SAVE THE FAMILY FARMS
Committed to making Napa Valley family farms viable for future generations.
WHO WE ARE
Save the Family Farms is a group of owner-occupied grape growers, who grow grapes in Napa Valley, and produce less than 5,000 gallons of wine a year; we classify ourselves are “micro-producers.” Our members produce, on average approx. 1,000 cases of wine/year from fruit grown on their estate vineyards. Current Napa County regulations take a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach, requiring small, family farms to invest $5 million (on average) and several years of time trying for a traditional winery use permit.
Small family farms & vineyards are not designed to fit into a box designed for large-scale winery facilities. Currently, there is no reasonable path to compliance for Napa’s smallest wine producers and this is having a severe impact on Napa’s Small Family Farms. Owner-occupied Small Family Farms—arguably the heart and soul of Napa Valley are on the decline especially with the effects of COVID.
For Small Family Farms & Vineyards to survive, Napa County must acknowledge Family Farms’ historical, cultural, and winemaking legacy by creating a reasonable path to compliance to Napa’s “micro-producers” so they have the ability to host tastings together with direct-to-consumer wine sales.
Our goal has been to create a new avenue for existing small family farms & vineyard growers to participate in a “Micro-Winery Ordinance” in Napa County. We do not want to change the Winery Definition Ordinance (WDO). We want to create an ordinance for Napa Valley’s smallest legacy producers so they can stay in business and be able to pass it on to their future generations.
On March 2, 2021, the Napa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support the creation of a Micro-Winery Ordinance. The STFF Executive Team is working closely with stakeholders to develop an Ordinance that will allow qualifying Micro-Producers in Napa County to pursue a Micro-Winery use permit. The Micro-Winery Ordinance is expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors for review and approval in September 2021.
On May 5, 2022 Napa County adopted the Micro-Winery Ordinance. However, state of CA approved new Fire Safe Regulation on Jan. 31, 2023. These new regulations make no distinction between a Micro-Winery and a traditional winery, and impose the same commercial road standards across the board - no exception. The new Fire Safe Regulations will be effective April 1, 2023. We are now focused on getting Napa County to recognize the lack of intensity / density of a Micro-Winery for a possible road exception for Micro-Wineries, granted on a case-by-case basis.
To-date, no one has made it through the Micro-Winery application process and obtained a Micro-Winery permit in Napa County.
SUPPORT SAVE THE FAMILY FARMS
You can help in many ways:
Support the movement. Sign the petition to show your support.
Donate to the cause. All donations are tax-deductible.
Become a STFF Member. Qualifying Napa County Micro-Producers are encouraged to become a STFF Member.
Save the Family Farms is a registered non-profit, 501c3 # 84-2589765. All donations are tax-deductible.
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You can also help our cause by donating your time. We need help recruiting supporters in your district. If you would like to assist, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate your support of Save The Family Farms, thank you.