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News Alert: Foley Family Wines Acquires Chateau St. Jean from TWE

December 8, 2021

Sonoma, California-based Foley Family Wines has acquired Chateau St. Jean from Treasury Wine Estates. The acquisition includes St. Jean’s chateau in Kenwood, California, as well as a 6,000-square-foot visitors center, and 39,000-square-foot production facility. The deal also includes Chateau St. Jean’s 79 planted acres of estate vineyards. Zepponi & Company served as Treasury’s financial advisor, and terms weren’t disclosed. Last year, according to Impact Databank, Chateau St. Jean was at 329,000 cases.

“Chateau St. Jean is a Sonoma County icon, with almost 50 years of history in Sonoma Valley,” said Gerard Thoukis, CMO, Foley Family Wines. “The future strategy of this brand will aid Foley Family Wines in our desire to become the number-one luxury wine producer in the U.S.”

In addition to the Chateau St. Jean facilities, Foley Family Wines will acquire a legacy use permit, allowing the company to host up to 30 events annually, including 24 special events a year and six other large gatherings, such as weddings. “Chateau St. Jean will continue serving as the preeminent location in Sonoma County for weddings, corporate, and wine club member events,” added Thoukis  “Many of these are already booked for 2022.”

Right now, Chateau St. Jean’s wines are not being made at the estate. Looking ahead, Foley Family Wines plans to restore the production facility and eventually bring winemaking back to Chateau St. Jean’s estate. “Over time, restoration will take place to the Estate vineyard, guest experience center, and winemaking facility,” said Thoukis.  “We intend to have a fully functioning estate winery by the 2022 harvest. The specifics of the brand strategy are yet to be finalized, but our intention is to restore Chateau St. Jean to luxury winemaking prominence in Sonoma County, with a focus on sub-AVA and vineyard designated wines while maintaining the icon that is Cinq Cépages.”

Chateau St. Jean has produced wine since 1973 and is known for its vineyard-designated Chardonnay bottlings, as well as Cinq Cépages, a Bordeaux blend that was the first Sonoma wine to be named Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year in 1999 for its 1996 vintage. In addition to Cinq Cépages and Chateau St. Jean’s Reserve tier vineyard-designated wines, the winery produces its California tier, the company’s most widely distributed wines. “We’re eager to refocus on the production of vineyard-designated wines from Sonoma County, and to invest in the estate vineyards that support Cinq Cépages,” said Foley Family Wines President Shawn Schiffer.

The deal brings Chateau St. Jean into Foley Family Wines fold with other Sonoma labels, including Chalk Hill, Ferrari-Carano, Sebastiani, and Foley Sonoma, among others. Beyond Sonoma, Foley is present in numerous other wine regions, with Napa labels like Foley Johnson, the Central Coast’s Foley Estates, and France’s Lucien Albrecht.—Shane English

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