Family calls for boycott of Laetitia Winery

May 11, 2019

Supporters of making changes to the deadly El Campo Road and Highway 101 intersections

By JAMES GRANT

Our response to Laetitia Wineries suit to stop Caltrans from making the safety improvements at El Campo and other crossings. While we continue to assess our full response here is what we plan on doing:

1. Call for a boycott of Laetitia Winery memberships and wines (we have already been contacted by some who have said already they are cancelling their memberships at that winery).

2. Call for a boycott of any other wineries owned by Vintage Wine Estates, if any.

3. Expose who the principles are behind the parent company and make them answer directly for these actions.

4. Picket outside Laetitia Winery and let the world know they have blood on their hands, for past and future accidents and deaths at these crossings. I will be there next week picketing – May 15 through May 17.

5. Report any drivers leaving Laetitia wine tasting that appear to be driving under the influence and take pictures of their license plates.

6. Expose the role Laetitia Winery had in 2011 by threatening to sue
causing the safety changes not to be made at that time, directly leading to our son Jordan Grant’s death at El Campo in 2018.

We are discussing other actions as well.


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FL

Safety is more than one issue here. All the accidents on 101 and the one caused by a deer are sad. However, there has been no consideration of environmental impacts especially the evacuation needed for fires. Many people are trapped if a fire comes down or across Los Berros which has already been block off from neighborhoods by falling trees. There has already been a fire in the nearby land and our house was at risk. We all saw what happened in Paradise when cars were backed up and people had to run for their lives; some of those people live here now after losing everything. The County never addressed other options. Some options mentioned putting in a signal light as they have 8 signals at 65 mph on Hwy 41. Cal Trans has refused to lower the speed limit in this El Campo area. There were other suggestions made to make the area safer too.

The winery brings a lot of revenue to the county and is visited by tourists and has local functions held there. The loss of revenue for wage earners would greatly impact this area.

The petition signed by over 1500 local residents (that is still being signed) to keep El Campo open with an alternative interchange under construction was ignored by SLOCOG and the Board of Supervisors. It’s nice that Mr. Grant has given and offered money to the Mayor of AG and others, but he can go back to Texas while the rest of us live for years with the decisions made.


Russ J

Previous comments are winos or have relations to this winery. It was a bad idea from day 1 to invite wine drinker to visit and cross the 101 at this location. STOP traffic from crossing 101 at these locations. It’s a freeway, not a highway. When you have a political gripe, you shouldn’t picket a business but this is about public safety and it’s perfectly acceptable to boycott the business. I will never buy another drop of their wine.


The Mikado

They aren’t crossing 101 at El Campo to get to Laetitia. Stop trying to lump all the crossovers together. Tower Road has EXCELLENT visibility in both directions on 101 and is over a MILE from El Campo.


Uncle Jack

Bad move Mr. Grant.


Any support previously given to the Grants is now withdrawn. Your son decided to ride a motorcycle. You also fail to answer how fast he was going. His choices and actions contributed to his accident.


Your emotions won’t continue to dictate policy. Your irrrational thought means you have lost a sympathetic supporter here.


Keep the roads open. Minimal accidents for the 1000’s of cars that pass by there every day anyway.


Jordan Grants dad

I have always answered anyone who commented about Jordan’s speed. The witnesses in the police report said he was going the speed limit. The witnesses did not know how fast Rich Giuli was going when he drove in front of Jordan and hit him.


Mjd

Folks,


I SUPPORT the boycott of Laetitia Wineries!


The owners of Laetitia Wineries are suing Caltrans to stop safety improvements for very narrow and selfish business interests, and businesses which conduct themselves outside of the norms of decency do not deserve our business.


Whether or not you think Mr. Grant is acting vindictively or not, I think most reasonable people can see through a winery suing Caltrans just because a safety improvement will minimally affect the traffic flow into their winery. As a community member, Laetitia Wineries has an obligation to be a good neighbor, and I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves.


Also, the boycott is no big deal for most of us, because their wines are not very desirable when compared to their competition. The rankings on Wine Spectator indicate that serious connoisseurs do not cherish their product, and a supported boycott will make our community safer.


