Patton will remain as winemaker after the sale of Hidden Cellars is completed, he said. However, the change of ownership will free him from various other winery tasks, such as marketing, sales and bookkeeping. "I had so many hats on I couldn't walk through the door," said Patton. "Now I can concentrate on what I'm best at, and I'm confident I'll be able to push my winemaking to another level."
Hidden Cellars, which makes about 25,000 cases annually, owns no vineyards and obtains its grapes through long-term contracts with local growers. It has made wine at a custom-crush facility in Hopland since 1995, when it sold its original winery and winemaking equipment.
Parducci produces about 270,000 cases each year under its own name, making a wide variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Charbono, Chardonnay, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel and White Zinfandel. Nearly all the wines retail for around $10 a bottle.
Parducci will acquire the Hidden Cellars and Headlands labels and inventories and will integrate all winemaking operations into the Parducci winery in Ukiah. Although Parducci, founded in 1933, has traditionally been a large-volume producer, Patton said it had recently installed a "winery within the winery" to produce small quantities of certain wines, such as those made for Hidden Cellars.
Bob Swain will continue as winemaker for the parent Parducci brand. The purchase price for Hidden Cellars was not disclosed. The sale is to be finalized by the end of this month.
For ratings of Hidden Cellars and Parducci wines, check the Wine Search.
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