Napa vintner Tuck Beckstoffer, who produces Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon under a handful of different labels, has agreed to purchase Dancing Hares Vineyard from founders Bob Cook and Paula Brooks. The sale includes the 20-acre property with a winery, caves and vineyard. While neither party would disclose the purchase price, the property was originally listed for more than $25 million.
Beckstoffer was searching for a home for his high-end brands when Dancing Hares came on the market. He was impressed with the winemaking facility, the brand's reputation and its vineyards. "It's really well thought out for making wine and that's what attracted me to it," Beckstoffer told Wine Spectator. "They have already proven that high-scoring, great wines can be made there."
After successful careers in the software industry, Bob Cook and his wife, Paula Brooks, retired to Napa Valley in 1997 and purchased an estate at the foot of Howell Mountain. They planted 5 acres of Bordeaux grapes and hired architect Howard Backen to design a winery. The Dancing Hare's Cabernet Sauvignon blend has consistently scored 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale since its initial release from the 2004 vintage. They also make a second label called Mad Hatter.
Beckstoffer is the first member of his family to own a winery. His father is famed grapegrower Andy Beckstoffer, whose company is one of the largest independent vineyard owners in Napa. Tuck worked for wineries in Napa and Australia before making his first Napa Cabernet Sauvignon in 1997.
Tuck Beckstoffer Wines produces six different labels including 75 Wine Company, Melée and Semper. Each brand focuses on different regions and grapes including Napa Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast, and Rhône-variety blends. The company makes 25,000 cases of wine a year at prices ranging from $14 to $180.
Following the sale, production of the Semper, Melée and Mockingbird labels will move to the winery. Beckstoffer says the team will take their time to determine how best to handle the Dancing Hares and Mad Hatter wines. Winemaker Philipe Melka will take over production of the wines and will continue to work with Dancing Hares' consultant Michel Rolland. "We'll go in and evaluate what's there and determine if that's the style that we want moving forward," said Beckstoffer.