John Anthony Family of Wines has acquired Church Vineyard, located in the Napa Valley side of the Carneros winegrowing region.
The 10-acre parcel has 4 acres planted to sauvignon blanc grapes. John Anthony Truchard, founder and CEO of John Anthony Family of Wines and FARM Napa Valley vineyard management company, leased Church Vineyard from the original and subsequent owners, planting the grapes in 2003 and farming them since. The fruit goes into the single-vineyard John Anthony Carneros Church Vineyard sauvignon blanc.
“Church Vineyard is a unique property, both for the historic beauty of the church surrounded by vines, but also the terroir and microclimate in Carneros, which produces exquisite, high-quality sauvignon blanc,” said John Anthony Truchard in the announcement Tuesday. “The wine we make from this vineyard has consistently received some of the top scores for sauvignon blancs since its first vintage of 2005.”
John Truchard said he has wanted to own this property for over a decade. This is the company’s first owned property in Napa Valley. He asked for first right of refusal from the original owner, were they ever to sell. The opportunity arose in 2011, but at that time the wine company was deeply invested in growing its wine portfolio and couldn’t divert the capital required for the purchase, he said. The investments in the brands are said to have paid off and provided Truchard with the ability to now purchase the property.
“Ever since I planted the property in 2003 it has been one of my aspirations to purchase the Church Vineyard so I could secure this iconic landmark and grape source for all time,” Truchard said. “I’m excited to preserve the beauty of the building and to keep growing grapes here for the rest of my life and for future generations.”
He said when his parents got involved in the wine business in the early 1970s, the hard part was growing the grapes and making the wine.
“Today the hard part is establishing a brand in an ever competitive marketplace,” Truchard said. “My parents at Truchard Vineyards grew grapes and built a winery in order to produce their wine. I couldn’t afford to do that, so I went about it in reverse by building the brands first and using those profits to buy the land.”
The Carneros property has a historic church originally built in 1886 in Pennsylvania and reconstructed at the site in 2003 by then-owners Jerri McNair and Bob Frane. The 2900-square-foot church was converted into a two-bedroom home, with original stained-glass windows and 41-foot ceilings. The Carneros property on Thompson Avenue was selected by the Franes as a special place specifically to house the church that they purchased through Historic Preservation magazine.
Suzanne Truchard and Michael Crane of Napa Valley Land Brokers assisted in the transaction.