Please join me in boycotting Laetitia Wineries.


The Mikado

I think the state needs to close your driveway because your neighbor 5 blocks away had an accident in his.


FL

Safety is more than one issue here. All the accidents on 101 and the one caused by a deer are sad. However, there has been no consideration of environmental impacts especially the evacuation needed for fires. Many people are trapped if a fire comes down or across Los Berros which has already been block off from neighborhoods by falling trees. There has already been a fire in the nearby land and our house was at risk. We all saw what happened in Paradise when cars were backed up and people had to run for their lives; some of those people live here now after loosing everything. The County never addressed other options. Some options mentioned putting in a signal light as they have 8 signals at 65 mph on Hwy 41. Cal Trans has refused to lower the speed limit in this El Campo area. There were other suggestions made to make the area safer too.

The winery brings a lot of revenue to the county and is visited by tourists and has local functions held there. The loss of revenue for wage earners would greatly impact this area.

The petition signed by over 1500 local residents (that is still being signed) to keep El Campo open with an alternative interchange under construction was ignored by SLOCOG and the Board of Supervisors. It’s nice that Mr. Grant has given and offered money to the Mayor of AG and others, but he can go back to Texas while the rest of us have to live for years with the decisions made.


Jordan Grants dad

I also don’t understand why the speed limit was not reduced in this area – it just makes sense. Also some have made a good case for a stop light at one or more of these crossings. I have never heard an explanation from Caltrans on why that could not be done, for example, at Tower Rd. I suspect it may be due to the volume of cars per day in this section (66,000 and up). But would also like an explanation to that question.


The Mikado

Neither stoplights nor closure of the crossover at Tower Road would fix anything; the crossover at Tower Road had nothing to do with your son’s death.


Your “argument” is with the El Campo crossover. Your attack on ALL of the crossovers has forced Laetitia to oppose your attempt to also block access at Tower Road. Either wittingly or not, you’ve thrown in with CalTrans that closing Tower is somehow going to affect the safety at El Campo which is about 1 1/2 miles north.


obispan

Where are these 8 signals at 65 mph on Hwy 41? Hwy 41 does not have a 65 mph speed limit anywhere in SLO County and the speed limit is 45 mph through the 7 signals in Atascadero and 35 mph at the one in Morro Bay. Your winery/revenue argument has been used for years to justify building code violations and drunk driving, It’s getting old.


panflash

I, too, had been sympathetic but neutral on this- after all, accidents do happen. And, yes, some highway sections are more dangerous than others.


But “Picket outside Laetitia Winery and let the world know they have blood on their hands…”?


Wow. No thank you.


mkaney

“5. Report any drivers leaving Laetitia wine tasting that appear to be driving under the influence and take pictures of their license plates.”


So this gives us a clearer picture on how the Grants think. This is highly subjective and the general public is not trained to determine who is under the influence and who isn’t. If someone is CLEARLY under the influence, then people should always be doing these things, with or without some boycott. But the Grants clearly have an agenda of harassing people who do business with a winery that does not agree with their view.


I had a neutral position on all this, but that has now changed. You’re not trying to just prevent future accidents, it’s like you’re seeking revenge against the intersection itself, and anyone who supports it.


I also would like to note that my question about how fast you son was going at the time of the accident was never answered.


Mitch C

I too wonder what was the degree of contributory negligence on the part of the motorcycle driver. Was his speed excessive, was he distracted loosing a second or two to avoid hitting the car, what was the extent of an 18 year olds experience driving the motorcycle, or was he properly clothed that would have reduced his injuries? The Grants should consider taking the high road: establish a scholarship in their sons name or some other act that would honor his memory. There six point plan will not bring anyone joy nor will it do anything to honor their son.


Jordan Grants dad

I have always answered anyone who commented about Jordan’s speed. The witnesses in the police report said he was going the speed limit. The witnesses did not know how fast Rich Giuli was going when he drove in front of Jordan and hit him.


