Grant family calls off picket of Laetitia Winery

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

The family of the Cal Poly student who was killed in a crash at a dangerous South County intersection has called off plans to picket outside Laetitia Winery this week, yet a boycott of the wine tasting destination is ongoing. 

Vintage Wine Estates, the owner of Laetitia Winery, filed a lawsuit last week over Caltrans’ plans to block left-turn access to and from Highway 101 at four points between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo. The Caltrans work was scheduled to begin Monday night, but a Sacramento County judge ordered a halt to the construction because of the lawsuit.

In response to the lawsuit, the father of Jordan Grant, James Grant, called for a boycott of Laetitia Winery and announced plans to picket outside the business on Friday. However, James Grant announced a change in his stance after Vintage Wine Estates released an open letter apologizing to the community and saying the company does not intend to take lightly the death of Jordan Grant or public safety.

“The lawsuit was intended to focus Sacramento on the urgent issue and not settle for a stop gap or years-down-the-road solution,” Vintage Wine Estates said in the open letter. “We are continuing to work hard towards this goal. We fell short of our responsibility to explore and communicate this to the community and for that we apologize.”

James Grant then said in an opinion piece sent to local media that the lawsuit was an “unexpected and crushing disappointment,” but he has been in contact with Vintage Wine Estate executives and has been building a relationship with them. James Grant said he believes Vintage Wine Estate CEO Pat Roney and other executives are honorable, well meaning people.

“Given what Vintage has told us we have moderated many of our proposed activities, pending the results from meetings being worked on with Caltrans,” James Grant wrote. 

But, a petition written by James Grant calling for a boycott of Laetitia Winery is still circulating on and has received more than 2,250 signatures, as of Tuesday morning. 

James Grant says he blames Caltrans and the old Laetitia Winery ownership for the delays in resolving traffic safety issues along Highway 101 and for contributing to his son Jordan’s death.

Jordan Grant, 18, was riding his motorcycle southbound on Highway 101 near El Campo Road on Oct. 6, 2018. A man living in the Falcon Ridge Estates on the west side of Highway 101 attempted to make a left turn onto the highway and pulled in front of Grant’s motorcycle, killing the Cal Poly student. 

James Grant is now demanding Vintage Wine Estates quickly settle its litigation with Caltrans.