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Napa Valley’s Eisele Vineyard acquires nearby property

Eisele Vineyard, which sits alongside Château Latour as part of Artémis Domaines, has purchased the neighbouring Alfred Frediani Ranch in Napa Valley’s Calistoga area.

Napa Valley wine producer Eisele Vineyard has purchased the next-door Alfred Frediani Ranch for $18.5m, said the estate agent responsible for the sale, broker James Keller.

The ranch features two parcels of land totalling around 11.2 hectares (27.65 acres), Keller said.

A spokesperson for Keller said the agent wished to make clear that the property sold was the Alfred Frediani Ranch on Pickett Road, and not the Frediani Vineyards estate on the Silverado Trail.

Eisele Vineyard’s general manager, Antoine Donnedieu de Vabres, said via email it was still early days in terms of the group’s plans for the property, however. ‘We have a lot of work to do before we are ready to share our vision,’ he said.

It’s one of several wine property deals in California in recent years.

France-based Artémis Domaines, the group controlled by French billionaire François Pinault and family, and which also owns Bordeaux first growth Château Latour, acquired Eisele Vineyard in 2013. The property was known as Araujo Estate at the time.

Bart and Daphne Araujo had owned the vineyard since 1990 and overseen several developments, including the construction of a winery and a shift to organic and biodynamic farming methods.

Yet the first Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wine was produced in 1971, and the land was originally planted to Zinfandel and Riesling grape varieties in the 1880s.

Separately this month, DuMol Winery said it acquired the Dr Galante Estate Vineyard in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. A fee wasn’t disclosed.

It said the Dr Galante site was first planted with 9.8 hectares (22 acres) of Pinot Noir in 1998 and lies around half-a-mile from the group’s existing Green Valley Estate vineyards. There are plans for an ‘incremental redevelopment’ of the property after the 2023 harvest, the group said.

Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division said in its recent 2023 report on the state of the US wine industry that the mergers and acquisitions market for wineries and vineyards remained ‘surprisingly strong’.

Among other recent high-profile vineyard deals in California, Moët Hennessy, part of the LVMH French luxury group of billionaire Bernard Arnault and family, announced last year it had acquired historic Napa Valley producer Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

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