Temecula Under Siege
Most wineries depend on purchasing a significant amount of grapes from other growers. Will those be reliable future sources? I do think that some vineyards product higher quality, and some effort should be made to value those sources so they have a future. Right now, the biggest incentive to grow grapes seems to be owner interest more than economics.
I don’t think it is helpful to still have citrus growing in the area, since it is a big water user and hosts GWSS. In the long run, will avocados (also thirsty) still be worth growing (NAFTA, etc.)? Maybe the future of vineyards is balanced by losses of those crop areas eventually – that might be lowered competing water use or even land available to plant.
Tourism is certainly a double-edged sword. It does seem to be the lifeblood of the local wine industry, but those easy sales become a disincentive to produce quality wine. A few wineries make an effort to make quality wine making their niche.
Of course, there has been some talk for years about having some kind of regional quality designation for certain wines. To do something like that successfully, there needs to be a coordinated effort and marketing supported by maybe a majority of the local wineries. Similar past efforts can still be seen in the Gallo Nero of Chianti (not too meaningful today) and the German Naturwein Guild. They are different, but they both set production standards, which the members agree to uphold. In France, the Appellation Controlee’ handles those issues, and to varying degrees in other countries.