Spanish Winemaker Obtains Permission to Cut Down 154 Acres of California Redwoods

by , 10/27/13

Friends of the Gualala River, Sierra Club's Redwood Chapter, The Center for Biological Diversity, Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Sonoma County, Calfornian Redwoods, 154 Acres of Redwoods, Deforestation in California,

As California’s wine industry continues to grow, vintners are searching for suitable areas to grow grapes outside of the valleys and closer to the coast. But Spanish winemaker Artesa Vineyards and Winery is taking this quest too far with plans to destroy 154 acres of coastal redwoods and Douglas firs to make space for new grapevines. With one study indicating that areas suitable for vineyards in the world’s major wine-producing regions could shrink between 19 and 73 percent by 2050, it’s likely that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Friends of the Gualala River, Sierra Club's Redwood Chapter, The Center for Biological Diversity, Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Sonoma County, Calfornian Redwoods, 154 Acres of Redwoods, Deforestation in California,

Artesa Vineyards and Winery already has permission from California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to cut down thousands of trees in Sonoma County. Not taking the news lightly, environmentalists are suing the agency on the grounds that the approval violates the state’s environmental laws. Up to 80 feet tall, redwoods provide crucial habitat for local wildlife and protect streams from erosion.

Speaking with NPR, Chris Poehlmann, president of a small organization called Friends of the Gualala River, says the wine industry is creeping toward the coast as California’s interior valleys heat up and consumers show preferences for cooler-weather grapes like pinot noir. Sam Singer, a spokesman for the winery argued that the trees are only 50 years-old, which means there are technically no forests on the site. He went on to offer the concession of sparing two trees from the site that can be defined as “old-growth.”

Friends of the Gualala River, Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter, and The Center for Biological Diversity are the three organizations that filed a suit against the winemaker in 2012. Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. They can grow to be more than 350 feet tall, and live as long as 2,000 years. If the suit proves unsuccessful, it would be a huge loss to the ecosystem of Sonoma County, and an even greater blow for the moral standing of big companies.

Via Grist

Images by Beedle Um Bum and danwdotca

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Afsaneh Rahmani October 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

    WE are the most dangerous beast! WE kill animals for fun, WE pollute the world, WE destroy environments, WE don’t give anything back to the world but waste, destruction, and death!!! Do you know the most #1 problem with planet earth is? WE EXIST. That is the #1 problem: WE EXIST TO DESTROY, and why? We have the so called “brain” to do it!!!

  2. Evie Mehiel October 17, 2014 at 4:23 am

    This makes me sick!!! I am so tired of loosing our wildlife and land to money hungry companies or corporations!!! There is more than enough bare land around the world that they don’t need to destroy the friggin’ REDWOODS!!!!

  3. Artesa October 16, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Artesa Vineyards and Winery Refocuses on Successful Napa Operations

    Sonoma County Property For Sale—Annapolis No Longer Part of Future Growth Strategy

    Artesa Vineyards and Winery announced in June 2014 that its 324-acre property near Annapolis in Sonoma County is no longer part of its growth strategy and has been put on the market for sale.

    Artesa, owned by Familia Codorniu Raventos of Spain, opted to sell the property as it continues to focus on its successful Estate vineyard in Carneros, Napa County.

    “The Sonoma site was a stunning setting, but we’ve decided to sell the land as part of our continued focus in Napa Valley,” said Arthur O’Connor, President of Artesa. “We believe this repositions Artesa to realize the goals that have been set for the winery, its customers, and our brands.”

    Artesa bought the Annapolis parcel in November 1999 with the intention of using 173 acres for a Pinot Noir vineyard. The property was completely logged prior to its acquisition about 40 to 60 years ago. Previously, it was used for sheep grazing and apple orchards until the early 1960s. Several old apple trees remain, but the orchard has converted back to mostly grasslands.

    “We’ve been working since 2010 to realign our vineyards with our brand strategy,” O’Connor said, explaining that the company has already sold its Ridgeland Vineyard in Alexander Valley as well as its Foss Valley Vineyard in the Atlas Peak region of Napa. “The sale of the property near Annapolis helps us complete that process.”


  4. Rhonda Kloster October 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I love wine of many different varietals but this is wrong!

