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California winery Kosta Browne gets new majority owner

A US-based private equity company has bought a majority stake in Kosta Browne, a California winery with a cult following that sells its signature Pinot Noir for $100-a-bottle.

Kosta Browne Vineyards

J W Childs
, based in Boston, has acquired control of Kosta Browne after agreeing to buy out the winery’s previous majority shareholder, Vincraft Group. Financial details were not disclosed.

Located in Sebastopol, Kosta Browne’s founders, Michael Browne and Dan Kosta, have spent the past 15 years focusing on Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Their wines are available in the US for close to $100-a-bottle. It is understood that they will continue to run the winery on a day-to-day basis, but J W Childs is set to provide them with the funds to pursue vineyard acquisitions and cellar upgrades.

John Childs, founder of the private equity company, is already the majority investor in Michael Browne’s Cirq Estate in Russian River Valley.

‘We are making some of our best wines yet, but still believe we have a long way to go toward achieving our vision for California Pinot Noir,’ said Browne. He thanked Vincraft for its commitment. Vincraft has been Kosta Browne’s majority shareholder since 2009 and helped to fund a new winery in 2013.

Separately, another California wine group, Terlato Family, announced this week that it has bought the 24-hectare Juliana vineyard in Pope Valley, Napa County. It previously had a long-term lease on the vineyard, said the group, which recruited Bordeaux’s Michel Rolland as a consultant a year ago.

Written by Chris Mercer

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