09.26.2007  
 

Jackson Makes a Deal

Chateau Potelle sells its Mount Veeder holdings

 
by Jane Firstenfeld
 
Jackson Makes a Deal
Chateau Potelle sells its Mount Veeder holdings
Chateau Potelle's Vineyards
Napa Valley, Calif. -- Chateau Potelle's 202-acre estate in Napa's Mount Veeder AVA has been purchased by Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke for their Jackson Family Wines group. Jean-Noel Fourmeaux, who owned Chateau Potelle with his winemaker wife Marketta since 1988, told Wines & Vines that the deal closed on Sept. 21, and includes only the real estate, not the brand, inventory or business. He said the parties have agreed not to disclose the sale price.

In an announcement, Fourmeaux stated, "Jess and Barbara, our big neighbors with whom we always had (a) great relationship and respect, have been trying to buy our property for a long time. We resisted as long as we could." He said that the price, combined with other internal factors, made Jackson's most recent offer "One we could not refuse."

Jackson Makes a Deal
Chateau Potelle sells its Mount Veeder holdings
Chateau Potelle Location
Chateau Potelle, named for Fourmeaux' 900-year-old family château, has been producing 20,000-22,000 cases per year of Cabernet, Zinfandel and other varietals. About 32 acres of the estate is planted to grapes, Fourmeaux said, and there is a tasting room at the winery.

The Fourmeaux will stay at the property until next spring, and the couple is still in the process of making plans. The Fourmeaux also own Gravity Hills Winery in Paso Robles, Calif. Fourmeaux said his winery staff will remain with the Chateau Potelle business.

Jackson Family Wines owns the adjacent Veeder Peak vineyard. In a statement, Jess Jackson said that the acquisition "Will complement our other outstanding estate vineyards. We believe rare mountain vineyards such as this are capable of producing great wines."
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