French family buys Napa Valley 'cult' vintner Araujo

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.

Artemis Group, owned by the Pinault family and operator of Château Latour in Bordeaux, Domaine d’Eugenie 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.

[caption id="attachment_60380" align="alignleft" width="200"] Bart Araujo[/caption]

Araujo Estate founders Bart and Daphne Araujo in a statement said Artemis 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.

Frederic 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.

Artemis 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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