Phil Barber, PRESS DEMOCRAT
Attempts by owners Craig and Kathryn Hall to transform the wooded ranch into a vineyard were at the epicenter of a wider battle between open space and grape growing in Napa County.
For more than a decade, the owners of Hall Wines have waged an effort to develop several hundred acres of oak woodland in eastern Napa County into vineyard, a plan that has sparked anger in Wine Country residents and embroiled county Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza in an ongoing public controversy.
The dispute came to rest at the epicenter of a wider battle over the future of open space in the North Bay, and the expanding footprint of the region’s famed wine industry.
A potential solution appeared unexpectedly Wednesday, when the Land Trust of Napa County and Hall Wines issued a joint statement announcing the land trust’s intent to buy Walt Ranch, the 2,300-acre property at the heart of the debate.