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Wine Spectator: Napa’s Shafer Vineyards Sold to Korean Luxury Firm

February 16, 2022

One of Napa’s iconic wineries is changing hands. Doug Shafer, president of Shafer Vineyards, announced this morning that Shinsegae Property, a luxury brand firm based in Seoul, South Korea, with department stores, shopping centers, golf resorts, hotels, and other interests, has acquired his family’s winery. While neither side disclosed details, the price tag is a reported $250 million. Shinsegae acquired the winery through its U.S. subsidiary Starfield Properties, lnc. Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez and the core winemaking and vineyard staff will continue with the winery for the foreseeable future. The deal includes 225 acres of vines.

Doug Shafer, who also will stay on, said in a statement to longtime customers that he hopes the sale will allow him more time to explore projects and focus on the things that made him fall in love with the wine business.

“For those who are fans of our wines and our team, you’ll see a continuation of everything you love about the winery,” he said. “There may be some new things down the road that I think you will love and embrace as well.”

John and Betty Shafer were pioneers in Napa’s Stags Leap District when they purchased a rugged property with old, unkempt vines in 1972, transforming it into one of Napa’s cornerstone estates. Today, it includes 225 acres of vines spread over four ranches (two in Stags Leap District, one in Oak Knoll District and one in Carneros). The winery produces around 33,000 cases annually, with 85 percent hailing from those estate vines, a rarity in today’s modern Napa. The winery’s Relentless 2008 was Wine Spectator’s 2012 Wine of the Year. John passed away in March 2019. Wine Spectator has the full story.

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