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Gallo buys prized Napa Valley winery Pahlmeyer

California wine giant E&J Gallo has bought Napa Valley’s highly regarded Pahlmeyer winery in the latest of several upmarket acquisitions in recent years.

Gallo Pahlmeyer deal

Gallo said its purchase of Pahlmeyer winery includes the Pahlmeyer and Jayson by Pahlmeyer wine brands, known for Bordeaux red blends and Chardonnay. A fee was not disclosed.

Pahlmeyer’s 22-hectare estate vineyard, Waters Ranch, was not included in the sale, but Gallo said it has agreed to lease the site, which is located in Atlas Peak near to Napa Valley.

For Gallo, the deal represents a further move into premium and luxury wine in California following a series of acquisitions in recent years – including its purchase of the nearby Stagecoach Vineyard in 2017.

Pahmeyer’s story

Jason Pahlmeyer established a vineyard in Atlas Peak in the 1980s after consulting soil experts at the University of Bordeaux.

After leaving a career in law, he intended to create a ‘California Mouton’ and Pahlmeyer quickly gained plaudits for its first ‘Proprietary Red’ Bordeaux blend, combining Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, born in 1986.

‘Thrilled’ with deal

‘I am thrilled to transition ownership of Pahlmeyer Winery to the Gallo Family,’ said Jayson Pahlmeyer.

‘The two companies share similar principles and, with Gallo’s long-standing commitment to quality, I am confident they will take Pahlmeyer to even greater heights in the future.’

Before the deal, the presidency of Pahlmeyer had passed from Jayson to his daughter, Cleo. Gallo said that the pair would stay on as consultants.

‘We are equally dedicated to making world class wines and I am thrilled to begin working with the Gallo team,’ said Cleo Pahlmeyer.

Wayfarer not included

She will continue to independently run the Wayfarer brand and Wayfarer vineyard in Sonoma Coast. Neither of those were part of the Gallo deal.

Gallo added that it will continue to operate the Jayson tasting room opened in The Village at Vista Collina Resort in August 2018.

A good fit

Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo’s premium wine division, said that Pahlmeyer fits ‘nicely’ into the firm’s portfolio, ‘allowing Gallo to continue competing in luxury wine and fueling strategic growth for the company’.

See also: Jane Anson reports from a masterclass of top Napa Valley Cabernet wines


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