|Starting a Winery in Temecula|
I often hear from excited, prospective winery operators in the Temecula Valley seeking advice concerning plans to start a new winery. My "advice" is often you can't.
Unlike many other wine regions in California, in 2006, the County of Riverside adopted a number of restrictive laws that prevent wineries not meeting certain standards from operating in Temecula. These laws are viewed by some as necessary to ensure the integrity of the Valley's wineries, and by others as intrusive government restrictions designed to protect existing wineries from outside competition.
On a personal level, I would like to see amendments to the law that would allow smaller wineries to exist, while protecting the overall intent of the policy.. That said, the law is the law and this is what is says:
The Riverside County Code
Riverside County Code, 17.136.040, Subd. D, provides in relevant part:
Prospective wineries located within the "Citrus/Vineyard Zone" (C/V) must obtain "Plot Plan" approval from the County of Riverside (Riverside County Code 17.136.030, Subd. B) are subject to the following restrictions beginning at subsection 5 of Subd. B:
Additional Definitions / Notes:
Pursuant to Riverside County Code 17.136.020 the following terms are defined as:
“Bed and breakfast inn” means usually a dwelling unit, but sometimes a small facility, with ten (10) or fewer rooms, which provides lodging and breakfast for temporary overnight occupants, in return for compensation.
“Clustered development” means a development, in which the allowed number of dwelling units (density yield) are placed in closer proximity than usual, with a purpose of permanently preserving vineyards.
“Country inn” means a mid-size facility, usually an extension of the main dwelling unit, with eleven (11) to twenty (20) rooms, which provides lodging, and breakfast for temporary overnight occupants, in return for compensation.
“Hotel” means a large separate facility, with twenty-one (21) or more rooms or suites, which provides lodging and breakfast (but no provision for cooking in rooms or suites) for temporary overnight occupants, in return for compensation.
“Production lot” means an independent lot of twenty (20) acres gross or more thatindex.php is set aside for planting vineyards through a deed restriction, fee title purchase, or other conservation mechanism.
“Special occasion facility” means an outdoor facility, in conjunction with a dwelling unit or a winery, which may include a structure or building, which is used on special occasions for public assembly for a specific period of time in return for compensation. Special occasions may involve, but not be limited to, weddings, concerts, parties, spectator oriented events or other celebrations.
“Vineyard” means a farm where grapevines are planted, grown or raised.
“Winery” means an agricultural facility designed and used to crush, ferment, and process grapes into wine.
If the prospective winery is located within the CV area and less than 10 acres, until the law is changed, don't even think about starting a winery within the County, you will need to go into the City of Temecula (or outside the CV zone).
Link to the The C/V Policy