Moët Hennessy buys Napa Valley’s Joseph Phelps Vineyards

The wine and spirits division of a global luxury goods group as acquired Joseph Phelps Vineyards, a nearly five-decade-old producer of fine wines from Napa Valley and more recently the Sonoma Coast.

Moët Hennessy purchased the portfolio of Joseph Phelps, which includes the Insignia brand, a Bordeaux-style red blend from Napa, according to the announcement Wednesday. Also included were 530 acres (215 hectares) of vineyards, including 429 acres (174 hectares) in nine Napa Valley estates and 99 acres (40 hectares) in two estates around the Freestone winery on the Sonoma Coast, according to the winery.

The price wasn’t disclosed.

“Joseph Phelps has been to the Napa Valley what Nicolas Ruinart, Joseph Krug and Claude Moët were to the Champagne region, and likewise we will continue to develop this new House in the respect of the founder’s heritage and vision,” said Philippe Schaus, chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy, in the news release.

Joseph Phelps started the winery in 1973.

Last year, the two wineries sold over 60,000 9-liter cases of wine, including about 13,000 cases of Insignia (suggested retail price of $315 a bottle) and 28,000 cases of Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($90), according to the winery. The suggested price of the wines range from $70 to $375 a bottle.

The estate hosts more than 30,000 visitors annually.

Part of LVMH, Moët Hennessy also owns Napa Valley’s Newton Vineyard and has a 60% stake in Colgin Cellars.

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Before coming to the Business Journal in 1999, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. Reach him at or 707-521-4256.

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