Continuum, the wine label owned by brother and sister Tim and Marcia Mondavi with Margrit Biever Mondavi, purchased the 85-acre Cloud View property on Pritchard Hill, on the eastern side of Napa Valley, this week. No purchase price was disclosed.
The Continuum brand was founded in 2005, and is Tim Mondavi's first venture since leaving the Robert Mondavi Winery in 2003. Both the 2006 and 2005 vintages were made from grapes from a leased Oakville property, and the Pritchard Hill purchase helps realize the family's goal of being a single-vineyard estate winery. The switch from an Oakville bottling to a Pritchard Hill bottling will begin in either the 2007 or 2008 vintage, according to Carissa Mondavi, Tim's daughter. "As my grandfather [Robert Mondavi] would say, we want to stand in the company of great wines," said Carissa.
The property includes 26 acres currently planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot, planted by the original owners Linda and Leighton Taylor, beginning in 1989. The Taylors founded the Cloud View brand in 1999 with winemaker Karen Turjanis. The Taylors will continue the brand, but use purchased Pritchard Hill grapes. "We've been farming here long enough to know we can get great grapes from our neighbors," said Leighton Taylor.
Plans are for Continuum to build a winery on the Pritchard Hill site, and until then the wines will continue to be made at the Greenfield Wine Co. in American Canyon. Cloud View will move its production to Joel Gott's new "Chicken Ranch" custom-crush facility near St. Helena.
The late Robert Mondavi, who was also a partner in the Continuum brand, visited the site with his family before he passed away in May. "It's so meaningful that he saw it, to see where we are headed in the future," said Carissa.
The 2005 Continuum Oakville, a Bordeaux-style blend to be released later this year, received 93 points from James Laube in a blind tasting earlier this year.
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