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Whither San Diego's Avocados?

From the WSJ in an article titled "Thirsty Farmers Turn to Wine":


"Faced with skyrocketing water prices and an uncertain supply, avocado farmers in San Diego County, long the nation's top avocado-producing region, are uprooting their trees in favor of more water-efficient crops. Many are growing grapes and getting licenses to operate wineries. Others are replacing avocado trees with exotic flowers or specialty fruits that they can hawk at local farmers markets."

Read it all here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

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  1. it's happening in TX as well. but then raising water-hungry crops like avocados or cotton in an arid place never made much sense.

    1. All I saw was...

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      1. I like that we are getting more local wineries and hope that, in time, we could develop some respectable local wine producers. That said, please keep some of the avocado trees because they were a big part of my childhood hiking in the back country and see avocado trees on the hillsides.

        1. Nice pun, ipse.

          (wither/whither. well, almost)

          1. Most avocado's come from Mexico, I'd opt for a 'few' more quality vineyards while keeping our local crop of avocado's well maintained. Maybe Fallbrook for a great location?

            2 Replies
            1. re: cstr

              Up until about 3-5 years ago avocados were a protected crop in CA an Mexican avocados could not be imported. IIRC, the change happened after one of the big fires?

              I think BC hit the nail on the head, SD county farmers have had their water resources impacted and they are now paying more $$$ for less water making those avos pretty pricey to produce.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                I remember it was about 3 years ago when imports started from Mex.

            2. Huh. . .it is interesting that San Diego County doesn't have great vineyards, considering that most of the county is rural, and that there are well-regarded wine-growing regions to the north (Temecula), and to the south (Guadalupe Valley). But I never really considered that the presence of an alternative crop - avocados - would or could hinder San Diego's wine industry.

              10 Replies
              1. re: jmtreg

                Ramona has over 80 wineries and the wine industry is exploding with vines and wines that are quite good.
                I see a lot of mixed use on the estates out here with avocados and vineyards...water is expensive.


                  1. re: cstr

                    Schwaesdall winery has this meritage that would rival a Silver Oak...couldn't believe how good it was.
                    Salerno winery..the owner is from Italy and sings opera.
                    Cordiano winery..have not been but someone said they have brick oven pizza to go with your wine tasting.

                    It's not Napa which I love but it's the 'country' version
                    ; )

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Wow...rival Silver Oak, back in the day I was collecting SO Bonnie Dune Vineyard, awesome! Looks like I have to get up to North County for some grape.

                      1. re: cstr

                        Ha ha ha..Bonnie Dune..funny garcon..
                        Bonny Doon

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          That was a loooooong time ago.... I thought my gray matter did pretty well! That was some good grape!

                          1. re: cstr

                            I'll let that slide sledge..sure those synapses don't fire so well. .
                            I have respect for my elders!

                            Boony Doon is one hell of winery and you obviously, have fantastic taste!

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Hopefully they will have the wine tasting event that they had at the SD fair last year. It was behind the O'Brian pavilion in the gardens. There were about 40 wineries participating each pouring about 2 or 3 selections. It really gave me a good taste of what SD county can produce. While not up there with Napa or Sonoma, or even my beloved central coast, the wines were surprisingly good, a huge improvement in the last 10 years

                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                Wish they still produced it for SO. I also am fond of Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard, I still have some '86 Merlot.

                        2. re: Beach Chick

                          I went to Cordiano late last spring for pizza and a tasting. The view on the patio was fabulous and some of the wine was quite good, but the pizza was lousy. I ate little of my portion, deciding it wasn't worth the calories and that I'd rather have a great dinner when I got home. I can't remember which wine I particularly enjoyed, but the price was a little steep and I did not take home a bottle.