NAPA -- The Hess Collection is acquiring the 4,000-case-a-year MacPhail Family Wines brand and inventory, and the winemaker for which it's named, James MacPhail, is joining Hess.
Details of the deal weren't disclosed.
Mr. MacPhail will continue to oversee the 9-year-old Sonoma-based MacPhail brand as well as the 11,000-case-a-year Sequana Vineyards brand, which he created for Hess and debuted with the 2007 vintage. MacPhail wines retail for $40 to $60 a bottle; Sequana, $32 to $50.
"While working with the team at The Hess Collection to build Sequana Vineyards, I developed a solid appreciation of our shared ideals and commitment to pinot noir," Mr. MacPhail said. "This 'union' allows me to focus on what I love to do best, which is simply crafting limited production Pinot Noir from exceptional appellations, continuing our exploration of the finest Pinot Noir vineyards."
Gary Bulger, president of The Hess Collection, said the MacPhail brand complements and builds on the success of Sequana.
"We have long considered James to be a part of our extended family, and we welcome the opportunity to enhance and enrich our relationship," he said.
No changes are planned with either brand, Mr. Bulger said. Both have a variety of vineyard-designated wines in limited production, usually just a few hundred cases each.
"For me, Sequana and MacPhail Family wines are all about creating and sharing my passion, whenever and wherever I can," Mr. MacPhail said.
The goal of MacPhail at the outset was handcrafted pinot noir from top winegrowing regions in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, especially Anderson Valley.
Sequana focuses on cool-climate growing regions, principally Green Valley in the Russian River Valley appellation and the Santa Lucia Highlands region near Monterey.
Mr. MacPhail comes from a longtime Marin County family involved in disparate business interests, including dairy farming near Tomales Bay and ventures in appliances, building materials and natural gas.
His early experiences included travel, the arts and athletics.
"Making wine has always symbolized something very special to me," Mr. MacPhail said. "Slowing down, letting the creativity lead you in this fast paced world, is a rare privilege. Hand-crafting wines that bring joy to people, encouraging them to spend quality time with friends and family, is something I truly appreciate.
He became an accomplished classical pianist and bagpiper, most notably playing "Amazing Grace" solo in San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall for Queen Elizabeth II in 1982.
The following year, he became the youngest swimmer to swim across the Golden Gate and remains a nationally ranked Masters Class competitive swimmer.
After an early career in hospitality, he began apprenticing with notable Sonoma County winemakers and quickly focused on pinot noir, for which he gained accolades.