There is growing opposition to this proposed, obtrusive, marketing facility.
To pacify those who believe this would be an eyesore, the applicant promises to magically obscure his structures and embankments with new trees. Poof! All you’ll see is trees, he promises.
Anyone who can grow enough trees on that rocky, sun-baked hill to obscure the proposed development is, indeed, a magician.
If this proposal gets built, in the ensuing decades when we drive by and regret the County lacked the courage to say "no" to such marketing facilities, it will be fitting if our car radios play the plaintive country/western song “She Got The Gold Mine, and I Got the Shaft.”