Fact Check

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

Rumor: A Spanish winemaker is planning on cutting down 150 acres of California Redwoods in order to expand their grape growing area.

Published Apr 30, 2015

Claim:   Artesa Vineyards and Winery is planning to cut down 154 acres of California Redwoods in order to expand their grape growing area.


OUTDATED


Example:   [Collected via email, April 2015]


Is this true? "Spanish Winemaker Obtains Permission to Cut Down 154 Acres of California Redwoods."

 

Origins:   In April 2015, an article reporting that a Spanish winemaker had obtained a permit to cut down redwood trees in California in order to expand their grape growing area started circulating via social media:



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.

Although the article did contain factual information about a plan proposed by Artesa Vineyards and Winery, the story was originally reported on 27 October 2013 by Inhabitat and was no longer current in April 2015.

The plan proposed by Artesa Vineyards and Winery was blocked by a Sonoma judge in December 2013, and in June 2014 the winery announced that they had scrapped their plans altogether and were putting the property on the market:



In what may be the final chapter of the ongoing legal battle between Artesa Vineyards and Winery and several environmental organizations over the proposed conversion of a 324-acre tract in Sonoma to Pinot Noir vineyards, Artesa announced this that the property is being put up for sale for $1.5 million.

It's unclear why an article about the winery's proposed expansion plan began circulating online more than a year after the issue was resolved, especially considering the fact that Inhabitat had updated their article in October 2014 to note that chopping down acres of redwood trees in California was "no longer part of [Artesa Winery's] growth strategy." We can only attribute the phenomenon to headline blindness, a common condition that prevents many readers from viewing any information not contained within an article's title.

Last updated:   28 April 2015


Sources:




    Brooks, Russ.

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

    Inhabitat.   27 October 2013.

    Carpenter, Kasey.   "Artesa Vineyards Will Sell Contested Sonoma Coast Property"
    Wine Spectator.   6 June 2014.


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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