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Turley Wine Cellars to Purchase Pesenti Winery

April 27, 2000

St. Helena-based Turley Wine Cellars is in the process of purchasing the Central Coast's Pesenti Winery, a small Zinfandel producer making about 5,000 cases a year.

Turley Cellars general manager/winemaker Ehren Jordan told the Insider that the deal was nearly through escrow, but would not disclose the financial details of the deal.

"We were very excited when we heard they might be interested in selling the property," said Jordan. "We've always loved the fruit from this old-vine Zinfandel vineyard, we've tried to source grapes there when we could, and each year we get three or four tons. We'd take anything we could get."

Jordan said the Pesenti winery staff will remain onboard, and that the winery will continue operating as it has. Larry Turley, owner of Turley Wine Cellars said he hopes to use the national distribution network already in place for Turley wines to widen the exposure of the old-vine Zinfandel from Pesenti.

The existing 45-acre Zinfandel vineyard will remain untouched, but a 10-acre vineyard of mixed varieties will be replanted to Grenache, Syrah and Roussanne.

Pesenti Winery is owned by the Nerelli family, third-generation Central Coast winegrowers. "It's a good time to sell, and it's simply time for us to retire," said 85-year-old Aldo Nerelli. "I think Turley makes a good product, and they'll be very good for this area."

Aldo Nerelli's son Frank will remain on as winemaker and viticulturalist.

Turley Cellars, produces 5,000 cases a year of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauignon, and the acquisition of Pesenti will add to their line of Zinfandel wines.

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