Napa Valley’s Burgess Cellars, burned in Glass Fire, buys winery and plans summer reopening
Burgess Cellars was one of over a dozen Napa County wineries destroyed or damaged in the Glass Fire last fall, but now it has found a new home.
Gaylon Lawrence Jr., owner of Napa Valley’s Heitz Cellar, and Carlton McCoy Jr., CEO of Lawrence’s wine ventures, acquired the Luna Vineyards production facility and plan to reopen it as Burgess Cellars in July, according to an announcement Tuesday. The transaction for the winery and 27-acre vineyard, with 18 acres of planted vines, closed Tuesday. The price wasn’t disclosed.
The Luna Vineyards brand wasn’t included in the deal, but the next steps for it couldn’t be determined Tuesday afternoon.
Lawrence and McCoy acquired the Burgess estate on Howell Mountain on Sept. 11, 2020, less than three weeks before the fast-moving wildfire swept east across the river and into Sonoma County. The winery was destroyed, but damage to the vineyards there was minimal.
Burgess has plans for the burned property, but details aren’t being disclosed, a spokesperson said.
The Luna winery at 2921 Silverado Trail started as St. Andrews Winery in 1980 and then was acquired by a subsidiary of Clos Du Val before being purchased in 1995 by Mike Moone and George Vare.
Moone had been involved in the acquisition of Beringer Vineyards from Nestle in 1994 by what’s now called TPG, and he helped start Silverado Properties, an investor in thousands of arcres of vineyards around California. Vare was a former Schlitz beer executive who had joined Henry Wine Group, a Northern California distributor now part of what’s now known as Winebow.
Leading the Burgess team at the new location now is George Lobjanidze, estate director, and winemaker Meghan Zobeck, formerly associate winemaker for go-to high-end consulting winemaker Philippe Melka.
Aspect Consumer Partners was the exclusive financial adviser for the owners of Luna in the transaction.
Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Before the Business Journal, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. He has a degree from Walla Walla University. Reach him at email@example.com or 707-521-4256.