Plan calls for 10,000 acres of grapes

The Press Democrat
May 22, 1999 -
Plan calls for 10,000 acres of grapes

CHRIS CHUNG / Press Democrat
The coastal ridges in the upper middle part of this photo are part of a proposal that includes logging and planting of 10,000 acres of vineyards. The area is considered prime for growing world-class grapes, and another landowner is already planting the area in the foreground.
Staff Writer

A Mendocino County-based corporation Is proposing to develop up to 10,000 acres of vineyards - the largest grape planting project ever undertaken in Northern California - on forest land stretching along ridges in remote, regions of Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

The project has been in the planning stages for the past several years by Coastal Forestlands of Willits. The company has made no, public announcement of the vineyard project.

as it studies grape growing conditions and the environmental impact of converting forests to. vineyards in the rugged, sparsely populated hills.

Press Democrat
"We are studying the possibility but it's all very premature at this time," said Bob Whitney, a Willits planning consultant who is coordinator of the project He said Friday an announcement about the project could come in a month.

Whitney said the impetus for the project Is the world-class wines that can be made from grapes grown in Sonoma-Mendocino mountain soils and the moderate weather conditions created by the Pacific Ocean.

"The best grapes in the world can be produced In this area," said Whitney.

If the project moves forward the corporation will submit an application for a timber harvest plan to the California Department of Forestry, initiating pubic debate on the conversion of forest to vineyards. The timber harvest application could be submitted in two ...

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