Bruce Cohn, manager of American rock band The Doobie Brothers, has sold his Sonoma winery in California to Vintage Wine Estates for an undisclosed sum.
Cohn was quoted by local newspaper the Press Democrat as saying that bank debts of US$25m forced him to sell B R Cohn Winery, based at Glen Ellen in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon, to Vintage, owner of Clos Pegase, Cosentino and Viansa.
Cohn bought the former dairy in 1974, planting the 61-acre Olive Hill Estate Vineyard and building the B R Cohn winery a decade later.
He has managed The Doobie Brothers, whose songs include What A Fool Believes and Long Train Runnin’, since 1970, and bought the BR Cohn site ‘to keep some sanity and preserve quality of life’.
The Cohn family will no longer be involved in the running of the winery, but Vintage has said it will retain ‘the majority of staff’, with winemaker Tom Montgomery set to stay on in a consulting role ‘for the foreseeable future’.
Vintage Wine Estates chief winemaker Marco DiGiulio, who was consulting winemaker to B R Cohn from 2004 to 2010, said: ‘Of all the properties I have been privileged to work with, I have a special fondness for B R Cohn.
‘I intend to continue to produce wines of the highest quality that reflect the Sonoma Valley style that people have come to know and love.’
Vintage Wine Estates president Pat Roney said the company was keen to preserve ‘heritage wineries’ like B R Cohn, which he described as ‘one of the crown jewels’ of the Sonoma Valley.