Several recent articles were published in newspapers throughout the United States that contained a number of inaccuracies including stating that Artesa Vineyards and Winery intended to clear cut old-growth redwood trees and that development of our Annapolis property would interfere with fragile fisheries. Artesa would like to correct these misstatements with the following facts.
Facts About Artesa Winery’s Sonoma Coast Property
- Artesa bought a 324-acre piece of property near the town of Annapolis in November 1999 with the intention of using it as a Pinot Noir vineyard.
- The property was completely logged 40 to 60 years ago, and was used for sheep production and apple orchards until the early 1960’s.
- Several old apple trees remain, but the orchard has reverted back to mostly grasslands.
- There are two large, relatively old redwood trees on the property, and they are being preserved.
- Patchett Creek and numerous ephemeral tributaries drain on the property. Patchett Creek is an intermittent tributary that ceases to flow typically in May or June, but a few small perennial pools may continue throughout the summer months. These small bodies of water have not supported any species of fish for many years, including prior to and during the 12 years that Artesa has owned the property.
- Seasonal wetlands and a man-made pond are present.
- Many years of studies by experts in their fields have been conducted on the property including archaeology, hydrology, biology, and engineering. Various government agencies have also walked the property on numerous occasions including CalFire, Department of Fish & Game, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to name but a few.
About Artesa’s Development Proposal
Artesa’s Final Environmental Impact Report (“FEIR”) fully analyzes the effects of Artesa’s proposal to convert 173 acres of the 324-acre property into a vineyard. This FEIR includes rigorous mitigation measures which ensure that all potential environmental impacts resulting from the development of this property will be less than significant.
- Artesa will be preserving 151 acres, or 47% of the property.
- Eight vineyard blocks totaling 116 acres would be installed within the vineyard conversion area, surrounded by 18 acres of perimeter avenues for equipment access.
- A 9-acre sump pump/reservoir system will be constructed on the gentle slopes of the northern portion of the property in order to capture surface runoff water. This reservoir collection system will provide all irrigation water for the vineyards. Large storm event overflows captured in this reservoir/sump system will discharge through an outfall constructed on an unnamed small tributary to Patchett Creek.
- A well will be dug to provide potable water for farm worker consumption, equipment cleanup, and other domestic uses. This well will not be used for irrigation purposes.
- A state-of-the art drainage system as well as cover cropping will be installed to provide soil stabilization and to otherwise protect the vineyard areas from soil erosion.
- Patchett Creek, the only named tributary, and all other unnamed tributaries on the property will be protected from vineyard disturbance by a minimum of 30- to 100-foot protective buffer zones.
- Three botanical preserves have been designated to protect a unique hybrid Annapolis Manzanita population of plant species.
- Over 3 acres of wetlands are being preserved and/or created.
- All archaeological sites are being preserved on the property.
It is important to note that there is a second, larger vineyard conversion project known as Preservation Ranch that is in the works. Please be advised that Artesa is in no way affiliated with that project, and so we cannot and will not comment on that project which is almost 20,000 acres in size and is owned by Premiere Pacific Vineyards.