Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The recent Paul Hobbs issue, though not dead, certainly is moving forward.

But there is the bigger issue at hand - the safety of everyone living in Agriculture areas.  There are no buffer zones to protect school children.  If the wind is blowing in your direction, regardless of who you are, you breath whatever spray they are applying.  In fact, just ripping the soil to prep for a new vineyard dredges up decades of toxins.  We need safer practices and applications for farming.

We need a moratorium on new vineyard development in the state.  We need to study the damage already done to our eco-systems and habitats by devastating the landscape with vineyards and how it is affecting our health.

I've said it before:  Sonoma County has become a mono-culture; an Agriculture-based community that once benefitted all, now benefits only a few; the alcohol producers who would plow our kids under to make a buck.

This from Tom Cooper...

The current orchard conversion by Paul Hobbs is exempt from the jurisdiction of the Bay Area Quality Management District whose mandate is contained within the State Health and Safety Code 41701 to investigate and enforce clean air standards, in this case drift of toxic dust.

Code 41705 states that code 41701 does not apply to Ag operations or use of Ag equipment necessary for growing of crops or raising fowl or animals.

Just don't sit there. We need to be heard.  The toxic conditions our kids are being subjected to are unacceptable.

To find out how you can help, contact the Watertrough Children's Alliance:

...or go to their website:

They are currently working through the system trying to establish buffer zones for sensitive use sites (schools, senior care centers, day cares, water ways etc.  Other counties in California have them, Sonoma County doesn't.

The ag commish has authority to implement buffer zones but hasn't.

All the addresses and contact info you need can be found on theGravenstein masthead above.


  1. I'm a bit confused as to where you stand on this issue . . . you have a 'Wine of the Month' tab on your blog but want a moratorium on all future vineyard development. Personally, I've been against vineyard development when neighbors to vineyards began suffering gpm loss on their wells. The amount of water that vineyards suck from the aquifers is a huge issue that will be catastrophic for all of Sonoma County sooner than later. Guaranteed that when all of Sonoma County becomes water scarce, very few will look at viticulture as one of the largest contributors to water loss. I am new to your blog and found you through researching the Hobbs travesty. My son went to Apple Blossom School from K through 5. The whole mess sickens me . . .

  2. Thanks for your reply to my comment and setting me straight as to your stance. It would be great to see your reply here on your blog. You have a new reader ; )

    1. Hi. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I have been passionate about wine for 30 years now. I work in the wine business. I have a small vineyard (less than an acre) that I planted 6 years ago. It is Pinot and I planted it on a barren piece of land that had been compacted by horses. I did not destroy habitat to plant. I must admit, if I knew then what I know now, I would've planted apples. I support, at least, a 3 year moratorium on new vineyard development in Sonoma County (preferably, the state) to assess the damage done to our Eco-system by huge conglomerates and reckless winemakers such as Hobbs. We need at least 3 years to assess the new guidelines for planting such as environmental impact reports (EIRs). Every vineyard should go through that process and be denied if it doesn't pass. So excuse the confusion. That's where I stand. PS: I do not buy wine from producers who Rape the land. These folks are giving the responsible folks a very bad name.



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