Winery Exchange revamps Echelon with North Coast grapes

After acquiring the Echelon Vineyards brand from Diageo Chateau & Estates Wines early this year, Novato-based Winery Exchange has revamped the brand inside the bottle and out.

[caption id="attachment_43831" align="alignleft" width="178" caption="Winery Exchange re-releases Echelon with higher-quality tier."][/caption]

The Novato-based producer of private and national wine, beer and spirits brands for a number of major retailers released a new Collection Series for Echelon, the first of the company's own national brands. Winemaker Kurt Lorenzi has significantly expanded grape sourcing to include Napa Valley, Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley appellations. The California Series retails for $13--$14 a bottle, and the Collection Series, $15--$18.***

Boisset Family Estates, whose U.S. portfolio of brands includes DeLoach, Buena Vista and Raymond, formed a "strategic partnership" with 75,000-case-a-year Lockwood Vineyard in Monterey County. Johnson and Butch Lindley will remain owners of their estate vineyard, and Boisset will "propel" brand marketing.

“Monterey’s future is only beginning,” said Jean-Charles Boisset, president. “The partners that began Lockwood -- Paul, Phil and Butch -- dedicated themselves to a very unique terroir and making wines that harness its diversity and express its potential."***

Part of the makeover of the Main Street Exchange building at 1040 Main St. in downtown Napa, are tenant improvements to accommodate 22 employees of Huneeus Vintners. The Huneeus family wine company plans to relocate accounting, sales administration and marketing personnel from the Quintessa winery in St. Helena to 5,800 square feet in Napa around the beginning of next year, according to spokeswoman Gwen McGill. 

"These offices were never designed to hold a growing company with multiple brands in multiple countries," Ms. McGill said. "Downtown Napa is a fantastic location which offers more now than ever has, with a number of new restaurants and services. It provides a great dynamic for a company with a youthful culture."

The portfolio includes Quintessa, Napa Valley brands Faust and Illumination, Flowers Vineyards & Winery on the Sonoma Coast and Chilean wineries Veramonte and Neyen Estate.

The conversion of the early 1900s Napa building from hotel to office building over the years has covered over architectural elements that building owner Joe Keebler is looking to restore or complement, according to the property marketing agent, Michael Moffett of Coldwell Banker Commercial Brokers of the Valley. That includes restoring the 9-foot-high windows on the back wall of the building, the pressed-tin ceiling of the ballroom-turned-offices and skylights in the atrium.

"They were looking for something unique and not standard," he said about Huneeus Vintners.***

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