Location:Home > HEALTH > James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

Time:2018-04-03 21:49wine - Red wine life health Click:

Wine nbbj_sonoma nbbj_ County Valley

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

(1 of ) James Conaway, author of "Napa at Last Light," at St. Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

(2 of ) James Conaway, author of "Napa at Last Light," at St. Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

(3 of ) James Conaway, author of "Napa at Last Light," at St. Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

(4 of ) James Conaway, author of "Napa at Last Light," speaks during a fireside conversation with Paul Franson at a book signing event at St. Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Ede

(5 of ) James Conaway, center, author of "Napa at Last Light," speaks with Steve Goldberg and his wife Linda Higueras during a book signing event at St. Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

James Conaway, chronicler of Napa Valley wine industry, warns money threatens to ruin America’s Eden

BILL SWINDELL

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | April 2, 2018, 12:11PM

04/02/2018

This story originally appeared on PressDemocrat.com.

James Conaway is angry.

Author and journalist, Conaway has been the foremost chronicler of Napa Valley for more than three decades. His “Napa: The Story of an American Eden” in 1990 told of the early pioneers who turned a family farming community in the valley into the premier wine region of the United States.

He followed that book with “The Far Side of Eden: New Money, Old Land, and the Battle for Napa Valley” in 2002 that covered how new investors were changing the valley with their emerging focus on tourism and marketing higher-priced cult wines to consumers.

His new book does not hide his current feelings for Napa Valley. “Napa at Last Light: America’s Eden in an Age of Calamity” takes aim at the investors and big companies, which he contends have transformed the area with crass commercialism that has overridden the quality of life and harmed the environment.

As he visited the region on a book tour last month, Conaway noted that he received a chilly reception from many in Napa County’s wine community, though he was embraced by citizens and activists who share his view.

“The establishment has never really cared for me. Now they are trying to undermine me,” said Conaway, 76, who started out as the wine writer at the Washington Post and is the author of 13 books. “People have finally woken up. They are paying attention this.”

The Press Democrat recently interviewed Conaway to get his thoughts on the local wine industry, the backlash against wine tourism, and what the future holds for the environment. The transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Napa Valley has always attracted rich people as investors. Was there a particular tipping point for you that was critical?

Copyright infringement? Click Here!