Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Environmentalists are hailing a court ruling this week that deals a significant setback to a hotly disputed vineyard project in northwestern Sonoma County.
If it stands, the decision could serve as a bulwark against the push of vineyards into a mostly untilled swath of the region’s coast range, blocking grape growers searching for cooler ground for their crops in the advance of climate change.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought last year by three groups challenging state approval of plans by Artesa Vineyards and Winery of Napa, owned by the Spanish wine giant Grupo Codorniu.
It wants to clear 154 acres of second- and third-growth redwood and fir trees and former orchard land near Annapolis to grow premium chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.