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Ex-Screaming Eagle co-owner acquires California Syrah specialist

The former owner of Screaming Eagle, Charles Banks, has continued on the acquisitions trail in 2013 by agreeing to take control of California's Qupe winery.

Banks said that he has acquired a majority stake in Qupé via his Terroir Selections business, for an undisclosed fee.

Based in California’s Santa Maria Valley, Qupé is known for producing top cool-climate Syrah. Its range also includes other French varietals, such as Viogner, Chardonnay, Marsanne and Roussanne.

The deal follows Banks’ purchase of a controlling stake in Wind Gap winery in Sonoma earlier this year.

At Qupé, founder and winemaker Bob Lindquist will assume the role of partner, while Louisa Sawyer Lindquist will continue to assist with sales, Terroir Selections said.

Banks, who left Screaming Eagle in 2009, said he has wanted to work with Lindquist for several years. ‘Bob has been a steadfast visionary of Syrah for decades. Few have done as much as Bob to advance awareness for Syrah in the US.’

Following the deal, Qupé will continue to share a winery with Jim Clendenen’s Au Bon Climat on the Bien Nacido vineyard, under an agreement that dates back to 1989. Qupé also has the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in the Edna Valley and the Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos.

Other Californian wine labels owned by Terroir Selections include Leviathan and Sandhi, while it also owns Maison L’Oree in Burgundy, France.

Written by Chris Mercer

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