Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My peripatetic correspondent who uses the simple handle, Nose, says new money coming into Napa Valley these days is not just big, and new, but also “dumb.” As in clueless: starting wineries to sell high-end cabernet when there’s already a lot of that – no one uses the g-word here (glut), and picking brash names and marketing strategies more suitable to lingerie and cowboy boots. And, on a more serious note, that LAFCO, the California agency that determines how much land in each county can be incorporated by the cities in that county, is being pressured here by responsible land users to put a moratorium on the gobbling up of productive agricultural land. Unfortunately some local officials are opposing the move. You’re asking why, naturally. Because limits on development also put limits on the power of certain county and state bureaucrats, who are more interested in that than in land conservation. And this in what is surely the most successful county anywhere in terms of revenue from a legitimate crop, vitis vinifera, and where ag land should be protected at any cost.

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