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Plaza needs a mix of business

Letter to the Editor

By

Editor, Index-Tribune:

I read your editorial about proliferating tasting rooms with great interest (“Tasting room questions,” Index-Tribune, Jan. 21). Here, for what it’s worth, is my personal take on this issue.

People are drawn to Sonoma for a variety of reasons. There is the wine, yes, but for those of us who have made our homes here, there is also the climate, the enchanting landscape, the serenity of rural life, the caring community and the special place Sonoma occupies in California history. Sonoma, in other words, is many things to many people, and a little perspective, I think, goes a long way.

I have no problem with the idea of tasting rooms. But it gets kind of old when you look down our short block of shops on East Napa Street and see practically nothing but tasting rooms. Surely there is something else people might want to spend their time and cash on besides wine. A sweater or a movie or, I don’t know, a book.

Capitalism is, at best, an amoral philosophy. That’s the real problem: you follow the money. Right now it’s wine, but how, I wonder, would the Sonoma Index-Tribune feel, if instead of wine bars, there were row upon row of cannabis shops or massage parlors?

Maybe the abnormally high rents around the Plaza dictate that only wineries can afford those choice spaces, but it seems to me that the Plaza, which is the jewel of Sonoma, deserves a well-thought-out mix of businesses.

Andy Weinberger

Readers’ Books

Sonoma