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Shafer Vineyards acquires ‘very special’ Stags Leap District vineyard

Historic Napa producer Shafer Vineyards has acquired a nine-hectare vineyard close to its winery in the Stags Leap District from Screaming Eagle founder Arlie Jean Phillips, as part of a $35 million deal.

A sign welcoming visitors to Napa Valley

Shafer Vineyards, itself purchased earlier this year by the property division of a Korean luxury firm, Shinsegae Property, has bought the roughly 9-hectare (22-acre) Wildfoote Vineyard in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley.

According to multiple reports, the acquisition forms at least part of an overall purchase of 46 hectares (114 acres), in a deal worth US$35 million. Seller Arlie Jean Phillips is best known as the founder of legendary Napa producer Screaming Eagle Winery.

Shafer Vineyards said in a statement that the purchase “secures a key source for the winery, ensuring that winemaker Elias Fernandez will continue to select from the best-of-the-best fruit each vintage.”

The Wildfoote Vineyard grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes which Shafer Vineyards president Doug Shafer described as “very special”.

“The real winner in this is the consumer, as it gives our winemaking team the ability to choose the best possible fruit in a given vintage,” he added.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a world-class vineyard property of unequaled caliber,” general manager Matthew Sharp said. “It’s a great privilege to make this site part of the Shafer Vineyard portfolio.”

Shafer Vineyards was sold to Shinsegae Property, the property arm of a Korea-based luxury firm, in February, in a deal worth a reported $250 million.

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,” Doug Shafer said at the time of the sale. “There may be some new things down the road that I think you will love and embrace as well.”

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