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Duckhorn Portfolio: the billion-dollar empire

In 1976 no one could have foreseen how internationally recognisable the lithograph label of a mallard duck would become. Jonathan Cristaldi looks at how California’s Duckhorn Vineyards grew from a humble family property into a publicly listed company, spanning eight wineries and 160 wines.

In 45 years, Duckhorn Vineyards has grown from a small 1,600-case, one-label, family-owned winery to a formidable industry stalwart, with a portfolio of more than 160 wines valued at billions of dollars.

Dan and Margaret Duckhorn established their company in 1976, in a small makeshift winery in St Helena, California. Today the company’s assets, which fall under the Duckhorn Portfolio, encompass eight wineries across two states and 22 estate-owned vineyards.

These comprise 302ha of planted vines, including the acclaimed 33ha Three Palms vineyard, which they purchased in 2015. They also have leases on another 50ha. The wines range from $15 to $200 across 15 or more grape varieties grown across 25 appellations.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 24 wines across the eight wineries in the Duckhorn Portfolio

Duckhorn Portfolio: 24 wines across the eight wineries

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