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If Napa wineries have to limit visitors, how will they sell their wines?

on 30/03/15 at 11:10 am


imagesNapa Valley is once again debating how to strike a proper balance between its core identity as an agricultural region specializing in wine and its alter ego as a glitzy tourist destination. The Napa County Board of Supervisors and the county’s Planning Commission met March 10 to discuss potential limits on new wineries and the number of visitors each winery can welcome. More debate and controversy are expected in the months ahead.

This issue is not new. James Conaway chronicled the agriculture-vs.-development fight of the 1990s in “The Far Side of Eden,” published in 2002. Similar debates have raged in Virginia, Maryland and Oregon, as localities consider limiting winery events such as weddings, concerts and even wine tastings to reduce the noise and traffic that impinge on rural life. (Vineyards and Amish country are the only places where tourists go to watch farmers at work.)