This letter was sent to the City of Sonoma Planning Commission:
It was last Mother’s Day and we’d stopped at a local winery to celebrate. Standing next to us at the bar were a young couple from South Carolina, who’d left their two toddlers with her parents so they could enjoy a week in Wine Country.
After spending a few days in Napa, they’d come over to Sonoma and spent the day checking out the Square. I couldn’t help but ask what they thought of our town. Her reply was simple, “Too many tasting rooms.”
Her husband added, “We’d planned to spend three nights here, but changed our mind and are going back over to Napa.”
“Better shopping,” she explained. And so it begins.
Which raised the question, just how many tasting rooms does a town our size really need? We’ve already lost 30-plus retail sites. Wake up, Sonoma. Carmel didn’t, and by the time they got around to voting a moratorium on art galleries, the damage was done. Write or call the Planning Commission; tell them we want a limit to tasting rooms and we want it now!