The California redwoods are some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. But will they be sacrificed to produce more red wine?
Two wineries in Sonoma County are petitioning to clear 2,000 acres of redwoods and Douglas firs to make room for Pinot Noir vineyards. In exchange for this, developers promise to restore streams, plant one million redwoods and Douglas firs, and make other environmental improvements.
On one hand, the wine industry is recovering from a slump and more vineyards could help them move past it. But is it worth the cost?
Is it worth cutting down some of the oldest trees in existence? The oldest coast redwood is 2,200 years old, and many are over 600 years old. Planting new trees won’t make up for lost time.
Is it worth disrupting habitats?
“I get mad just thinking about the people from far away who can’t wait to buy wine from vineyards that would destroy our forests and ancestral lands,” said Violet Parrish, a Pomo tribal elder who lives near Annapolis, told the LA Times. “We don’t want those vineyards, or the fertilizer and pesticides that would pollute water supplies our children will depend upon.”
Should California sacrifice the redwoods for red wine?