Jordan Grants dad

Your speculations are offensive. Jordan’s neck was broken and Rich’s car ran over his body crushing his femur, pelvis and abdomen. So no, better clothing as you randomly speculate would not have protected Jordan. Jordan was driving the speed limit going south like any other driver on 101. Rich Giuli is the responsible party that chose to drive into him. It was not Jordan’s fault. Your uninformed speculations in an attempt to pin the blame for his death on Jordan is disgusting and explains more about who you are than anything else.


Mitch C

I apologize if you took my comments as offensive, I truly did not intend that. What I was trying to highlight is that this was an accident, Mr. Giuli did not choose to drive into him. Objectively he did not see him. Your statement indicated that it was an intentional act on the part of the driver, it was not. I am sure your son had many exceptional qualities, it is time to celebrate them and pass along the good that he could have contributed.


Jordan Grants dad

My statement did not say it was an intentional act so stop putting words in my mouth. I said Rich was the responsible party which is why he is charged with manslaughter. If you would take the time to read anything I have previously said prior to the Vintage lawsuit I have always cautioned against quick judgement on Rich as it has to be viewed in the context of El Campo being a dangerous and unsafe crossing.


Jordan Grants dad

And we have already established scholarships in Jordans name at Cal Poly and also given gifts in his name to the Student Government at Cal Poly to support voter registration programs.


Uncle Jack

Kid was headed to see the rocket launch. He was running late considering how far away he was. As one who has done the same, eyes naturally look toward the sky as you drive/ride wondering if you have missed the launch. Just a point to consider is all.


Jordan Grants dad

Uncle Jack, you don’t know what you are talking about and making up lies in comments are offensive. Jordan left at the same time as the other 100 Cal Poly students in the Astronomy Club. Most a minute or two behind him on 101, so they were stuck in traffic and had to slowly drive by Jordan’s dead body. And they still made it to the rocket launch and sent us pictures in his honor. Uncle Jack you are the definition of a lieing Troll.


Uncle Jack

Mr. Grant’s logic:


“This intersection is so unsafe we need to all go stand there with signs and distract drivers until we get our way.”


Mr. Grant, If it is so unsafe, why are you encouraging people to go stand there (I.e. protest)?


Jordan Grants dad

Two different intersections. El Campo is unsafe so no don’t go there. Tower Rd is where Laetitia is. Caltrans has decided to close Tower Rd which is what caused Laetitias parent Corp to sue. I am working with the CEO of that Company to separate Tower Rd and it’s litigation from El Campo.


Jordan Grants dad

I have always answered anyone who commented about Jordan’s speed. The witnesses in the police report said he was going the speed limit. The witnesses did not know how fast Rich Giuli was going when he drove in front of Jordan and hit him.


Grover

I was with you until #5. How are you going to determine who you feel is drinking too much? Laughter? Acting in a manner you consider too jovial? Tying up law enforcement time for a vendetta seems ill advised.


I wish you luck with the boycott, though.


Jordan Grants dad

Yes #5 doesn’t seem practical unless someone is clearly weaving, crossing center divides and fails to stop at stop signs before crossing 101.


Mitch C

The loss of their son is very sad; however, the Grants have lost my sympathy because they are taking revenge against a party that has nothing to do with their son’s death. I believe the Grant’s should be sued for any loss of business that their boycott causes the wineries. If individuals wish to stop patronizing the wineries that is their right; to cause disruption of their businesses is wrong. The wineries did not build the highway nor do they maintain or regulate its use.


Jordan Grants dad

Mitch, Laetitia interfered with the closing of El Campo median in 2011. It is in the documents that Caltran sent me where they discussed the threat of a lawsuit from them if their median was closed. Yes, Caltrans is responsible for unsafe road conditions and the decisions made in 2011. But Laetitia was a dominant factor in causing them to make a bad decision which led to my sons death in 2018. So no Laetitia hands are not clean in this matter.


The Mikado

Yes, they “interfered” because, even back then, closing Tower Road, 1.5 MILES SOUTH of El Campo was part of the deal.


If you lived in Austin, would you want the people in San Antonio closing your roads because there was a fatal accident on the San Antonio portion of a highway that connected the two cities?


CalTrans has somehow convinced you that your son would be alive if the Tower Road crossover had been closed years ago. And they are not being truthful.


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