Gallo buys Stagecoach Vineyard

New owner will honor contracts with clients, many of whom are top Napa Valley producers

by Andrew Adams and Paul Franson
wine vineyard stagecoach sale gallo
Stagecoach Vineyard is planted to 16 varietals between 1,200 and 1,750 feet in elevation.

Modesto, Calif.—E. & J. Gallo Winery is buying the 600-acre Stagecoach Vineyard, which currently sells grapes to more than 90 wineries. The vineyard is located in the Pritchard Hill and Atlas Peak sub-appellations of Napa Valley.

Some of the wineries that buy wine grapes from Stagecoach Vineyard include Chateau Montelena, Darioush Winery, Duckhorn, Hess Collection, Cardinale, Pahlmeyer, Patland Estate and Pride Mountain Vineyards.

Dr. Jan Krupp purchased the 1,300-acre property in 1995 and developed it over the course of seven years with a few partners. Today the vineyard is planted to 16 varietals divided into 175 blocks. More than half of the vines are Cabernet Sauvignon clones, according to Krupp. Elevation of the “extreme terroir” stretches from 1,200 feet to 1,750 feet above sea level.

According to a press release by Gallo announcing its purchase, Krupp removed more than 1 billion pounds of volcanic rock from the property that many at the time had thought could not be planted. Today more than 30 wineries produce a Stagecoach Vineyard designate wine.

Gallo says it will honor all contracts with existing Stagecoach clients. "This purchase affirms Gallo's commitment to compete in the luxury wine segment and provides us the opportunity to continue making and selling luxury wine offerings such as Louis M. Martini, William Hill Estate and Orin Swift,” Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo’s premium wine division, said in the news release.

For his part Krupp, who is partners with his brother Bart Krupp in 6,000-case Krupp Brothers Estates wine brand, said, "While my decision to sell was not simple, I was delighted to find a buyer that is committed to continuing the tradition of excellence and the pursuit of enhancing the world class vineyard I have created.”

The brothers are under contract to buy a property in Napa with a winery and two tasting rooms set against a vineyard and lake. The brand has used a custom winery for production and recently opened a tasting room in the Oxbow district in the city of Napa.

Stagecoach Vineyard is certified by Fish Friendly Farming, Napa Green and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

"I am pleased that Gallo will honor all existing grape contracts in effect at Stagecoach and will continue working with our fantastic team. Additionally, we are looking forward to the benefit of working with Gallo's viticulture research department, which is one of the best in the world."

Gallo earlier bought William Hill and Louis Martini wineries, as well as the Orin Swift brand based in Napa and The Ranch custom winery in St. Helena as it moves upmarket. It also bought the 642-acre Cypress Ranch and Palisades Vineyard in Pope Valley next to the Sun Lake Vineyard already farmed by Gallo.

Both Louis Martini and Orin Swift had been buying grapes from Stagecoach Vineyard. 

In adjacent counties, in 2012, Gallo bought the 2,000-acre Snows’ Lake Vineyard in the Red Hills of Lake County (800 acres planted) and the 401-acre Ledgewood Creek Winery and Vineyard (230 acres planted) and the 70-acre Winterhawk winery in the Suisun Valley of Solano County, which is in the North Coast American Viticultural Area and produce high-quality grapes if not as expensive as those from Napa Valley.

Zepponi & Company served as the exclusive financial advisor to Stagecoach Vineyards. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Posted on 03.24.2017 - 07:55:23 PST
He removed a billion pounds? That's like 2 Sears Towers. That's 5 aircraft carriers. Where'd he move it?
Loki Murray