Small winery owners in Temecula Valley are raising concerns about a land use proposal that would require wineries that include hotels, restaurants or special events venues to be no less than 20 acres, in order to offset noise and other nuisances from their patrons and events. Resorts would be required to be at least 40 acres.

The Riverside County wine region has over 30 wineries, ranging from small family owned operations to medium-sized wineries with restaurants, tasting rooms, and venues available for weddings and other events. Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, whose district includes Wine Country, has said the region needs more wineries to be a viable, world-class destination.

Some Vintners with less than 20 acres say the rule would stifle their ability to make a living and lead to the demise of mom-and-pop wineries that create a diversity of experiences for the region’s visitors. Valerie Andrews, co-owner of the 10-acre Oak Mountain Winery, commented to local press, “[A]t the smaller wineries, you can talk to the owners. They’re working at the winery. They have a passion for what they do. You get to ask them questions and have a personal relationship with them.”

Mitra Mehta-Cooper, a county planner helping to coordinate the plan, said it was the winegrowers who asked for the 20-acre rule. “Our bias is going to be for the long-term sustainability of the area,” she said. “We do realize we have to address this situation one way or the other.” The plan could come before the County Board of Supervisors late this year.


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