Continuing on its recent buying spree, California-based Chalone Wine Group is expected to announce its purchase of the Jade Mountain winery brand name. The deal will also include the Napa Valley producer's current inventory, as well as long-term rights to 18 acres of grapes from Jade Mountain's Paras Vineyard on Mount Veeder. Financial details have not yet been disclosed.
Jade Mountain was founded in 1984 by San Francisco attorney Jim Paras, who produces about 8,000 cases a year of Syrah, Merlot, Mourvhdre and Viognier.
"I started into Rhtne varietals with all of 184 cases of Mourvhdre in 1988," said Paras. "I did it to introduce that style of wine. At this stage of my life, it's grown into more than I want to go forward with, and I've had a good relationship with Chalone." The Jade Mountain wines have been distributed by Chalone since 1994.
CWG -- which includes the Acacia, Carmenet, Chalone, Echelon and Edna Valley brands -- has been on a buying tear recently, showing a commitment to shift the company's focus from white wines to red. Earlier this year, Chalone spent $14.5 million to purchase the Hewitt Vineyard, a 57-acre Cabernet Sauvignon site in the Rutherford district of Napa Valley, which will be used for a new high-end brand. At the end of February, CWG paid $5.95 million for a 160-acre site in southeast Napa called Suscol Creek Vineyard, which will produce primarily Merlot and Cabernet.
Although Paras is scaling back his wine operations, he is holding onto 3 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 acre of Nebbiolo, from which he will produce wines that will be sold under the Paras Vineyards name. About 250 cases of the 1999 Cabernet are scheduled for release in 2001.
Winemaker Douglas Danielak will remain with Paras Vineyards and will also continue to oversee production of the Jade Mountain wines for Chalone.
Check out recent ratings of Jade Mountain wines.
Learn more about Chalone's recent growth: