The latest upset?
Kenwood Vineyards, purchased by international wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard in 2014, drew criticism from local residents when it outlined its effort to get a use permit for a new tasting room and an increase in events at the winery. There were 80-plus people at the Kenwood Depot Wednesday night to hear the proposed roll out, according to the Kenwood Press.
The winery’s proposal calls for a new 4,100 square-foot tasting room and retail sales building east of the winery. The project is expected to boost the winery’s yearly 25,000 tourists to 35,000.
The residents objecting to the use permit point to the escalating development, most notably the one that will be in construction soon – a 50-room inn, restaurant and winery on the former Graywood Ranch.
The patch of land along Highway 12 between Oakmont in Santa Rosa and the town of Sonoma may be the most prized for development or vulnerable to it depending on your point of view. More than a handful of wineries on that route have changed hands over the past few years and are now corporately owned.
When it comes to the tourist wars, what camp are you in and why?