Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events


On 11 March 2014, the Board of Supervisors of Riverside County in southern California, USA, voted to approve the Wine Country Community Plan, culminating a nearly six-year policy and planning process that would pave the way for the expansion of the Temecula Valley’s wineries and wine tourism complex. The exercise in state-led development was a triumph for the plan’s major proponents, but this does not mean that the Plan was accepted by all elements of the community nor does it mean that the approval process was a smooth and orderly one. This article takes as its frame of reference an anthropology of policy approach to analyze the elements of the Plan that would dramatically increase the Temecula Valley’s wineries from around 40 to around 100, and greatly impact wine tourism activity there, to show how various stakeholder groups defined their position vis-à-vis the Plan and put into practice strategies designed to influence the process, to demonstrate the workings of the state-led planning process, and to show how policy outcomes are informed by the political negotiations between the state, wine capitalists, community residents, and various other interested groups. This article calls for the development of theoretical models based in political economy whose applicability reaches beyond particular case studies.