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Artesa To Sell Contested Sonoma Coast Property, Reports Wine Spectator

June 9, 2014

In perhaps 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 has has put up the property for sale for $1.5 million, Wine Spectator reports.

Bought in 1997 for $1.7 million, the Sonoma Coast property became a national story when environmental groups cried foul at the idea of uprooting redwood trees on part of the estate for more vineyards. Executives at Artesa, owned by Spanish firm Grupo Codorníu, argued that the land is zoned for agricultural use and was once used for timber, grazing and apple orchards. OnDecember 6, County Judge Elliot Daum ruled that “all possible alternatives to the removal of the redwood trees for use as a vineyard had not been explored,” a decision that effectively halted further development on the tract.

Artesa’s representatives insist that the sale has nothing to do with the ruling. “This action is not a result of the false and misleading opposition to the development of our property there, but instead a change in market focus,” Sam Singer, spokesman for the company, told Wine Spectator. “We believe in this property, but it no longer fits in the larger plans of the overall company. We are devoting our resources and focusing on Napa Valley.”

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