Domaine Faiveley buys into Sonoma property

Burgundian estate Domaine Faiveley has acquired a stake in Sonoma property Williams Selyem, with owners John and Kathe Dyson saying they have found the “perfect partner” to tranfer ownership to in the future.

The arrangement appears mutually beneficial, with the Dysons finding a partner to steward the 135 acre Russian River Valley estate in future and Domaine Faiveley finding a long sought after pied-à-terre in the US.

Erwan Faiveley said: “For over a decade, my family had been looking for a winery in the United States. We have a long friendship history with America, a passion for its wines and people. As Burgundians, we were looking to grow the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the United States.

“Sonoma County and especially Russian River was obvious for us, and Williams Selyem has always been one of our favourite wineries. We are delighted and proud that John and Kathe gave us their trust.”

The Dysons said in a statement: “For years, we have turned aside many offers from various entities that did not share our long-term vision. With the Faiveley family, in particular Erwan Faiveley, the current family head of the Domaine, we believe we have found the right partner with a long-term commitment to the wine business, who shares our vision of making the absolutely best quality wines and knows how to do it.

“We could not be more pleased with the possibilities of sharing the expertise of Williams Selyem with him and his expertise in Burgundy wines with us, with the eventual possibility of having a smooth ownership transfer to Domaine Faiveley in the future. Erwan Faiveley, who will now sit on the Advisory Board of Williams Selyem, holds a master’s degree in business from Columbia University in addition to his expertise in making some of the finest wines in the world.”

The Dysons also said that there will be no “day-to-day change” in the running of the winery “now or in the immediate future.

“Kathe and I plan to stay in control of the winery for a minimum of 3 years and will run it in the same style, faithful to the pioneering winemaking of Burt Williams, now in the able hands of Jeff Mangahas.”

Mangahas and other “essential team members” will also be staying on post the eventual transfer of ownership it was noted.

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