It’s a delicate balance. Temecula Valley’s Wine Country brings visitors to the area and pumps dollars into our economy. Supervisor Jeff Stone has spearheaded a plan for future growth.  For some wine country residents, though, the noise and traffic is already unbearable. The idea of even more wineries is to them unthinkable. There was a good overview in this past Saturday’s Press-Enterprise.

I’ve spent nearly two years getting to know winery owners and winemakers in this valley. I feel fortunate to call several of them friends. With that in mind, I thought I’d add my perspective. The people I have met are very aware of the concerns their neighbors have and want to do everything they can to work with them to alleviate those concerns. One winery owner points out the 45 decibel noise limit is the same county-wide. They do their best to show consideration for wine country residents, making sure that music ends by 10pm and pointing out that noise from high school football games often exceeds the 45 decibel limit and goes on well past 10.

Live music and events are part of wine country’s unique attraction and makes for a pleasant overall balance for visitors. With many property owners now planting grapes, shutting down any future growth will give them no place to sell their crops. It is because of the winery owners that we have a beautiful destination that is drawing visitors and adding to our economy. The regulatory permit process is lengthy and costly and these people who are also our neighbors have put their sweat and blood into their businesses. We are clearly experiencing growing pains. It is my deep hope that both sides can come to a mutually agreeable resolution. What say you?