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Grace Family Vineyards Sold

by Kerana Todorov
April 09, 2019

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Grace Family Vineyards, a Napa Valley winery known for producing some of Napa Valley’s first cult wines, has been sold.

Ann and Dick Grace, founders of Grace Family Vineyards and well-known philanthropists, have sold their St. Helena-area property after 40 vintages. The transaction included a Victorian house, a small winery and a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard as well as the inventory and the business.

The price was not disclosed. However, Napa County records filed in late March indicate the 3.5-acre parcel alone was sold for $5.1 million.

“We’re here to take the baton for the next 40 years,” said new owner Kathryn “Kate” Green, a former strategy consultant who divides her time between St. Helena and San Francisco.

Dick and Ann Grace confirmed in a letter to friends the sale of the property they purchased about 43 years ago. The Grace’s first 1 acre vineyard was planted in 1976. Their first vintage was in 1978.

“With our 40th vintage now in barrel, we have decided that the time has come to transition the responsibility for Grace Family Vineyards to the next generation of vintners,” read the letter signed “Optimystically, Ann + Dick.”

“We are, therefore pleased to share with you that we are transitioning ownership of Grace Family Vineyards to the Green family. We have taken this decision very seriously. We have found a family that shares the same values and ethos that have made Grace Family Vineyards so special.”

Ann and Dick Grace, who will continue to live on the property, said their “longstanding and valued employee team will continue on as before.”

“This will ensure a seamless transition,” the letter read.

Green plans to make no new plans – except to continue to maintain the property as the Grace family has done over the years and to revamp the winery’s web site. Winemaker Helen Keplinger is staying on the Grace Family Vineyards team as is farmer Kendall Smith.

“It’s definitely a family journey,” also said Green, the mother of three young children, referring to the decision to buy the winery.

Still, Green made it clear she is the sole owner. Husband Jeremy, the head of an asset management group in San Francisco, will be on hand to enjoy the wines. Green met the Graces when she sold fruit from her Napa Valley vineyard to Grace Family Vineyards. Over time, a fruitful friendship ensued.

“I thought they were a really good fit,” Keplinger said, referring to the Graces and the new owner.

In the meantime, the winery, which produces fewer than 300 cases a year, remains closed to the general public. Grace Family Vineyards’ 2016 Blank will be released this fall. The 2017 Grace Family Vineyards will be bottled in June, Ann and Dick Grace said in their letter. The wine is scheduled to be released in spring 2020.

Ann and Dick Grace are well-known philanthropists, focusing on helping children in Nepal and around the globe.

The 2018 documentary short, “Take the Hill,” by David Holbrooke featuring Dick Grace’s humanitarian work, will be shown Sunday at Cameo Cinema in St. Helena. Grace is also scheduled take part that day in a panel discussion called “Healing The Planet Through Kindness And Compassion.”

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