Lodi Winemakers Work to Prevent Suburban Sprawl
Lodi’s wine industry has made tremendous strides in recent years. Once known for mass production, several boutique wineries have sprung up and are justifiably targeting higher price points. Michael-David Vineyards just released the region’s first wine priced at over $50; a Cabernet Sauvignon named “Rapture.” While the quality of Lodi wines is no longer in question, there is a new threat to the industry: suburban sprawl.
As reported by San Joaquin County’s Recordnet.com, the populations in the nearby cities of Sacramento and Stockton are increasing rapidly. The Lodi greenbelt is caught in the middle, prompting local winemakers and grape growers are taking steps to prevent suburban sprawl from creeping in.
They face several challenges. With the cost of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area at stratospheric levels, moving to outlying areas like Lodi, Stockton, or Sacramento is the only option for many people. Additionally, it is much more lucrative to develop land with houses or strip malls than it is to farm.
Since demographic and economic trends are not on their side, Lodi vintners are focusing their efforts on lobbying for regulation to prevent vineyards from being developed. This may be the only way to ensure that premium Lodi wines will be enjoyed by future generations.