North Bay Business Journal

Thursday, July 25, 2013, 7:11 pm

French family buys Napa Valley ‘cult’ vintner Araujo

Buyer: Araujos built ‘one of the most respected wine estates in the world’

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    CALISTOGA — A French family behind high-end wineries there has purchased Araujo Estate Wines, a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon producer considered among the world’s best.

    Artémis Group, owned by the Pinault family and operator of Château Latour in Bordeaux, Domaine d’Eugénie in Burgundy and Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley, purchased the Araujo Estate brand, inventory, 162-acre property with winery, cave cellar and the 38-acre Biodynamic- and organic-certified Eisele Vineyard. The Calistoga winery makes about a couple thousand cases of wine annually.

    The purchase price wasn’t disclosed in the announcement Thursday.

    Bart Araujo

    Bart Araujo

    Araujo Estate founders Bart and Daphne Araujo in a statement said Artémis Group is the “perfect buyer” for the operation they built after purchasing the property 23 years ago.

    “The rich heritage of Château Latour and its other wine properties, combined with the family’s passion for the wine business, absolute commitment to excellence, and extraordinary track record of success, assures that the stewardship of Araujo Estate and the Eisele Vineyard will continue with the best of care and intentions,” they said.

    Frédéric Engerer, chief executive officer of Château Latour, said in a statement that the Araujos, through attention to detail have built “one of the most respected wine estates in the world.”

    “Araujo Estate and its jewel, the unique Eisele Vineyard, have been producing consistently one of the very best wines of Napa Valley,” he said.

    Artémis Group plans to retain Araujo Estate Wines’ North American winemaking and other staff. The Araujos will remain at the winery through January to assist the transition.

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