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Accolade handing off production of US wines, including Geyser Peak, to Napa importer

Quintessential Wines, an Napa importer of upscale brands, will take over the production and marketing of all of the U.S. brands of Accolade Wines, effectively ending that Australian company’s winemaking footprint in the country.

“Our decision to exit wine production in the U.S. reflects our sharpened focus on building core international brands and markets,” said Accolade Wines Chief Executive Robert Foye.

The deal, effective Aug. 1, will include production, global sales and marketing of four labels: Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak from Napa Valley, Outlot also from Sonoma County and California zinfandel label XYZin.

“We could not think of better custodians of Geyser Peak and its sister brands than the Kreps family,” Foye said. “The North American market remains enormously important for Accolade Wines. Through our partnership with Quintessential, we are tapping into the huge potential to grow some of our iconic labels, including Hardy’s, Grant Burge, St Hallett and Mud House.”

Founded in 2002 by Stephen D. and Dennis Kreps, father and son, Quintessential is a family-owned and -operated import, marketing and sales company.

“It is an honor to procure such a prestigious and historic portfolio of wines, including the iconic Geyser Peak,” said Dennis Kreps. “As the Geyser Peak brand enters its 140th anniversary this year, our main focus will be in growing its footprint and continuing to restore the wine to its former glory.

Quintessential addressed its intention for one brand it is taking over, Geyser Peak, in the Wednesday announcement.

Robert Pepi Jr. will be the consulting winemaker. “Together with Pepi, and an expanded sales force, Quintessential seeks to rebuild and reinvigorate the 140-year-old label,” the announcement stated.

In December, the Press Democrat reported that the Healdsburg tasting room for Geyser Peak was being closed as Australian-based Accolade Wines sought a buyer for its California brands as well as a firm to import its foreign brands. The Carlyle Group, a global private-equity investor group based in Washington, D.C., bought Accolade Wines in 2018 for $770 million and has been making structural changes to the company.

Filmmaker and vintner Francis Ford Coppola purchased the Geyserville winery building in 2013 and renamed it Virginia Dare Winery.

Accolade acquired the Geyser Peak group of brands from Ascentia Wine Estates in 2012.

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