More boutique wineries could come to unincorporated San Diego County

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 19:57:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diegans could start to see more boutique wineries open in unincorporated parts of the county.

On Wednesday, the county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to fund a study on expanding streamlined permitting to property owners in zones such rural-residential. That would build on a move the board made in 2010 to allow boutique wineries to be approved administratively in agricultural zones, saving winemakers hundreds of thousands of dollars in permits and approvals.

"It does allow for small businesses to flourish in the county in areas that maybe you would not have productive land,” said Ed Embly, co-owner of hungry hawk vineyard and winery in unincorporated Escondido.

Boutique wineries would not be allowed to hold weddings or have amplified music. Embly defines a boutique winery as one that produces less than 12,000 gallons of wine per year.

The farming community and property owners had been pushing for the move. Results of the study are expected within six months.