North Bay Business Journal

Friday, July 19, 2013, 2:18 pm

Foley buys majority stake in wine tourism company

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    HEALDSBURG — Bill Foley on Friday said he added a Santa Barbara-based wine tourism media company to his growing portfolio of wine and hospitality industry investments.

    He acquired a majority share of 18-year-old Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media, which produces the Touring & Tasting national magazine, web portal Touringandtasting.com, Wine Country Video Channel, a wine country concierge service and a Wine Festival at Sea cruise.

    “Foley Family Wines is fully committed to the growth and success of wine tourism globally,” said Bill Foley, founder and owner of Foley Family Wines, a portfolio of more than a dozen wineries in the North Coast, Central Coast, Washington and New Zealand. “It is exciting to see the positive economic impact wine tourism is having on regions and communities all over, and partnering with Touring & Tasting will help us continue to help fuel that growth.”

    The investment from Mr. Foley will help Touring & Tasting expand, according to co-founder Dan Fox. Changes to staffing and operations aren’t anticipated, he added.

    “We’ll immediately be expanding our audience through increased distribution in print, online and through our mobile apps and digital editions,” he said in a statement. “We’ll also be creating new content syndication partnerships and building and providing more tools to help our clients be more competitive.”

    The company also sponsors the Wine Tourism Conference, Destination Races, Wine Bloggers Conference, Great American Wine Festival and California Wine Festival.

    Foley Family Wines’ portfolio includes Foley Estates, Firestone Vineyard, Eos and Lincourt Vineyards on the Central Coast; Merus, Kuleto and Altus in Napa Valley; Chalk Hill, Sebastiani and Lancaster Estate in Sonoma County; Langtry Estate in Lake County; Three Rivers Winery in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley; and Vavasour and Clifford Bay in the Marlborough winegrowing region of New Zealand.

    Mr. Foley, also executive chairman of Fidelity National Financial, has been building a wine tourism network in the North Coast. Last year, he acquired Hotel Le Mars in Healdsburg and had destination tourism in mind with the purchases of Lancaster Estate and Langtry Estate. Earlier this year, he started a concierge service among the Foley properties.

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