The Ag Preserve

© Stephen Rothfeld

The Napa Valley Ag Preserve

"While many other regions permanently paved over their agricultural land, Napa County did something truly unique and doubled down on agriculture.  The result was nothing short of visionary." 

- Garrett Buckland, Past President, Napa Valley Grapegrowers

Owner, Premiere Viticultural Services

Quick Facts about the Napa Valley Ag Preserve

  • This landmark set of zoning laws, which encompasses Ag Preserve and Ag Watershed lands, established agriculture as the highest and best use of the land in Napa County
  • The Ag Preserve was established as AP and AW zoning in 1968 to protect agriculture for future generations; this was the first zoning ordinance of its kind in the country
  • Planted vineyard land makes up 9 percent of Napa County land totaling around 45,000 acres
  • According to the Napa County Land Trust, 140 Conservation Agreements have been donated by more than 90 property owners totaling 65,000 acres of protected land - that is 12 percent of Napa County
  • Nationally, we lose nearly 40 acres of farmland every hour due to urban sprawl; however, not one acre of Ag Preserve zoned land has been lost to urban use since its adoption
  • According to the American Farmland Trust, an acre of agricultural land on average produces 58 times fewer GHG emissions than an acre of urban use.


Preserving the Vineyards of Napa Valley

a paper by Jon Ruel, past NVG President

Description: The Ag Preserve as it pertains to local regulations and the commitment of a community

AG Preservation History

created by the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund 

Description: Timeline of historical events

Supporting Legislation

Ag Preserve Zoning

Disclaimer: this map was prepared by Napa County PBES for informational purposes only


Your Turn: Remembering James Hickey, the mystic

by Wakoh Shannon Hickey, Napa Valley Register, March 15, 2018

Will Napa's 50-year-old agricultural preserve continue to protect the Napa Valley? 

by Barry Eberling, Napa Valley Register, February 4, 2018

Napa Valley Grapegrowers Report: Meet the up-and-coming grapegrowers

by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Napa Valley Register, January 4, 2018

Renewing a commitment to the Ag Preserve

by Garrett Buckland, NVG President, Napa Valley Register, November 16, 2017

L. Pierce Carson, Eyes of Napa Valley, Dies at 76

by James Laube, Wine Spectator, May 22, 2017

Oral histories tell the story of the Ag Preserve

by Sasha Paulsen, Napa Valley Register, February 27, 2012

Honoring the Ag Preserve founders, looking to the future

by L. Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register, May 23, 2008

How Napa's Ag Preserve beat the odds, and saved the valley

by L. Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register, April 20, 2008

Help county preserve ag industry

by Andy Beckstoffer, Napa Valley Register, December 9, 2003

Shocking idea from Grapegrowers

by Libby Lane, Napa Valley Register, November 19, 1987

Video Archives

San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive

San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive


Photo sourced from the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund

Photos of KPIX CBS San Francisco Bay Area news 

sourced from Napa Valley ROOTS

Learn More About the Ag Preserve

Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund

Napa County - The Preservation Celebration