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North Bay Business Journal

Thursday, May 16, 2013, 10:48 am

Goosecross Cellars acquired by Golden Equity

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    YOUNTVILLE and SANTA ROSA Goosecross Cellars, the boutique luxury winery located in Yountville, has been sold to Golden Equity Investments, a private equity firm located in Golden, Colo. that was formed in 2011 to provide equity capital to privately held, middle market companies.

    The transaction included the 11-acre estate winery and vineyard property, tasting room and contemporary Tudor-style estate home. Zepponi & Company, the wine industry mergers and acquisitions advisory firm for ultra-premium, luxury and estate wine brands and vineyards, served as the exclusive financial adviser to the owners of Goosecross Cellars.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

     “Goosecross’ location, vineyard, and winery is what initially drew us to this property,” said Christi Coors Ficeli, GEI Manager and member of the Coors brewing family of Colorado. “Its direct-to-consumer success and reputation for premium quality wine varietals positions us for ongoing success.  Our focus will be to continue the tradition of producing high-quality wines, as well as growing the brand to gain more national recognition. We will continue to promote the current wines and look to grow the portfolio. I look forward to meeting the winery’s loyal customers and also intend to invest in the tasting room, the winemaking facility, and the estate to enhance the experience for our patrons.”

     The purchase of Goosecross marks GEI’s first investment in the wine industry. The firm saw the purchase of the winery as an opportunity to enter into the wine industry with the potential for growth, especially in the boutique luxury category. Christi Coors Ficeli will be moving to Napa Valley with her husband, Dave, and their two children, as the winery’s new President and CEO.  Christi began her career in the wine industry, and has spent the last 13 years in the beer industry in a sales and marketing capacity.

    “This is an incredibly exciting time for all of us at Goosecross; to see this property and facility evolve to a new level is a vision come true,” said current Winemaker and Vice President, Geoff Gorsuch. “The wine business is not just about wine, but all the support of the people and friends that are the true reward. The past 27 years here on State Lane with my wife Karen and partners, David and Colleen Topper, have been both challenging and rewarding. I could not ask for a better change of ownership, and I speak for all of us when I say we are excited to work with and support Christi and her family as we start this exciting new chapter at Goosecross.” 

    Founded in 1985, Goosecross is located in Yountville, California, and produces luxury-tier Napa Valley wines from grapes grown on its estate vineyards along with grapes purchased from local growers. The winery has a cult following with thousands of loyal wine club members and has established itself as one of the leading direct-to-consumer focused wineries in the Napa Valley. The winery’s nine acre vineyard is planted to primarily Bordeaux varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

     

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