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Acampo winery accused of violating the Williamson Act

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Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 6:00 am | Updated: 6:22 am, Tue Jul 13, 2010.

Does a popular Acampo winery violate California’s Williamson Act, which has provided tax breaks to preserve agriculture since 1965?

The San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation maintains that Viaggio Winery, nestled along the Mokelumne River west of Lower Sacramento Road, violates the Williamson Act by using the Viaggio property for non-agricultural uses.

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  • roy bitz posted at 12:18 pm on Mon, Jul 19, 2010.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    Right or wrong, I believe the Williamson act provides tax incentives to farmers who meet requirements of the act.

  • Jim Hanson posted at 4:22 pm on Thu, Jul 15, 2010.

    Jim Hanson Posts: 27

    Here again our tax dollars hard at work investigating the terrible acts of these criminal farmers!!! REALLY!!!! This is an absolute joke. I don't understand why we always get in the way of businesses trying to make a buck. This Winery is doing nothing wrong. Leave them alone and go find something more important with your time Mr. Brumley.

  • posted at 8:34 am on Thu, Jul 15, 2010.


    The problem here is that we are evaulating land use based upon outdated laws. And the Farm Bureau is stuck on these antiquated ideals. How has events and the promulgation of wineries effected Napa and Sonoma Counties? Essentially, wineries are the retail sales of goods, in addition to being heavy industrial production and manufacturing. (Think Woodbridge winery) Theoretically, this does not fit the notion of agriculutre as well. Wineies are a unique entity and San Joaquin County is supremely lucky to have a thriving industry. The Farm Bureau needs to join us in the 21st century.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:37 pm on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    M Rivera posted at 4:49 pm on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.
    Posts: 1 Mr Bauback, Oak Farm Vineyards is not in a Williamson Act contract, therefore not bound by its obligations.
    Thanks for your comments! Please understand, I was trying to show support for farms and think it is a great idea to offer events as is being done. I was only saying that all farms should be treated equally. If Viaggio has been singled out, it would be inappropriate. Personally, I wish government would get out of the way with its rules and regulations that tend to stifle economic growth. I think the Farm Bureau may be out of line on this one.

  • posted at 4:49 pm on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.


    Mr Bauback, Oak Farm Vineyards is not in a Williamson Act contract, therefore not bound by its obligations. The Williamson act protects agricluture by helping to encourage farmers to keep their land for farming and agriculutral purposes. The Farm Bureau's seems to argue that winery events somehow hurt local agriculutre. Wouldn't you think that winery events promote the local agricultural uses? And if the Farm Bureau really represented the farmers, wouldn't they be supporting business that highlight and promote local agriculutre? The Farm Bureau needs to see the forest through trees.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:27 pm on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I went on line to Oak Farm Vineyards, and comments earlier about why they are not treated the same as “Viaggio" is an interesting question. It appears to be doing weddings as a business as well... maybe all ag businesses should be looked at and investigated or maybe this is a case of politics. Maybe the farm Bureau should disclose information they have that makes all these farm operations alike or different as it relates to the Williamson Act.

  • Mark Collins posted at 12:57 pm on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Mark Collins Posts: 1

    I live at the other end of the State, and we have had issues with the Williamson Act as well. Ours tend to be large ranches that want to sub-divide because the permitting process for timber harvest in California has become so convoluted and expensive. It seems ridiculous to me that a winery on 26 acres would be getting hassled over holding weddings. We have small farms under the Williamson Act that also act as B&B's in order to supplement their income. I guess this would be illegal too?

  • Jerry Bransom posted at 12:27 pm on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 364

    It sickens me to see that politics and greed are so wound up in Farming. My Grandfather warned me to do something else. I suppose this is what he meant. I only listened half-heartedly. But California is the best (or worst) example of "Conform or get Screwed" I have ever witnessed.

  • Linda Ramos posted at 9:05 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Linda Ramos Posts: 4

    It's good to see the comments I have read. Viaggio has contributed so much to the local economy (as have other wineries). Besides, there are a lot of wineries who hold events....why is it OK for some, and not others? I support Viaggio and any other local winery contributing to our economy. It is sad to see this article, almost as if there is a vendetta against this particular owner. Keep up the wonderful events, Viaggio.:-)

  • posted at 8:27 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.


    To disallow winery events is setting a very disturbing precident. Does that mean an end to concerts and all weddings? Wineries wouldn't have these events if they didn't successfully sell wine by the case-load, far surpassing the usual weekend sales. So to characterize these events as putting wine sales in an ancillary position is incorrect.

    There are many wineries in Lodi and elsewhere throughout the state that have discovered the benefit of using their property for events. With the problems getting wine into distribution or shipped into other states, direct sales, especially as enhanced by events, is the avenue that ALL boutique wineries are now focused on.

  • Mike Manna posted at 7:51 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Mike Manna Posts: 2

    As grape growers, and having grapes being the leading income producer in the county, we should be supporting the wineries in San Joaquin County. Events bring in people and people bring income to our area, which leads to more wine sales and grape income. Come on growers get off your duff and speak out on supporting our wineries that have events.



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