For about 10 years, I was an active player in spreading the word on Suisun Valley’s presence. The region had been given grants from the town of Fairfield and the Solano Irrigation District. Suisun growers were given 10 years to get themselves onto the wine maps, and they did it…

Today, Diaz Communications has a very minor role, yet we are still connected. We’re all still watching it grow, into what it’s becoming. Suisun Valley is now a favorite place for many people who want to get away from the madding crowds, and who want to buy some excellent value wines in the process. Neighbor to Napa on its southeastern edge, Suisun Valley is very much on its way.

So much so that the inevitable has happened. People who live there, and aren’t part of the agricultural community, could care less about growth. The NIMBYs are all set. And, they’re not looking for, nor do they appreciate, any more growth. The last thing they want are more people clogging up their highways and byways. When they moved in, they had no idea there were going to be grants to expand awareness and help Suisun’s farmers grow, both grapes and agriculture. But… but, this is the progress that’s needed to support the valley to continue to be alive and well.

Change happens. In fact, it’s the only constant, n’est ce pas? Where I come from, I could pedal a bicycle down Franklin Street, in Stoneham Massachusetts; and within 15 to 20 minutes of straight street pedaling, I went through two more towns. (Stoneham to Medford to Malden.) The East Coast is pretty much wall to wall development. Migrations west have been happening, since someone landed on the East Coast. Our First Nation People will attest to that.

There’s a lot of land out here in California, and a lot of it is not anywhere near developed… yet. Yet, is the operative word, regardless of what any of us want. There’s always going to be growth spreading westward; and, with it comes change. That “noise” brings an economy to a town and a planning commission works hard to manage it to the benefit of all, not just a select few.

I just moved from an area that was too busy. That, too, happens all of the time. Life is about change for growth, in any direction.

Compromise is on the horizon for bucolic Suisun Valley, and it looks like, with all of the current disturbances by some of its residents, the growth outcome will be settled by county staff, planning commission members, and its Supervisors.

The following is an assessment from the…

2017 Growing Season Report by Allied Grape Growers

“Due to the entrepreneurial nature of some SV/GV growers over the last few years, many out-of-state markets have been opened up for these premium coastal grapes. There are now bonded wineries in all 50 states of the nation. Many of these wineries look to California for their grape supply due to the inability to reliably grow vinifera grapes in their own regions.

“In addition, home winemaking is still a common practice throughout many ethnic communities. In addition, home winemaking is still a common practice throughout many ethnic communities from the Midwest to the Northeast. The ‘new’ generation of these home winemakers is extremely interested in producing a premium product and seeking the quality differentiation provided by coastal winegrapes from recognized AVAs. As a result of these opportunities, the SV/GV region has become a recognized source for these out-of-state buyers.

“It is safe to say that, without an economic premium to market grapes in this manner, they would be marketed within the state to purchasing crush facilities. Considering this, the true worth and sheer volume of SV/GV grapes would be reported as even higher if these shipments were taken into account.

“A smaller but important issue contributing to the validity of average price data is the increasing amount of niche buyers purchasing small quantities of fruit at premium prices throughout the region. Many times these smaller buyers are unaware of the reporting requirements associated with winegrape purchasing. The omission of these often “higher-priced” transactions contributes to lower-than-realistic average price expressions in the report.

“The SV/GV region has experienced considerably improved marketplace [popularity] over the recent years with advances in viticulture coupled with buyer willingness to purchase grapes. Considering the overall momentum and long term trends evident within the California wine industry, SV/GV region is poised for continued success.”

Poised for continued success

Progress is inevitable. When it gets to be too much, many people move to higher ground or deeper into the woods. Suisun is well on its way to reward its farmers for their well earned celebrity. This was the objective of the Suisun Valley Vintners and Grape Growers Association being formed and it’s still moving forward in a positive direction.