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Preserving and Protecting Napa’s World-Class Vineyards

How Real Estate Agents Can Save You Time and Violation Fees (and keep you on good terms in the community)

Representing the real estate market here in beautiful Napa Valley, where estates often times include acclaimed vineyards, it is easy to see how prospective buyers could dream of one day launching their own wine brand. It’s a romantic notion to produce your own wine and to invite your family and network of friends over to taste the wine while visiting your vineyard. Everyone wants to buy wine from “the source” especially if friends made the wine, right?

The problem with this image lies in the fact that Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards are preserved and protected by agricultural zoning laws and a Winery Definition Ordinance that’s strictly enforced. The ordinances were written to support the community’s shared goal of preserving vineyards, and as such, laws prohibit vineyard owners (outside city limits) from using their property to market and sell wine – unless the property has a brick and mortar winery on the premises that actually crushes the fruit, and of course has a permit to do so.

On a recent day in January, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Assoication held their annual meeting to share plans for the upcoming year (2014). NVG President, John Ruel, pointed out that further refinements were needed for vineyard marketing restrictions, so new parameters surrounding regulations would be defined in the future. With existing wineries and growers putting succession plans in place to ensure longevity of existing brands, ordinances are being complied with. However, as more and more wneries and vineyards come on the market, there are concerns by the Napa Valley Growers Assoication, that the rules and regulations are not being disclosed or explained to unsuspecting buyers from out of the area.

Real estate professionals need to be current on county ordinances

Very few real estate professionals in the valley are educated and up to date with the Winery Definition Ordinance bylaws, and as such, it has become clear to NVG that some buyers are not getting the full picture of what is, and what isn’t possible.

When selecting your Napa Valley agent, choose one that is experienced in the sale and acquisition of wineries and vineyards so you fully understand the limitations of marketing and selling wine, and not just buying a dream that can never be realized.

Having experience in negotiating some of the largest vineyards in the Napa Valley, you can rest assure that I can guide you through the maze of complex vineyard and winery acquisitions, and make certain you are fully informed on what you can and can’t do. Please check in with me so I can share confidential offerings that you won’t find on the open market.

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