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Napa’s iconic Shafer Vineyards sold to Korean luxury firm for $250 million

The historic Stag’s Leap district winery Shafer Vineyards has been sold to a Korean luxury firm for a reported $250 million in a deal that includes some 91 hectares of vines.

Shafer Vineyards’ president, Doug Shafer, announced on 16 February that Shinsegae Property, a luxury brand portfolio business that comprises retail, hotels and golf resorts among others, had purchased Shafer Vineyards.

The precise details of the transaction were not disclosed, though the reported price of the sale is $250 million. Winemaker Elias Fernandez and other key members of the winemaking team will retain their positions in the immediate future, it is believed.

Included in the transaction price is roughly 91 hectares of vines in Napa’s highly thought of Stags Leap district.

The deal marks Shinsegae’s first venture into the US wine business, with the firm also owning a wholesale liquor business in the United States.

Shafer Vineyards forms part of a cluster of Napa wineries that helped to blaze the trail for the region’s widespread recognition on the fine wine map. It was founded in 1972.

“For those who are fans of our wines and our team, you’ll see a continuation of everything you love about the winery,” he said. “There may be some new things down the road that I think you will love and embrace as well.” said Doug Shafer, who will also retain his role.

“It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to have joined my dad here as winemaker in 1983 and to have taken over as president in 1994,” Shafer added. “The Shafer hillside estate has been the site of grapegrowing and winemaking for more than 140 years, and it has been an incredible honor to act as the latest stewards of this land and to produce wine from the gifts these vineyards have given.”

Shafer Vineyards produces 33,000 cases of wine each year, with the majority hailing from its original estate vines.

John Shafer, who founded Shafer Vineyards with Betty Shafer, died in 2019. “Shafer remains in good hands, and if my parents could be here for this moment, I know without question that they would agree.” Doug Shafer said.

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