Small wineries, big impacts
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Bill Hocker | Feb 19, 2016

NVR 2/18/16: Direct sales key to small winery survival, Planning Commission told

As they did a little over a year ago, 3 members of the wine tourism lobby made a presentation to the planning commission to reinforce the narrative (a much-used word these days) that the wine industry is changing and if the wine industry is going to survive in Napa county direct-to-consumer sales at wineries are necessary.

There are lots of comments to the NVR article and well worth reading. Rob McMillan, calm and reasonable as always, proposes some concrete steps to alleviate the existing traffic that even he (along with arch-tourism proponent Rob Mondavi) now finds unbearable. Those ideas are well worth pursuing but they are really just symptomatic relief that can never keep up with the real problem: the development trajectory (a word used by NativeSonNapa in the comments) that the county is currently on. The real solution to the problems we face here is a commitment to slow or stop future tourism and industrial development (as well as vineyard conversion) through the same level of regulation that has been used to slow housing development. Once urban growth as a whole is slowed then we have a chance of dealing with the traffic or affordable housing problems that are its symptom.

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