Historic Preservation Needed

As urban sprawl encroaches upon California's oldest wineries, owners are concerned about the future of their industry.
October 31, 2003, 5am PST | David Gest
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California's original wine country is not the valleys of Sonoma or Napa – it's Cucamonga Valley, near Los Angeles, where 60 wineries used to flourish on over 35,000 acres. Today, the area consists of "fewer than 800 acres of vineyards and three commercial wineries," largely a consequence of urban sprawl, and pressures to sell land for real estate development. The "50- to 100-year-old vines scattered across the valley's floor are [still] prized within the wine industry for their complex fruit," and may include "some of the original cuttings from the Old World...'If this was a structure, they would have declared it a historical site and prevented this from happening,' said James Wolpert, chairman of the UC Davis department of viticulture and enology. 'You just don't make 100-year-old Zinfandel vines. We are losing a piece of California's heritage.' "

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Sunday, October 26, 2003 in The Baltimore Sun
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