Controversy Swirls over Del Dotto Winery
Once again, there’s controversy in the Napa Valley. This time, it’s locals versus the planned development of a winery. The Del Dotto Winery was the center of this controversy as area neighbors were upset that they made changes to the original development proposal.
The winery’s plans were first brought before the county in July 2003, and passed almost unanimously. But since then, the project has been red flagged because of numerous changes to the plan.
The main point of contention stems from plans to raise the height of the cave from eight to fourteen feet. This added a 2,600 square foot patio to the top of the cave that neighbors feared that Del Dotto would use for loud outdoor parties. The addition of 20 new parking spaces raised a red flag for neighbors.
Neighbors Oliver and Karen Caldwell are worried because of the “incredibly loud late-night pyrotechnic rock concert the Del Dottos hosted when they first applied for their winery permit.” Another neighbor described finding Del Dotto wine glasses around his swimming pool in the wake of one party at the nearby winery.
The planning commission recently approved the use permit modification, which stopped the construction of the two story cave. It is had provisions that prohibited Del Dotto from having public and private events on the patio during the evening hours.
This seems like a pretty fair compromise for both Del Dotto and the surrounding neighbors. Unfortunately, Del Dotto will have to deal with its new restrictions, something that wineries that are in the middle of their vineyards do not have to contend with. We’ll see how this situations plays out as the years go by.