Geyser Peak tasting room bound for Alderbrook

[caption id="attachment_86256" align="alignnone" width="500"] Alderbrook Winery, closed in early January after the sale by Terlato Wine Group, is set to be new home for the Geyser Peak tasting room. (image credit: Alvin Jornada of The Press Democrat)[/caption]

HEALDSBURG -- The Alderbrook winery in Healdsburg, which was sold earlier this month, won't be sitting empty for long, as Australia-based Accolade Wines on Tuesday said it plans to move the Geyser Peak visitor's center and offices there from Geyserville this spring.

Accolade is leasing the facility, located near the intersection of the Westside Road and Highway 101, from Bernie Orsi, a Marin County wine and beer executive who purchased the property early this month from Terlato Wine Group for an undisclosed sum. Napa-based The Coppola Companies acquired the landmark stone and ivy facade Geyser Peak winery from Entertainment Properties Trust last March.

Yet production of the 300,000-cases-a-year Geyser Peak brand is shifting to Treasury Wine Estates' Asti winery, as announced in November. Alderbrook has capacity for about 50,000 cases of wine a year and 60 acres of zinfandel vines.

Renovations of the new Healdsburg tasting room is set to begin soon and be ready for visitors in March or April. The tasting room in Geyserville will remain open until then.

"We are delighted to have found a new home for Geyser Peak that maintains its historic ties to northern Sonoma County," said Tim Matz, managing director for Napa-based Accolade Wines North America. "With a new location secured, Geyser Peak is assured of its rightful sense of place well into the future."

The facility shift comes as Accolade has been making a "major investment" in Geyser Peak since acquiring it and a few other brands from defunct Ascentia Wine Estates in June 2012. Money has gone into improving winemaking and production as well as revamping sales and marketing to focus on vineyard sourcing and small-lot luxury wines. Any use of Alderbrook for such small-scale production at some point in the near future, according to Mr. Matz.

The Geyser Peak brand goes back to 1880, when Augustus Quitzow started it as the state's 29th bonded winery. Alderbrook was started in 1981 and acquired by Terlato in 2001.

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