Jackson Family Wines buys winery in California’s Anderson Valley

A deal with Balo Vineyards has added a boutique winery and tasting room to Jackson Family Wines’ business in the northern California region that is known predominantly for its quality Pinot Noir.

Jackson Family Wines (JFW) has bought the estate winery, vineyard and tasting room of Balo Vineyards, it said this week.

A fee was not disclosed, although the 5.6-hectare property had been listed by estate agency Mark Stevens at $4.69m.

The Balo Vineyards brand and current wine stocks were not part of the deal, said JFW.

It’s a move that significantly increases JFW’s presence in Anderson Valley, which has attracted new producers and greater attention for its quality Pinot Noir wines in the last couple of decades.

Alongside a new premium winery, with a current capacity of 7,000 to 8,000 cases, the deal gives JFW a tasting room that can host visitors and offer direct-to-consumer sales. The group said it plans to upgrade both winery and tasting room next year.

JFW entered Anderson Valley in 1988 by purchasing the Edmeades Estate. It then added Maggy Hawk, Skycrest and Sable vineyard estates, and subsequently bought Londer vineyard, which is joined to Edmeades.

‘[JFW founders] Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke fell in love with Anderson Valley in the late 1980s, when only a handful of wineries were in existence in the region at the time,’ said Rick Tigner, CEO of Jackson Family Wines.

‘With the purchase of the winery and tasting room we have enhanced our presence in the valley, adding a resource for our small-lot winemaking and the opportunity to host wine lovers in the region.’

The group added, ‘The winery will support winemaking for the family’s core Anderson Valley wineries—Copain and Maggy Hawk—as well as other wineries within the Jackson Family Wines portfolio that work with Anderson Valley fruit.’

Balo, which has 2.6 hectares of Pinot Noir planted, is located directly off Highway 128 that runs through the valley and is next to several other wineries, including Louis Roederer-owned Domaine Anderson.

Courtney DeGraff, executive director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, said the group was ‘thrilled’ by JFW’s new commitment to the region.

JFW has played a leading role in the valley’s Pinot Noir festival, which will next take place between 15 and 17 May 2020.

However, JFW said that it also saw potential for Chardonnay in the area and has planted more of this variety in recent years.


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