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 10,000 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 estate vineyards. Current Napa County regulations take a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach, demanding small, family farms invest up to $10 million and several years of time trying for a 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 (micro-wineries). 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. Data shows 200 small family vineyards have either gone out of business or sold to investors in the last decade as a result of the unfair regulations imposed on growers.
For Small Family Farms & Vineyards to survive in a winemaking industry increasingly dominated by absentee-owners, the 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 may participate in limited tastings together with direct-to-consumer sales.
Our goal is 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 or amendment for Napa Valley’s smallest legacy producers, that so they can stay in business and be able to pass on to their future generations.
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We appreciate your support of Save The Family Farms, thank you.
Have you had any communication with the ABC about this issue?
The ABC issues AP-02 licenses (alternating premises), an AP-02 license permits tastings at a remote location (outside the production facility) — as long as the remote location is permitted by Napa County.
The ABC will approve a vineyard as a remote location as long as it’s permitted by the county. However, owner-occupied small family farms are not able to pursue an AP-02 license because current Napa county regulations prohibit it.
The ABC is not the biggest obstacle Small Family Farms in Napa face today; Napa County regulations are.
Under current Napa County Regulations small farmers, who do not have a winery production facility on property, and who live outside of the city limits, are not permitted to conduct tastings at their vineyards.
Currently Napa Country offers NO AVAILABLE OPTION for small vineyard owners in Napa County to pursue on-site tastings.
For more information call the ABC: (707) 576-2165.
Who supports Save the Family Farm?
We are very grateful to have the support of our community as we work with Napa County to pursue a solution for Small Family Farms. The following community members have publicly endorsed Save The Family Farm:
Alexis Baking Co
Stephanie Cole & Ross Wheatley
Napa Valley Wine Academy
Coastal Viticultural Consultants, Inc.