Trinchero Family Estates (TFE), the Napa-based wine company that produces Sutter Home White Zinfandel, has purchased Folie à Deux Winery in St. Helena for $16 million. The deal, which has been in the works for about four months, includes the brand name, the production facility, a 12-acre Cabernet vineyard on the winery property and most of the inventory.
The acquisition allows Trinchero Family Estates to expand their already formidable presence in Napa Valley. "We think it fits our portfolio," said Sutter Home president Bob Torkelson. "We like the area with St. Helena being the home of the Trincheros. We'll decide in the future if [the Folie property] might be the home for the Trinchero brand."
Folie currently makes about 30,000 cases a year under two product lines: the Folie à Deux label, which focuses on Amador County Zinfandel and Napa Cabernet, and Menage à Trois, which includes a red and white blend that retail for around $12. One question yet to be resolved is how the Folie Amador County Zinfandel will fit in the TFE portfolio, which already contains an Amador County Zinfandel under the successful Montevina brand.
Torkelson also cited Folie à Deux's prime location off of Highway 29 as a major enticement. "Properties like that don't come around too often," he said.
TFE owns 6,000 acres of vineyards in California, of which about 250 acres are in Napa. They also have two mammoth production facilities in St. Helena, one on Zinfandel Lane and the other off Highway 29. Their annual production is about 10 million cases, of which Sutter Home wines make up about 90 percent (53 percent is the White Zinfandel). The balance is mostly Fre, an alcohol-free brand, Montevina and the high-end Trinchero label, which focuses on Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc bottlings that retail for $10 to $50.
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