David Pearson will take up his new role at Meadowood in September, the Harlan family has announced. He has been Opus One’s CEO since 2004.
H. William ‘Bill’ Harlan is a founder and managing partner of Meadowood Napa Valley, which includes a luxury resort, meeting space and Michelin three-star restaurant in the heart of wine country.
At Meadowood, the Harlan family said Pearson ‘will be responsible for oversight of all activities, including the strategic and synergistic rapport that has existed between Meadowood Napa Valley and The Napa Valley Reserve.’
The Napa Valley Reserve is an invitation-only, private members’ club for wine lovers.
Pearson will also collaborate with Bill Harlan on ‘special projects’ as part of his new role, the family said. A spokesperson told Decanter.com that it was too soon to speak about specific projects but that ‘it’s something separate from Meadowood and is not wine-related’.
Bill Harlan said, ‘For 16 years, I’ve observed David’s management of Opus One. He has built great relationships with his employees, colleagues, and patrons worldwide, as well as with our local community.’
He also praised Pearson’s support for the annual Auction Napa Valley event, which is held at Meadowood.
Philippe Dhalluin, the MD of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, said of Pearson’s move, ‘We perfectly understand and we are happy for him, even if we will miss him a lot.’
Pearson has overseen a new era for Oakville-based Opus One since his appointment in early 2004.
Opus One was created in 1978 as a joint-venture between Mouton Rothschild owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild and California’s Robert Mondavi, but Constellation Brands became the new joint-venture partner after buying the Mondavi wine business in late 2004.
A spokesperson for Opus One told Decanter.com that the company is conducting a search for Pearson’s replacement.
Pearson said of his new role, ‘I am honoured to play a critical part in shaping the next chapter in the story of the Meadowood Estate, which will continue to lead the way in bringing people to our region to experience and enjoy this great national treasure. Winegrowing and hospitality are the soul of the Napa Valley.’
The Harlan family owns Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory in Napa Valley.