By Stacy Briscoe
Save The Family Farms is a Napa Valley 501(3) non-profit created and run by a group of owner-occupied grape growers and so-called “micro-producers,” many of whom produce less than 1,000 cases each year. What a lot of people may not realize is that in Napa the Winery Definition Ordinance (WDO) stipulates that it is illegal for these micro-producers to invite consumers to either taste or purchase wines on their premises. The WDO dictates that producers must have a production facility on-site in order to conduct direct-to-consumer business. This is an investment many of these grower-winemakers do not have the budget nor the real estate to afford.
Lindsay Hoopes, proprietor of her family’s multigenerational business, Hoopes Vineyard in Napa, California, is an active member of Save The Family Farms. Before taking the reins of the family farm, Hoopes was a San Francisco District Attorney who fought high-profile, headline cases. She takes that same energy and initiative in her fight for the betterment of Napa farmlife. In this video, Hoopes discusses the details of the WDO rules and regulations that are hampering family-owned and operated businesses like her own, the solutions the non-profit is currently fighting for, and the next steps in establishing a fair business environment for all Napa grape growers.
For more information about Save The Family Farms and how to help these struggling wine businesses, visit savethefamilyfarms.com