  5. kelly wheeler October 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    it*s simple, boycott artessa wines…sometimes our only recourse is to not put money into their pockets…and let them know, you cut trees, we cut out artessa wines…

  6. Robin Ray October 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Oh Hell No!

  7. Lauren Cooper October 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    We don’t need more grapes!!!

  8. Greneggsandham October 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    So apparently this is not happening. How come Inhabitat are recycling an old story without including the crucial fact that it is not going ahead? Do they care? Are they incompetent or dishonest? and Social Issues-article-2394.html

  9. Natasha Dolgushkin October 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I messaged the winery and I posted on their Facebook page. If we all keep posting on their Facebook page they won’t be able to keep up and delete them all. I posted and added it in comments on their posts.

  10. Jyanzi Kong October 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    The temple of heaven in Beijing was reconstructed in 1888 with red wood!

  11. Sandra Bowen October 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    How about a petition?

  12. mfdave August 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    People – quit screwing around and display your satisfaction on their facebook page!

  13. teri corrigan August 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    PLEASE ! STOP STOP STOP ! Think about it… 1000 years, that is a long time to live , let alone the time to grow to the amazing size they grow ! STOP !

  14. William Snelson May 11, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    To the people that think its ok to cut down red wood trees….. You should be ashamed of yourselves cutting down majestic trees in search for MONEY… i will do everything in my power to see that NOONE i know EVER buys your product. If i see someone with your wine in there basket at the store I will inform them of your horrible business tactics.. I hope you go bankrupt AND SOON…,. Thanks William G. Snelson

  15. Keyser Sose May 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    The title is a little misleading, while Artesa has Spanish owners, it’s an American Winery. This is an opportunistic company trying for a land grab during a water crisis hoping it would have slipped through the cracks. I am baffled how this was approved.

  16. John Paul Crawford May 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Oh hell no!
    Go back to Spain and fuck up your own ecosystem. You are no longer welcome here.

  17. Alley Colberg May 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    If you click the winerys name itll take you to the website, at the top is written ‘contact us’ … yay!

  18. offthewall March 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    And they offer to leave 2 trees! Oh come on! Indigenous trees for wine that can be grown lots of other places? Leave it to us to destroy rather than create, maintain, or conserve. Pathetic.

  19. Robert Huffman March 6, 2014 at 1:23 am

    154 acres is not much.

  20. ecosteps October 29, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Many questions – can the author look further into how this got approved?
    I smell a bribe

  21. Debra Pease October 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Need to link to find out what I can do to help stop this insanity. Redwoods are almost gone as it is. To destroy more is plain wrong!

  22. ecosteps October 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

    This is more than heartbreaking, as mentioned below.
    we need to send a msg now to boycott this winery and all associated with it immediately.

  23. robbomacrae October 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Good thing they have somewhere we can give them feedback:

  24. Mindy k October 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Wine is not necessary. The forest are. There should be no discussion. This is just another example of foreigners raping American resources. Our tax dollars are probably paying for it.

  25. October 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    WTF??? How can someone from Spain get that kind of permission???

  26. solutus October 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Artesa: You just shot yourselves in the foot. In all honesty, anyone I know who hears about this would never set foot on your vineyard or buy your wine ever again. Protecting the redwood forests is more important to probably the great majority of the population than whether or not you make a little more profit by cutting that forest down.

    Is anyone looking into whether Artesa is up to date on all its licenses and complying with all known regulations and laws?

    Let’s make sure everyone knows that Artesa doesn’t give a shit about the redwoods. What would be useful is a graphic showing this. E.g., the Artesa logo sitting crookedly on to of a pile of fallen trees.

  27. theloudvoice October 25, 2013 at 3:46 am

    This is one of the main problems of our species – our endless consumption. Rather than cutting down more forests to make room for vines/beef/corn/cotton/wheat/rice etc etc so that prices can remain low, i.e. increase supply to meet demand, we need to figure out how to control certain aspects of our consumption so that we pay the real price for things. And we need to slow down global population growth. We can’t keep expanding and hope that the limited resources on earth can sustain the greed of first world countries. You want cheap wine? Then the forests have to go.

  28. RelayerM31 October 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    You can’t drink a redwood.

  29. artwmn October 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    This breaks my heart.

  30. sir0bvious October 24, 2013 at 1:53 am

    So, according to the spokesperson, cutting down acres of 50 year old trees is ok to grow their business.

    That’s the same as saying its ok to abort a daycare of 2 year old children in order to make room for the high end restaurant…


    But hell, what do I know.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home