One good start to helping traffic on rural roadways in Napa County is to stop approving tasting rooms and so-called event centers in rural Napa County. Allow wineries but eliminate all future applications that request an on-site tasting room.

Wineries are all crying that they need a tasting room to connect with the end consumer or they will be out of business. Put future applicants on notice that if they want a tasting room, it will have to be in the commercially zoned areas of a city.

If they know that going into their goal of developing a winery, they can decide whether or not to build a winery before they file for a permit. If they decide they cannot make it without that direct consumer interaction on a agriculturally zoned property, maybe that is an indication they need to do something different.

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What is stopping someone with an olive or walnut orchard from making the same claim that they cannot survive without having a “tasting room” to sample their products? Heaven help us when the cannabis growers start using the same argument.

Scott Atkinson


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