As a Reporter on Environmental and Sustainability issues, we read and recommend NAPA AT LAST LIGHT: America’s Eden in an Age of Calamity by James Conaway (Simon & Schuster; March 6).
NAPA AT LAST LIGHT is a recent history of the Napa Valley wine region, in which the industry has exploded – launching an epic battle between old family stewardship and multinational corporations. The victims in this power struggle were not only the traditional community and culture, but the land itself, ravaged by unsustainable agriculture practices. We at Gratitude Gourmet have featured Wineries that have sustainable agriculture practices, however, there is room for improvement.
James Conway says: "This book is not about wine but about place and people... Three million tourists spend more than a billion dollars a year in Napa Valley, but the total economy built around wine is estimated to be as high as $18 billion. Yet close to half of the population lives at or below the poverty line. Housing is difficult to find and prohibitively expensive, the roads crowded, cancer rates high, and the glaring disparity between incomes growing. The valley represents the apotheosis of the American family farm...it has become unrecognizable even to those who have spent their lives in the shadows of the Howell and Mayacamas Mountains."
“This is a stunning and sad look at how an idyllic community became a victim of its own success… fascinating and well-researched.”--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“In the third volume of his trilogy about Napa, California, Conaway (Nose, 2013, etc.) continues his investigation of the consequences of the wine industry on the region's culture and environment...A strong plea for responsible stewardship of the land.”--Kirkus Reviews
“As a timely cautionary tale, revealing what may soon happen to our nation and world, this will interest readers nationally.”--Booklist