SAVE THE FAMILY FARMS

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.

Special Note: 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. 

Those interested in becoming a member can get in touch here.

For ways you can support the movement, click here

To get in contact with the Executive Team, please fill out this form.

Situation: Small family vineyards are not permitted to host tastings and sell Napa Valley wine on their family farm

Complication: This creates an economic hurdlemaking it virtually impossible to legally make a living growing, tasting and selling wine from Napa vineyards

Implication: Napa Valley small family vineyards will disappear if nothing changes

Position: Our proposal does not conflict with the Winery Definition Ordinance (WDO). We are asking for the creation of a "Micro-Winery" Ordinance for Napa's smallest producers

 

Proposal: Please support the creation of a Napa County Micro-Winery Ordinance to allow limited wine tasting & direct to consumer sales on small family vineyards that meet responsible regulations

Benefits:

  • Creates a balanced playing field for equal access to “direct to consumer" tasting and sales for small family vineyards

  • Preserves Napa’s small family farm legacy and unique history

  • Protects the environment by eliminating the need for new infrastructure

  • Keeps Agriculture as highest and best use of Napa Land

  • Enables family farms to be passed down to the next generation of Napa Valley farmers

  • Reduces the take over of farmland