Trees versus grapes

Redwood Majesty

Photo by Flick user Danielle Martin [MizzD], used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Alastair Bland recently posted at NPR about an ongoing fight over approval that California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection granted a winemaker to clear land for vineyards:

In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers.

This [past] Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups [were] in a Santa Rosa, Calif., courtroom fighting to stop a Spanish-owned winery from leveling 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.

Redwoods only grow in the relatively cool coastal region of Northern California and southern Oregon. Parts of this range, such as northwestern Sonoma County, have become increasingly coveted by winemakers.

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.

Leaving aside Bland’s false dichotomy—I’m pretty sure plenty of redwood lovers enjoy red wine, and vice versa—It’s an informative piece that places details of this particular case in a larger context. Check out the full article here.

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