Stagecoach Vineyard seller buys Napa winery

The family who sold the 600-acre Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa Valley to E&J Gallo, in a deal still reverberating through the North Coast wine business, has purchased a small Napa Valley winery as a home for their wines.

Krupp Brothers Winery has purchased Kitchak Cellars, a small winery at 1094 Hardman Ave. just off Silverado Trail just north of Napa. The deal announced May 10 includes the 20-acre estate, Tuscan-style stone winery, tasting rooms, barrel chai (storage area), 10-acre vineyard and the Kitchak brand.

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Public records point to a purchase price of about $19 million.

“We took the opportunity provided to us by the sale of Stagecoach Vineyard to expand our winery brand and to focus on what brought us to Napa in the first place: creating exquisite wines,” said Jan Krupp, M.D., an internist turned vintner. “Now, not only do we now have a deluxe winery, but we are able to be host our guests in a setting that truly complements our wines.”

E&J Gallo bought Stagecoach Vineyard last month. And Krupp inked a grape-purchase contract with Gallo for access select blocks in Stagecoach - roughly 100 tons from about 28 acres. That ensures the same level of quality of fruit for the wines, the family said.

Fruit in the vineyard was sold to more than 100 wineries, and a number of them have been casting about for alternatives, if their grape contracts aren't renewed.

The 4,500-case-a-year Krupp Brothers has been made at The Wine Foundry custom winery in south Napa for a few years, said spokeswoman Sarah Krupp. The Kitchak facility is permitted to produce 6,500 cases a year.

“The advantage of having your own winery estate is that we have complete control over every step, from the vineyard to the bottling including tank availability and complete flexibility over timing of when to press the grapes from the skins,” Jan Krupp said.

The Kitchak facility is open to the public by appointment only. Tours and tastings of Krupp Brothers wines will begin there May 20. The 2,500-case-a-year Kitchak brand will continue to be poured for tasting there for the foreseeable future, the Krupps said.

The Krupp Brothers brand started in 1999, with an emphasis on luxury-tier cabernet sauvignon and limited-production chardonnay, a tempranillo-based red blend called The Doctor, Black Bart Syrah and Synchrony, a Bordeaux blend. The wines retail for $65–$200 a bottle.

Krupp Brothers opened a tasting room in November at 714 First St. in downtown Napa near Oxbow Public Market. It is open for consumers to drop in for tasting by the glass or bottle.

A former race car driver and real estate consultant, Peter Kitchak and his wife, Patricia, built the estate, which includes a pond called Lake Cynthia, a private home, the winery, two tasting rooms and a bocce court. The brand retails for $65–$135 a bottle.

Jeff Quackenbush (, 707-521-4256) covers construction, commercial real estate and wine.

CORRECTION, May 11, 2017: The Krupp family clarified that they will not continue to make the Kitchak brand but will sell existing inventory and pour it for tasting.

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