"This is an opportunity for us to increase our production," said Cosentino president and winemaker Mitch Cosentino, who anticipates being able to add 15,000 to 20,000 cases to the winery's current production of 30,000 cases. "Considering the variety and quality of the grapes [on the property], the possibilities are endless."
Until now, Cosentino -- which makes small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, red and white Meritage blends, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel -- only owned 5 acres in the Yountville area of Napa Valley and contracted with growers for many of its grapes.
The Chiles Valley property, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum, has been one of the winery's sources of Sauvignon Blanc for its white Meritage since 1993, and Cosentino has also used the vineyard's grapes in its Zinfandel and Chardonnay. The vineyard is also planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto and Sangiovese, as well as new Merlot vines that will come into production for the first time this year. About half of the plantings are 5 years old or younger.
When the grower decided to sell the vineyard to reduce his workload, Cosentino couldn't pass up the chance to purchase it. "The grapes are an important source for some of our wines, but it also gives us a solid, consistent source of a couple varieties that we may not have had before," he explained, adding that he is particularly anxious to work with the Sangiovese and Cabernet. "And it allows us to expand facility-wise, which is important."
The new winery should be completed in time for the 2001 harvest, and while Cosentino initially intends it to help with his current production, he hopes to develop a separate identity for the second winery, possible with its own line of wines. However, he hasn't yet decided what new wines he will produce from the new vineyards. "As always, the vines will tell us what to do," he said.
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