Ban on plantings in new Malibu AVA

Local authorities in the newly created Malibu Coast AVA in the US are threatening to impose a ban on new vineyard plantings in the region.

Vines in the newly created  Malibu Coast AVA

Vines in the newly created Malibu Coast AVA

As reported by LA Weekly, a change in the California Coastal Commission’s Land Use Plan approved in April would ban all new vineyard plantings in the Malibu AVA, forcing a number of existing vineyards to be ripped out.

The changes are due to go into effect pending a vote on 26 August.

Winegrowers in the region are rallying round in opposition to the ban, which states that vineyards planted without permits must be removed.

The ban is being enforced in a bid to conserve the Santa Monica Mountains and the local wildlife in the area.

It states that banning vineyard plantings would prevent the pollution of local streams from pesticide run-off.

However, it seems particularly harsh on winemakers in the AVA as organic farms are permitted under the new rules but organic vineyards are not

LA Weekly reports that the majority of the growers in the region use varying levels of sustainable, organic or biodynamic farming with minimum pesticide use.

Vineyard water use is also kept to a minimum through drip irrigation, while cover crops help to prevent soil erosion.

Winemakers in the newly created AVA hope to get a fair hearing from the California Coastal Commission on 26 August.

Chairman of the LA County Board of Supervisors, Zev Yaroslavsky, refused to comment on the pending ban.

The Malibu Coast AVA currently comprises 52 grape growers and 80 hectares of vineyards along the Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica Mountains.

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