California’s West Coast Wine Partners has pledged to set a new direction for Sonoma-based Valley of the Moon Winery after buying it from sparkling wine giant F Korbel & Bros.
Korbel, which recently abandoned the sale of Kenwood Vineyards to Banfi Vintners, sold Valley of the Moon and the Lake Sonoma Winery brand to West Coast for an undisclosed sum.
The deal includes the Glen Ellen-based Valley of the Moon winery (pictured), 24ha estate, brand and inventory, plus the Lake Sonoma Winery brand and inventory.
Vineyards were first planted on the Valley of the Moon site, part of the historic Madrone Vineyards estate, in 1863.
Korbel bought the property and invested in the winemaking facility in 1997.
West Coast Wine Partners president Dan Zepponi said he and business partners the Stewart family were drawn to the winery by ‘its historical significance, its legacy of wine quality and its authentic sense of place’.
Valley of the Moon produces Zinfandel – some from old vine blocks dating back to 1935 – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and small amounts of other varieties and blends.
West Coast has appointed Scott McLeod, formerly with Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estate, as consulting winemaker alongside Valley of the Moon’s Greg Winter, tasking them with setting ‘a new direction for the wines’.
Established in 1977, Lake Sonoma Winery specialises in Sonoma wines such as Dry Creek Zinfandel, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Russian River Chardonnay.
The sale by Korbel comes after the collapse earlier this month of the company’s planned sale of Sonoma-based Kenwood Vineyards to New York-based Banfi Vintners, owner of Castello Banfi in Montalcino.
Written by Richard Woodard