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Napa: New Spring Mountain Vineyard owner plans major renovation

MGG Investment Group has set out plans to revitalise Spring Mountain Vineyard after recently announcing its purchase of the historic Napa Valley winery.

New York-based hedge fund MGG Investment Group announced in July that it, plus affiliated entities, had acquired the 342-hectare Spring Mountain Vineyard estate in Napa Valley.

This week, MGG said it will now provide a major injection of capital to ‘revitalise’ the historic estate. The investment will include allowing the team to replant all 81 hectares (ha) currently under vine on the sprawling estate.

Spring Mountain Vineyard also plans to plant an additional 28ha of new vines, pending approval from Napa County.

The 2,043m² of wine caves will be completely renovated, and plans are also afoot to build a new hospitality centre and a water reservoir.

MGG has also recruited industry veteran Peter Ekman to take over as the new CEO of Spring Mountain Vineyard with immediate effect.

Ekman spent the past decade at online wine marketplace Vivino, firstly as the chief business development officer and then, strategic consultant.

He is the former chief executive and president of Wine.com, and he previously held senior roles for Moët Hennessy, Procter & Gamble, Cosentino Wineries, Bulgheroni Estate, and Bounty Hunter Wine & Spirits, among other companies.

‘Spring Mountain has a rich, 150-year legacy rooted in its breath-taking property and exceptional vineyards and wines, and I am proud to serve as the steward of the vineyard for the next generation,’ he said.

‘With supportive and enthusiastic new owners, greater resources, and an experienced and engaged team, we believe Spring Mountain is well positioned to build on its strong foundation and capitalise on the anticipated growth opportunities ahead.’

Spring Mountain Vineyard was established in 1873. It shot to worldwide fame when its Chardonnay placed fourth in the ground-breaking Judgment of Paris back in 1973, but it is primarily renowned for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon.

It comprises four ranches, which Swiss financier Jacob Safra began acquiring in 1992.

More recently, Spring Mountain Vineyard suffered damage in the Glass wildfire that hit parts of Napa Valley in 2020.

In September 2022, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In a Decanter profile article on the winery published in February this year, a senior member of the estate’s team said it planned to continue operating business as usual, however.

New owner MGG has maintained the services of Atelier Melka, one of Napa’s most accomplished winemaking consultants, to work with Ekman and the team on revitalising the property.

Atelier Melka will be tasked with helping the team ‘harvest the finest grapes and craft world-class wines showcasing the unique terroir of Spring Mountain’.


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