SodaCanyonRoad | Remote Wineries

Remote Wineries

Update 12/1/17
On October 8th 2017 most of Soda Canyon burned as part of one of the largest wildfire events in California history. Ferocious winds spread the fire at such a rate that residents had only minutes to exit the canyon. In the process a fallen tree backed up traffic on the road with flames all around. Trucks fortunately were able to pull the tree enough to allow passage and avert disaster. But the concept of "access constraints" and "remoteness of location", upon which residents opposition to the Mountain Peak winery was based, became a very tangible and potentially lethal concept. Residents recognize the dangers of the road and accept them as the price of living in such a bucholic environment. But, as Yeoryios Apallas precient letter-to-the-editor on Oct 5th cautions, this is not an appropriate risk for tourism commercialization. The County government, unfortunately, feels that risk is offset by the need for business promotion and tourism development in the watershed areas.

Update 5/25/17
At the 5/23/17 Mountain Peak BOS hearing in which we presented the conclusions to be drawn from this Remote Wineries page, Sup. Wagenknecht suggested that county staff possibly consider standards for "remote" wineries. While the suggestion seemed a bit off-the-cuff, Dir. Morrison seemed eager to take on the assignment. Given this letter to the planning commission two years ago prior to APAC (which anticipates the work done on this page, and which I had completely forgotten about - subconscious plagiarism?) and his valiant efforts during APAC to create predictable development standards for wineries, I want to believe that the fire for true long term planning consistency regarding winery development was not stamped out by the BOS's "case-by-case" cave-in to the industry after APAC.

At the Jan 4th 2017 Planning commission hearing for the Mountain Peak Winery, residents presented a critique of the "comparable" wineries proposed by the County and by the Applicant. The Soda Canyon Community has consistently maintained that, given the access constraints, the intensity of winery activities is not appropriately scaled in the the Mountain Peak proposal. In response to the approach of looking at a very small subset of wineries as comparables, we have tried here to take a look at winery development in the watersheds as a whole and see how Mountain Peak might compare.

This is a map and list of "remote" wineries in Napa County, "remote" being those within the hilly areas of the watersheds and more than 1 mile from a major highway. (For comparison, the average distance between Hwy 29 and the Trail is 2 miles). It excludes wineries on the Hwy 12 corridor, outside watershed areas. The map and list of remote wineries have been made using data from the NVV's excellent map here and the County's winery database here. There are, of course many more wineries not shown on the NVV map that become visible when you zoom in close on Google maps. It is probable that the average and median values would fall rather than rise or stay the same as more un-shown wineries are added.


Remote Wineries List
Wineries in watersehds more than 1 mile from a state highway or the Trail. The list can be sorted by clicking on the column title

