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Napa's Chimney Rock Winery Sold to Owners of Rutherford Hill


Daniel Sogg
Posted: April 20, 2000

Terlato Wine Group -- the Illinois-based firm that owns Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa Valley -- has purchased a 50 percent share of Chimney Rock Winery in the Stags Leap District. The deal, valued at more than $30 million, includes the winery, 133 acres of vineyards and unplanted land, and current inventory.

Sheldon and Stella Wilson founded Chimney Rock in 1984, converting half of an 18-hole golf course into vineyards. The Napa Valley winery, which is best known for its Cabernets, will continue its independent operation, with Terlato Wine Group in charge of all marketing.

"We're thrilled with what they've done," said TWG's president and COO William Terlato. "The Wilsons were looking for a partner who'd continue their legacy of quality."

Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends comprise nearly half of Chimney Rock's current production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc accounting for the rest.

The winery recently obtained a permit to increase its annual 23,000-case production to 60,000 cases. Later this spring, Chimney Rock will start to plant the remaining 56 acres of the 9-hole golf course (which remains open until then), mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties.

Terlato Wine Group, which also includes Paterno Imports and five distributors in Illinois, will have an option to purchase the balance of Chimney Rock in the future.

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Check out recent ratings of Chimney Rock wines.

Read more about Chimney Rock:

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    A Swinging Time

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