Lake County winery acquisition deal creates 400,000-case California North Coast producer

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines has acquired a fellow Lake County winery, Steele Wines in Finley, together creating a sizable North Coast producer.

The announcement Thursday stated Shannon Ridge’s purchase includes the Lake County winery’s facilities and its portfolio of brands and trademarks, including Shooting Star, Stymie, and Writer’s Block. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“This merger represents the perfect solution for both parties,” stated Shannon Ridge founder and President, Clay Shannon. “Strategically, the increased production capacity and storage space allows us to continue our expansion goals while providing the Steele Wines family of brands a local partner to further their market distribution.”

Jed Steele founded Steele Wines in 1991, making its first vintage release in 1992. The company reports total production of 65,000 cases from 81 acres of vineyards.

Shannon Ridge winery stated the company plans to use the newly acquired facilities not only for the increased winemaking capacity and storage – 2,500 tons and 6,000 barrels, respectively. With the addition of Steele Wines, production will be over 400,000 cases annually, according to a spokeswoman.

Shannon also plans to add a new visitor experience, called Shannon Mercantile, at the current Steele tasting room in Kelseyville.

“We aim to make Shannon Mercantile a family-friendly destination where folks can enjoy their wine with a picnic lunch on the lawn, movie nights on warm summer evenings, and festivities to celebrate various holidays throughout the year,” he said in the deal announcement.

Shannon aims to make the mercantile a go-to destination in Lake County and is tentatively scheduled to open in spring 2021.

Shannon Ridge was founded in 1996. It’s portfolio includes Buck Shack, Clay Shannon, High Valley, Old Pearl, OVIS, Pistol Grip, Playtime, Urgency, Vigilance, Shannon Ridge, and Shannon Reserve.

Shannon Ridge was advised in this transaction by Don Chase of Don Chase Wine Industry Management Services. He was a chief financial officer of Shannon Ridge.

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