Napa Wineries Seek Civil Rights Probes Into Napa Government

Hoopes Vineyard, Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery and Summit Lake Vineyards said Napa County has engaged in “a pattern and practice of discriminating against certain classes of small businesses."

The center of the dispute is Napa County's Wine Definition Ordinance, passed in 1990. It includes provisions to recognize wineries with use permits issued before 1990, as well as defined “small wineries.” The ordinance requires all producers to apply for use permits before expanding their pre-ordinance levels.