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Cliff Lede Buys Pinot Producer Breggo Cellars

Napa winery adds an Anderson Valley producer to its holdings

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: October 2, 2009

Napa winery owner Cliff Lede is adding Pinot Noir to his portfolio. Cliff Lede Winery has purchased Breggo Cellars, a small Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris producer to the north in Anderson Valley. The purchase includes the brand, inventory and grape contracts for vineyards, including Ferrington and Savoy. The purchase price was not disclosed.

"It's a good fit for us," said Cliff Lede, who added that he had been looking for a Pinot Noir investment for some time. Lede is a Canadian commercial developer who founded Cliff Lede Vineyards in 2002 when he purchased the old S. Anderson Winery in Napa's Stags Leap District. The winery focuses on Bordeaux-style reds and Sauvignon Blanc from their 60-acre estate vineyard. Michelle Edwards is winemaker, and Michel Rolland consults.

In 2000, Douglas and Ana Lucia Benitez-Stewart purchased 203 acres of former sheep-grazing land north of Booneville in Anderson Valley, and have developed 7 acres of this land into vineyards. They founded Breggo cellars in 2005, focusing on wines made entirely from purchased Anderson Valley grapes, while their vineyards matured.

As part of the deal, Douglas Stewart will remain an equity partner, and along with consulting winemaker Ryan Hodgins, will continue to oversee Breggo's operations. The Stewarts will retain their land, but plan to sell grapes to Breggo Cellars when the vineyard comes into fruition.

Breggo makes about 5,000 cases of wine a year, focusing on cool-climate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The wines have been on an upswing of late—three elegantly styled 2007 Pinot Noirs scored 91 to 92 points on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale.

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