All Remote Wineries
(Sort by Name)
View only post-WDO wineries
View only SCR wineries
Capacity gal/yr Visitors/
dist. from Hwy dist. on dead-end caves
Hess Collection Winery19861,000,00034,940351985.91.3
William Hill Winery1987750,00013,0008651.5
Antica Napa Valley1987450,0005,20020806.66.636,000
Ladera WInery1985150,0004,26013515.0
Oakville Grade Win (Harlan II)1981144,00036,400211431.2
Newton Vineyards1979130,0002,6008322.11.214,400
Mountain Peak2017100,00014,57521976.16.133,400
Kenzo Winery200585,0005,45010441.3
Kuleto Estate199875,0004503111.71.7
10 Burgess Cellars197260,00005162.5
11 Arkenstone Vineyards200360,00011,62810565.30.325,000
12 Cain Winery198159,00006196.22.6
13 Manville Lake Winery199859,00011,22010556.3
14 Buehler Vineyards197850,00003105.35.3
15 Lokoya Vineyards196550,0004,36010414.5
16 Mayacamus Winery194450,0000113410.81.2
17 Woolls Ranch201350,00022,84010804.0
18 Outpost Winery198750,0009,68510528.91.2
19 Palmaz Vineyards200135,00018,3303482.70.555,000
20 Neal Family Winery200035,0002,1202116.00.37,132
21 Vaider Vineyards199232,0003244132.9
22 Fantesca Estate200030,0006,4058381.5
23 David Arthur Vineyards198430,0003,1974192.52.56,500
24 Anthem Winery199630,000260013.5
25 Wallis Family Estate201030,0005,8414250.9
26 The Caves at Soda Canyon200630,0004,9604234.04.016,000
27 Fontanella Winery200630,0007404144.32.2
28 Diogenes Ridge Winery201430,0005,70010435.8
29 Rogers Winery201130,0006,4502202.71.5
30 Eagle Eye Winery201130,0007,2769437.3
31 Cade Winery200630,0004,6506294.6
32 Castlevale Winery201830,0007,3874284.2
33 Continuum Winery200228,0001,17816522.52.521,758
34 Von Strasser Winery197925,0001,4804160.9
35 Caldwell Winery200425,0002,3502123.51.018,438
36 V-12 Winery200922,5002,1273143.23.27,000
37 Seavey Vineyards198820,000362273.93.9
38 White Rock Vineyards198720,0000261.71.76,000
39 Relic Winery201020,0004,4584224.24.22,458
40 Volker Eisele Family Estate199020,0000002.8
41 Pope Valley Vineyards197220,0001,04041513.8
42 The Vineyardist200620,0001,340291.60.47,500
43 Schweiger Vineyards199420,0002,621195.70.4
44 Gardona Winery200920,0001,061290.90.94,716
45 Astrale e Terra198820,00003106.66.6
46 La Vallette Winery198820,0000265.55.5
47 Merus Wines200220,0006,6304272.1
48 Adamvs200320,0008,3213276.5
49 Spring Mountain Vineyards196820,0000131.2
50 White Cottage Ranch201320,00013,25710596.8
51 Dunn Vineyards198220,0002605167.70.16,000
52 3646 SMR Vineyards201620,0004,95010414.70.5
53 Lodestone Winery201120,00013,13010592.52.57,230
54 Black Sears Winery201720,0006,2003239.22.5
55 Vin Roc Winery200418,000416278.08.02,000
56 Calla Lily Estate200816,0004,33031913.2
57 MJA Winery198815,0004,3203194.93.85,511
58 Eeden Vineyards200615,000546283.33.3
59 Wing Canyon Vineyard199112,5000008.1
60 Amizetta Winery198412,0000396.36.3
61 Porter Vineyards200212,000120144.14.121,000
62 Roy Estates200212,0002,7102120.90.96,500
63 Kongsgaard WInery200512,00006199.39.37,000
64 Diamond Mountain Winery199410,0001,520293.4
65 Behrens Family Winery199810,0000006.20.8
66 Keever Vineyard200310,0002,0842110.90.92,800
67 Vineyard 22201010,00018,2002453.1
68 Brand Napa Valley200910,0007,4866341.81.87,700
69 Reverie Winery19959,2005,6405270.9
70 Stony Hill Vineyard19648,7002086191.71.7
71 Alta Vineyard Cellar19795,0002084138.98.9
72 Lagier Meredith Vineyard20045,0001,040157.00.72,860
73 Jericho Canyon Winery20022,000900281.1
74 Ripe Winery20051,5001,8562109.09.01,600
  Capacity gal/yr Visitors/
dist. from Hwy dist. on dead-end caves
Average, post-WDO only
6 28 4.5 * 2.9
20,000 2,350 4 21 4.1 * 2.5
Mountain Peak Winery
100,00014,57521 97 6.1 6.1 33,400
^ Trips/day calculated from County weekday trip generation formulas
* null values excluded

Of all 70+ remote wineries, Mountain Peak is almost entirely in the top 10%
  • Capacity: 7th higest.
    • 1.7 x the average capacity (3 very large wineries skew average)
    • 5 x the median capacity
    • All wineries with a greater capacity than Mountain Peak are pre-WDO.
  • Visitation: 6th highest
    • 2.5 x the average visitation
    • 6x the median visitation
  • Employees: 3rd highest
  • Trips/day: 3rd highest
    • 3 x the average trips per day
    • 9 x the median trips per day
  • Distance from hwy: 21st
    • 2 miles further from a major highway than average
    • Of those 20 further, it has the most visitation
  • Distance on Dead End road: 8th.
    • 3 miles further up a dead end road than average.
    • Of the 7 further, it has the most visitation by far (2.5 x)

Of 44 Post-WDO remote wineries
  • Capacity : largest capacity of post-wdo remote wineries
  • 3 times the average capacity
  • Visitation: 4th largest

Of 9 Soda Canyon Road Wineries
  • Capacity: 2nd
  • Visitation: 1st by far
  • 2.5 x the visitation of the much larger Antica Winery.
  • 5 x the average visitation

In summary, while the applicants on the Mountain Peak project argued that their numbers fell in the middle range of the comparable wineries that they selected and that were presented by the County, the reality is that, as the particulars of selected wineries are looked at and as watershed wineries are looked at as a whole, the Mountain Peak capacity and visitation numbers are at the extreme upper end.

Notes of Interest:

The Hess Winery jumps out as representing the development extent possible, in capacity, visitation and non-agricultural activity in the watersheds. The William Hill and Antica Winery, built about the same time, are the second and third largest wineries in the watersheds. All 3 were built shortly before the the discussions leading to the 1990 WDO, and they might be seen as examples of the unregulated winery expansion trend that the WDO was meant to address. Antica, then called Whitbred, was met with considerable neighborhood opposition.

The 3 post WDO visitation standouts

Woolls Ranch (approved in 2013 and as yet unbuilt) is the visitation leader in post-WDO remote wineries. It was vehemently opposed by the residents of Mt. Veeder Road, and as such is very comparable to Mountain Peak, representing the current discretion of the County in promoting the interests of one good-life entrepreneur over a community of impacted residents in the shift from wineries as production facilities to remote and scenic entertainment venues.

The Palmaz winery is the second highest in post-WDO visitation. Another good life plutocrat (who just can't seem to stop causing grief for his neighbors, the County and the Napa citizenry) also vigorously opposed by the neighborhood when it was proposed.

And Vineyard 22? A 10000 g/y winery with 350 vis/wk visitation? What's with that?

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