Following up on its purchase of Hewitt Vineyard in Napa Valley, in early-February, Chalone Wine Group agreed on Feb. 28 to purchase the 160-acre Suscol Creek Vineyard in southeast Napa for $5.95 million. The property will be used to augment a new, as-yet-unnamed Chalone brand.
Suscol Creek Vineyard has 50 acres planted to Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Merlot, and Chalone will plant at least another 40 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The remaining 70 acres are probably unsuitable for vines.
Silverado Suscol Properties planted vines on the property two years ago. While top Napa sites currently sell for around $100,000 an acre, Suscol is an untested site in an area with a climate usually considered too cool for topflight Cabernet Sauvignon.
"What attracted me was the red dirt and rocky soil, along with the western exposure of the site," said Tom Selfridge, president of Chalone Wine Group. "We feel that it should make some interesting Cabernet."
Chalone Wine Group, which had previously concentrated mainly on white wines, is now heavily invested in reds. The company paid $14.5 million for the 57-acre Hewitt Vineyard in Rutherford, which will be used to make a single-vineyard Cabernet bottling. Wines from the Hewitt and Suscol Creek vineyards, along with Merlot and Cabernet purchased from grower Andy Beckstoffer, will form the new brand.
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