E&J Gallo winery has bought more than 100 hectares of vineyard on the fringes of Napa Valley, as part of its drive to invest in estates producing premium wine.

Gallo said it bought Cypress Ranch and a portion of the Palisades vineyard in Napa Valley via an unnamed ‘affiliate’.

The land lies in Pope Valley in what has been described as the last frontier of Napa Valley, to the north. The move gives Gallo an extra 260 hectares of land, with 104ha of vines planted.

Grape varieties in the acquired vineyard include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Malbec and the move forms part of the California wine group’s plan to buy more premium vineyards.

‘These two vineyards are a great addition to our portfolio and are key to our growth of luxury wines,’ said Gallo’s general manager for premium wine, Roger Nabedian.

A fee for the purchase was not disclosed, but pressure for vineyard space in the Napa County area is intense. It is believed that Gallo purchased the vineyard from Flora Springs. Another Gallo vineyard, Sun Lake Vineyard, lies next to the newly acquired land, Gallo said.

In March this year, Gallo bought J Vineyards and winery in Sonoma’s Russian River, best known for making sparkling wine from Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Last year, Gallo also bought two properties in Solano County, totalling around 200ha.

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Written by Chris Mercer