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Boisset adds to California portfolio

Boisset Family Estates has bought one of California's oldest wineries.

Boisset announced the acquistion of Buena Vista Carneros last week for a purchase price of between US$10m and $20m, Decanter.com understands.

Buena Vista, founded in 1857, describes itself as ‘California’s first winery’. It focusses on cool climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah from the Ramal vineyard in the highly-regarded Carneros appellation.

Although it is a very well-known property its wines are regarded as mid-ranking by California experts. One said they had ‘never struck me as interesting’ but added that he would expect Boisset to try to realise the considerable potential of the property.

Jean-Charles Boisset (pictured), CEO of the Burgundy-based multinational wine company, said he had always been ‘charmed by the oldest stones of the California wine world’.

‘The addition of Buena Vista to our portfolio adds further legitimacy to our foundation in terroir-driven wines in California.’

Boisset stressed that Buena Vista would ‘continue its focus on the varietals that have defined it’ – a press release said that ‘long-term contracts’ of the Ramal Vineyard that supplies Buena Vista had been secured.

Boisset Family Estates was founded in Burgundy in 1961. It now owns more than 20 wine estates in Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley, the South of France, Canada, and California’s Russian River Valley and Napa Valley.

Boisset’s portfolio of estates includes DeLoach, Lyeth and Raymond Vineyards in California, Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Domaine de la Vougeraie, J Moreau et Fils, Jaffelin and Ropiteau in Burgundy, Grandin in the Loire Valley and the French Rabbit tetrapak-packaged brand.

The deal was managed by California equity brokers Vinum Capital Management, whose CEO Stephen Kuhn said this was an excellent time to invest in wineries.

‘We believe that the industry cycle is showing a great combination of rising comsumer demand and falling asset values,’ he said.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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