Harvard University’s endowment fund, the richest of all American universities, has bought approximately 10,000 acres in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo wine counties for more than $60 million. Reuters reports that the Harvard fund is now “one of the top 20 grape growers in Paso Robles.”
With the grapes comes all-important water rights in the drought-ridden state of California. Harvard’s investment company, Brodiaea Inc. “acquired rights to drill 16 water wells of between 700 and 900 feet deep, two or three times deeper than the average residential well, according to county records,” Reuters reports. “Deeper wells will continue to give them access to water as shallower wells run dry.” Which is an awesome metaphor for the whole thing. The Harvard fund has also invested in farmland in New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador, among others.