The owner of Château Pichon Baron, AXA Millésimes, has made its first foray into Napa Valley with a deal to buy Outpost Wines for an undisclosed fee.
Purchasing Outpost Wines, located near to Angwin in the Howell Mountain area of Napa Valley, has seen AXA Millésimes achieve a long-term ambition, according to its MD, Christian Seely.
‘We have been looking to make an acquisition in Napa Valley for some time,’ he said, announcing the deal to buy Outpost Wines from the Dotzler family. Financial details were not disclosed.
‘We were thrilled to come across the wines and the vineyards of Outpost Wines a few months ago.’
Several of Bordeaux’s top estate owners and producers have laid down roots in California in the last few decades.
Seely said the move was logical given the pre-eminence of Cabernet Sauvignon in large parts of both the Médoc and Napa.
Outpost produces an estate Cabernet Sauvignon, although it also produces Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel varietal wines from its 11.3 hectare vineyard estate.
Frank and Kathy Dotzler began making wine in the area following their purchase of True Vineyard in 1998.
Outpost’s current winemaker, Thomas Brown, will continue in his position following the acquisition, said Seely. Frank Dotzler will also stay on in a ‘fully operational capacity’, he said.
‘With the purchase of True Vineyard in 1998, Kathy and I embarked on a wonderful journey to try and make wines on the level of the great wines we had experienced from around the world,’ said Frank Dotzler.
‘Together with our exceptional staff, we have made great strides in achieving that goal.’
As well as Pichon Baron in Pauillac, AXA also makes wine in Pomerol and Sauternes in Bordeaux, in Tokaj in Hungary, in the Douro Valley in Portugal and in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Romanée-Saint-Vivant in Burgundy.
See also: California Cabernet 2014 panel tasting results
Published online in 2018 for Premium members