It is a sad day when Andy Beckstoffer, a longtime figure in Napa Valley agriculture, would distort history and have us forget his own central role in the creation of the Winery Definition Ordinance (“Grapegrower challenges use of wine ordinance,” Aug. 15).

It is even sadder that he believes it is appropriate to use a phrase like “the Boissets of the world” to impugn the motives of someone whose project he opposes.

My first harvest in the Napa Valley was in 1978. Anyone around as long or longer than that has seen immense changes in the wine industry, but a central principle has remained, or even been strengthened: We have put in place land-use laws that keep the focus of this county on agriculture.

I sat on the Napa County Planning Commission; the commission is often the first forum where the county’s land-use policies are applied. Smear tactics by project opponents were rare, mainly because they reflect so badly on those who use them. It is too bad this lesson has been lost on Andy.

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David Graves / Napa

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