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Duckhorn Wine Company Acquires Alexander Valley's Ridgeline Vineyard Property


Date: 06/14/12

Consisting primarily of Bordeaux varieties, Ridgeline's 89-planted acres will be used to further enhance the company's Decoy by Duckhorn portfolio, while establishing an estate presence for the brand in Sonoma County and the Alexander Valley.

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. – June 14, 2012 – Duckhorn Wine Company has just completed the acquisition of the 409-acre Ridgeline Vineyard property from Artesa Vineyards & Winery. Located on Oak Mountain, Ridgeline Vineyard is situated in the Alexander Valley appellation in Northern Sonoma County. The site features 89 planted acres of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux red grape varieties, with most of the plantings dating back to 1999. This acquisition, made through a separate corporation, establishes an estate winegrowing program for the Decoy by Duckhorn brand in Sonoma County. Grapes from the vineyard will be used for the Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon, Decoy Merlot and the flagship Decoy Red Blend. As part of the purchase, Duckhorn has also acquired the Ridgeline Vineyard trademark, so the vineyard name will remain unchanged.

Since expanding its lineup of wines beginning with the 2008 vintage, Decoy has achieved unprecedented success. Capitalizing on Duckhorn’s 35 years of winemaking experience, the company’s extensive estate program, and relationships with top growers, the Decoy brand has soared to new heights. It has also been lauded for its outstanding quality, which will be strengthened even further with the addition of Ridgeline Vineyard.

“Our approach to Decoy is consistent with our other Duckhorn Wine Company brands (Duckhorn Vineyards, Paraduxx, Goldeneye and Migration),” said Executive Winemaker Bill Nancarrow. “Our philosophy has always been that the essence of great winemaking lies in the vineyard; consistently exceptional fruit comes from distinguished sites that have the right combination of soil, climate, and farming techniques. We started working with Ridgeline’s grapes in 2010, and the quality was outstanding. It is one of the finest vineyards in Sonoma County’s best appellation for Bordeaux grapes. Artesa did everything right when developing this remarkable piece of land.”

Ridgeline has a rich and storied past. Prior to becoming a vineyard, the property was the grounds for a turn-of-the-century utopian religious community called Preston. Today, Ridgeline is a steep mountainside vineyard with elevations ranging from 100 to nearly 2,000 feet. The vineyard benefits from an east-west exposure for maximum sunlight and the vines are planted on a north-south vertical axis for ideal drainage. These factors, and the site’s primarily Boomer and Sobrante loam soils threaded with interlacing natural mineral springs, provide remarkable conditions for cultivating red grapes with phenomenal concentration, color and structure.

“This is an important acquisition that underscores our commitment to Decoy, and our belief in the long term quality benefits of outstanding vineyards,” said Duckhorn Wine Company President Alex Ryan. “This purchase fulfills a multi-year plan to establish an estate program in the Alexander Valley and Sonoma County.”

International Wine Associates, Healdsburg, CA served as the exclusive agent for Artesa in this transaction.

About Duckhorn Wine Company

Duckhorn Wine Company has helped set the standard for American fine wine for over three decades. The Duckhorn family includes Duckhorn Vineyards, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration and Decoy. With grapes selected from estate vineyards, as well as a variety of sought-after vineyard sites, each winery is presented with a canvas of lots from which to blend its wines. Focused on careful grape selection, innovative winemaking techniques and a premium barrel-aging program, Duckhorn Wine Company is founded on an unwavering commitment to quality. Duckhorn Wine Company wines are available throughout the United States, on five continents, and in 40 countries. For more information, visit www.duckhorn.com.

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