E. & J. Gallo, the world's largest wine company, has purchased J Vineyards & Winery, a prominent Sonoma county producer of sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The sale includes the brand, the winery, inventory and more than 300 acres of vineyards. The sale price was not disclosed.
“We look forward to carrying on the winery’s reputation of making elegant, luxurious wines,” said Roger Nabedian, general manager of Gallo’s Premium Wine Division, in a statement.
Owner Judy Jordan quietly put the winery on the market more than a year ago, and employees learned of the sale late Monday.
Jordan founded the winery in 1986, with help from her father Tom Jordan, founder of Jordan Winery & Vineyards. She was not available for comment on Tuesday.
The purchase allows Gallo to expand its already formidable presence in Sonoma County. The 300-plus acres are spread over nine vineyards in Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast regions.
It was the first major winery purchase for Gallo since it bought Columbia Winery in Washington in 2012. The family-owned wine giant, established in 1933, already owns nine wineries in California and Washington and imports wine and spirits from nine countries. The company’s wine labels range from value brands such as Barefoot Cellars and Ecco Domani to more premium brands like Louis M. Martini and MacMurray Estate.
J focused exclusively on sparkling wine in the early years, but by 1994 Jordan and her team added Pinot and later Chardonnay. In 1996, the winery took over the former Piper Sonoma winemaking facility south of Healdsburg, and by 1999 Jordan had bought out her father’s 20 percent share. (Her brother John is CEO of Jordan today, always a separate company.) Today J produces 150,000 cases annually.
Jordan plans to stay on board through the transition, Gallo spokesperson Kristina Kelley said. J’s winemaker, Melissa Stackhouse, is in talks with the new owners.