Napa Valley winery famous for Judgement of Paris gets new owners
New cash is set to be injected into the vineyards and winery of a famous Napa Valley estate that featured on the TV show Falcon Crest and the infamous Judgement of Paris wine tasting.
The 845-acre Spring Mountain Vineyard was acquired by an affiliate of the private equity firm MGG Investment Group, following a court arrangement for a credit bid of US$42m for the winery assets, based on US$202m in debt owned on the property. It was badly hit by the Glass Fire of 2020 and filed for bankruptcy last year when it defaulted on its debt.
The investment group has now planned to pump into the estate an injection of new capital with more than 200 acres of vineyards to be replanted, a seeking of approval for a further 70 more acres from Napa County, and also to renovate the wine caves with a new hospitality centre.
The estate was made famous through the 1980s US TV soap opera ‘Falcon Crest’ which was a family drama set in the fictional Napa region of Tuscany Valley.
Going further back, the Spring Mountain Vineyard has a long history, stretching all the way back to the original Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in the area in the 19th century before being developed into an award-winning wine by the 1970s.
At the infamous Judgement of Paris tasting, its Chardonnay came fourth, beating famous French houses including Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin, Batard-Montrachet Ramonet-Prudhon, and Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive.
The new winery has hired Peter Eckman as its CEO, who has previous assisted other California wine businesses and also Atelier Melka as vineyard consultants.
Speaking at the time of purchase following the bankruptcy, a statement from MGG chief executive Kevin Griffin said: “Spring Mountain is a bedrock institution of Napa Valley and its unique terroir enables it to produce some of the finest wines in the world today.
“While honouring Spring Mountain’s past, we look forward to charting a new path forward by focusing on operational excellence and reinvigorating our relationships with club members, customers, distributors, and vendors. We look forward recapturing the excitement inherent in our wines and property.”