In its second acquisition this month, E. & J. Gallo, the world's largest wine producer, announced today that it has purchased the Mirassou Vineyards name and inventory for an undisclosed price.
Gallo's acquisition of the Mirassou brand, from one of California's oldest winemaking families, comes on the heels of its Sept. 10 purchase of Louis M. Martini winery in Napa Valley. However, unlike that deal, this one does not include any vineyards or winery facilities, according to Gallo spokesman Tim McDonald.
"The Mirassous are certainly America's oldest winemaking family, and they share the same passions [as the Gallos], and this keeps the family in winemaking," McDonald said. "It's an opportunity to integrate a rich winemaking heritage and be part of our fine wine collection. It's a family helping out a family."
Mirassou, like Martini, is a long-established brand, having been in business for nearly 150 years. Founded in Santa Clara County in 1854, the company expanded in the 1960s into Monterey County, where the family owns 500 acres of vines and a large winery facility.
In recent years, Mirassou's production has hovered around 100,000 cases, but like many of California's oldest wine companies, its image has suffered. Its lineup offers a mix of reds and whites from Monterey and the Central Coast. In past Wine Spectator tastings, the Monterey County Chardonnay Showcase Selection and Monterey County Chardonnay Harvest Reserve have earned the highest ratings and have been solid values. The winery also sells Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah and Zinfandel.
The sixth generation of Mirassous will remain involved with the company. Heather, David and Mark will assist Gallo with marketing, sales and winegrowing for the brand.
The Mirassous will keep their vineyards and winery and plan to come out with a new small-production, high-end brand, according to Heather Mirassou, who declined to provide further details.
Check our past ratings of Mirassou wines.
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