The sale for an undisclosed sum includes 79 acres of land on Diamond Mountain, south of Calistoga, with about 20 acres under vine, along with Diamond Creek’s winery and stocks.
Phil Ross, Diamond Creek managing partner and son of co-founders Al and Adelle ‘Boots’ Brounstein, will stay on at the winery ‘for a period of time’, Roederer said, and Phil Steinschriber, winemaker since 1991, will remain in post, along with most employees.
The sale follows the death of ‘Boots’ Brounstein in July 2019 (Al died in 2006); Brounstein had been in talks with Roederer president and CEO Frédéric Rouzaud about ‘ways to partner’ at the time of her death.
‘The acquisition of Diamond Creek is the continuation of our journey into the greatest appellations in the world and our relentless quest to produce great wines with strong identity,’ said Frédéric Rouzaud.
‘Reflective of their pioneering characters, Al and Boots Brounstein built Diamond Creek from the ground up, producing some of the most celebrated and singular wines of the region.’
The Brounsteins bought the land for Diamond Creek in 1967, and went on to achieve a number of firsts for California, including the first all-Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and the first US$100 bottle of wine from the state.
Unusually for the time, they split their land into three separate vineyards by soil type, later adding a fourth, and bottled them separately, keeping production at about 2,000 cases a year.
The Brounsteins and the Rouzauds have been friends for many years, with ‘Boots’ Brounstein and Frédéric Rouzaud maintaining this link after Al’s death and the retirement of Frédéric’s father, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, in 2006.
‘Most important to my mom, myself and the family was finding the right partner who would respect the legacy that she and Al built over the last 50 years, and who could even elevate that legacy,’ said Ross. ‘Frédéric and his family are the perfect fit.’
The acquisition strengthens Roederer’s operations in California, which also include Roederer Estate, Domaine Anderson, Scharffenberger Cellars and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir specialist Merry Edwards, acquired in 2019.
It also adds to the company’s roster of Cabernet Sauvignon-focused wineries, following acquisitions in Bordeaux that have included St-Estèphe’s Château de Pez in 1995 and Pauillac ‘super second’ Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in 2007.