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Oak clear-cut for vineyard expansion sparks controversy in Paso Robles wine industry

Still from Dronesey YouTube video
Land cleared of oaks on property owned by Justin Vineyards

Controversy is growing over a vineyard-expansion project in the Paso Robles Wine Growing region.

The plan calls for the clear-cutting of an oak forest on land owned by Justin Vineyards. Much of the project has already been completed, but what remains currently on hold.

The expansion plans also call for a large retention pond to be filled with groundwater.

Justin's parent, the Wonderful Company which also own Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful products, said in an emailed statement to KCBX that it's in full compliance with state and county regulatory guidelines. 

We are currently preparing a parcel of our land for new vineyards in full compliance with all state and county regulatory guidelines. We recognize the beauty and importance of our natural resources, and as part of this process, beginning this fall and throughout 2017, we will plant 5,000 oak trees across our properties. As a leading employer in the area and major contributor to the local economy, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery is proud of both its long-standing commitment to the Paso Robles community and responsible environmental stewardship.

Paso Robles Daily News Editor Skye Ravy told KCBX that First District Supervisor Frank Mecham is moving to keep this from happening again.

Read Ravy's complete piece on this issue.