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After Deal for Steltzner Vineyards, Plumpjack Will Seek To Acquire Other Napa Properties

February 2, 2012

Plumpjack Group, the wine and hospitality company founded by California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and billionaire philanthropist Gordon Getty, has acquired a prime property in Napa’s Stags Leap District for a new winery. Plumpjack told Wine Spectator that it has purchased Steltzner Vineyards’ 36-acre vineyard and winery, but not the Steltzner brand. Plumpjack already owns two wineries in Napa Valley and plans to create a new brand at the Steltzner winery. The sale price was not disclosed.

“It’s just a quintessential Stags Leap vineyard and it will really fit in with our portfolio of wineries,” said John Conover, general manager at Plumpjack’s two current wineries. “It will be a Cabernet-focused property.” Conover said a brand name for the wines hasn’t been determined. He added that Plumpjack is looking to acquire more Napa Valley properties. Its portfolio already includes Plumpjack winery in Napa’s Oakville district and Cade Estate winery on Howell Mountain.

Steltzner Vineyards, founded by Richard Steltzner with his wife, Christine, released their first wines in 1977. The company produces a wide variety of wines, including Bordeaux varieties and Syrah. Following the sale, Steltzner will relocate and continue operations, growing grapes at other vineyards in Stags Leap and the Oak Knoll District, also in Napa.

Plumpjack plans to release its first wine from the Steltzner property, a Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2011 vintage, next year. The winery will produce around 10,000 cases annually, retailing from $30 to $150.

Newsom and Getty cofounded the Plumpjack Group after Newsom opened the Plumpjack wine shop in San Francisco in 1992. Newsom went on to buy the old Villa Mt. Eden winery in Oakville and renamed it Plumpjack Winery. In 2005, the group launched Cade Winery on Howell Mountain. The company has since grown into a small empire, with five restaurants, a nightclub, retail shops and hotels in Napa and Squaw Valley.


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