Is tourism a problem? It depends who you ask, but it's impact has been feared and debated for a very long time as an issue. Even way back in 1972 when many of us were still living life in black and white, and cable was part of your corduroys instead of your TV, tourism's impact in the Napa Valley was being reviewed and questioned.
Some things have have remained the same today but the narrator in the above news piece offered an interesting view into tasting rooms of the day when he said tourism was "important to PR, and to a lesser extent, sales."
You see, tasting rooms back in the day weren't put in place to sell wine. That's what distributors did. Tasting rooms were nice-to-haves. My how those days have changed!
Today tasting rooms and tourism are linked to the survival of family wineries. Direct sales represent 60% of an average winery's sales, and tourism is the lifeblood of the family winery. Without tourism and direct sales, I'd make an educated guess that 60% of the wine business as we know it would fail.