Acacia, part of the Napa-based Chalone Wine Group, produces Carneros-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as small amounts of brut sparkling wine and Viognier. In recent years, the winery, which buys most of its grapes, has concentrated on its reserve blends instead of its highly regarded single-vineyard bottlings. Many of its growers have had to replant their vineyards due to damage from the phylloxera vine louse. And in some of its well-known vineyard sources, declining yields due to aging vines have been a problem.
According to winemaker and general manager Mike Richmond, Acacia is now shifting back to its original focus on vineyard-designated wines. "Once the Martinez vines have matured, I believe they will produce some beautiful and distinctive single-vineyard Pinot Noirs," Richmond said. Currently, the winery releases two single-vineyard wines: its established St. Clair Pinot Noir and its new Beckstoffer Vineyard Pinot Noir 1995, introduced in late 1998. Another, from Lee Vineyard, is not on the market yet.
Acacia, which paid less than $1.25 million for its new acquisition, according to Chalone chairman Phil Woodward, now owns 150 acres of land. On the new property, Acacia will plant all of the east- and southeast-facing slopes to Pinot Noir, with some Viognier, by 2000. The remaining acres will be planted to Chardonnay by 2001. In addition, the winery is uprooting some of the Chardonnay in its existing vineyards and replanting it to Pinot Noir.
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