Jackson Family Wines, the holding company behind Kendall-Jackson and dozens of other brands, has purchased Yverdon Vineyard and Winery on Napa's Spring Mountain from Terra Valentine, owned by Angus and Margaret Wurtele. The 77-acre property sits at the peak of the Mayacamas, at 2,100 feet, with 25 acres of vineyards and includes Yverdon's large stone winery and villa. Yverdon was founded by Fred Aves in the 1960s, and was purchased by the Wurteles in 1999. The purchase price was not disclosed, but the sale did not include the Terra Valentine brand or the family's Wurtele Vineyard, also on Spring Mountain.
Jackson Family Wines has made several recent high-profile acquisitions, including the 445-acre Hickinbotham Vineyard in Australia’s McLaren Vale, Saralee’s Vineyards in Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley’s Zena Crown vineyard and Gran Moraine vineyard. Their portfolio now exceeds 30 brands and a multitude of vineyards stretching across the globe, from California to Europe, South America and Australia.
Chris Carpenter, winemaker for Jackson Family Wines' Lokoya and Cardinale labels, said Jackson Family Wines' greatest success is in controlling its own vineyards. “It’s natural to start building our vineyard acquisitions. We are expanding in Napa and looking to elevate the property and highlighting Spring Mountain,” Carpenter told Wine Spectator. “It’s exciting. We now own property on each of Napa’s four mountains.”
The addition of the Yverdon Vineyard and Winery was a natural fit, said Carpenter, “Having tasted Terra Valentine wines, we knew there was great quality and we were confident that could work with their raw product.” Carpenter has been buying grapes from the Spring Mountain region, and wanted to build a consistent source as well as grow the production for Cardinale and Lokoya. The Yverdon winery will become the home for Lokoya. Carpenter expects to keep the rustic, semi-gothic exterior of Yverdon intact and refurbish the interior, opening for visitors as soon as possible.
Terra Valentine plans to move its production into a new St. Helena location in Spring 2014. “We’re happy that people will be able to continue to visit,” said winemaker Sam Baxter. “Our experience will evolve, and we’re excited to form a new identity.” Despite the loss of the Yverdon Vineyard, Terra Valentine will continue to produce their flagship Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, but will transition out some of the small-lot Cabernets that came from the estate.
Baxter will be taking over as managing partner and president for Terra Valentine. “2013 was one of the best years on record as a company,” said Baxter. “Angus and Margaret wanted to be less involved and felt it was time to downsize the real-estate side of the operation. They’ve enabled me to lead Terra Valentine in a new direction.”