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Heitz buys Napa vineyard from TWE for $25m

Napa’s Heitz Cellar has acquired the 54-acre Wildwood Vineyard in Rutherford for a reported US$25 million from previous owner Treasury Wine Estates.

In an acquisition filed on 19 June, it was noted that St Helena-based Heitz had bought the vineyard which had previously belonged to Sterling Vineyards, owned by TWE.

In a statement, Rachel Ashley, senior vice president of wine production for TWE confirmed the sale: “TWE confirms that it has sold the Wildwood Vineyard located in Rutherford to Heitz Wine Cellars, a luxury producer based in St. Helena.

“The vineyard was considered non-core to the business’ requirements. Financial details around the transaction remain commercial in confidence.

“Viticulture and world-class winemaking in the US remains important to TWE, along with marketing and selling our renowned Californian wine brands. At the same time, we are continually looking for opportunities to ensure our asset base is in line with the requirements of the business.”

TWE did not disclose the financial details, however, the final sale price was reported by Wine Business to be $25 million.

According to Sterling Vineyards, the Wildwood site is situated between the Silverado Trail and Conn Creek with deep, well-drained soils. The vineyard is principally planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, but also includes Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Chardonnay vines.

In April last year, Heitz was sold to Arkansas banking billionaire Gaylon M. Lawrence Jr. for a rumoured US$180 million.

Known for its Cabernet Sauvignon produced from grapes grown in Martha’s Vineyard in Oakville, the winery was founded by in 1961. Heitz also produces wine from Trailside Vineyard in Rutherford which it acquired in 1984. Wildwood Vineyard runs alongside its Trailside vineyard.

TWE’s California wine brands include Sterling Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyard, Beringer Vineyards and Stag’s Leap Winery.

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