UPDATE: June 20, 2016
Sine we first published this story on Friday, June 17, 2016, additional restaurants have announced their plans to pull Justin wines from their menus. These include:
- Thomas Hill Organics inPaso Robles and San Luis Obispo (opening Nov. 2016)
- Pappy McGregor's in Paso Robles
- Fish Gaucho in Paso Robles
The growing controversy surrounding the clear-cutting of an oak woodland on property associated with Justin Vineyards near Paso Robles, is starting to have an effect at the consumer level.
At San Luis Obispo's Big Sky Cafe, diners have several wines from which to chose, but Justin Vineyards will no longer be among them.
Owner Greg Holt says he is removing the brand from his menu because he's upset with the company's recent clearing of oak trees.
Fifteen years ago when he was Big Sky's chef, a coworker told him a story that has stuck with him.
"The property she lived on, the owners cut down a three-hundred year old oak and she said oh my god how can you kill something that has been alive that long and it meant something," Holt said. "And when I saw what happened up on that property I couldn't let that go."
Holt says he doesn't want to get political but this particular issue has pushed him to the point of taking action.
We spoke with a person connected to the executive distribution of Justin wines in California who said he has not had any restaurants in the past week pull the brand.
It appears, Big Sky Cafe, could be the first.