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PlumpJack winery group buys eastern Napa County vineyard for $14.5 million

A winery group co-founded by Gov. Gavin Newsom has acquired a 129-acre vineyard in northeastern Napa County for $14.5 million.

PlumpJack Group, whose estate wineries include Napa Valley’s PlumpJack, Cade and Odette, has purchased Oso Vineyard from Michael Mondavi Family Estate, according to PlumpJack partner John Conover.

The Michael Mondavi family had owned the property since 2006. PlumpJack wineries have been buying fruit from the vineyard for six years, Conover said. Attractive about the property were high-quality cabernet sauvignon grapes, as well as those of sauvignon blanc, petite sirah and petit verdot.

The deal, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, includes land located between Ink Grade and Howell Mountain in Pope Valley.

“Pope Valley is overlooked many times,” Conover said. “It’s still Napa Valley.”

Conover said the wine company, which owns 310 vine acres, had been looking for inexpensive vineyard land to buy.

The purchase price works out to roughly $110,000 per planted acre, including entitlements and other structures on the total property, he said. Top-class Napa Valley vineyards have been known to sell for over $400,000 per vine acre and some for over $1 million.

Conover noted that if vineyard land isn’t preserved in the North Coast, the pressure for real estate development could even outstrip the thirst for more vineyard land. For example, 1 acre of vineyard land at the comparatively high industry price of $1 million per acre would equate to $250,000 per quarter-acre residential lot, a price at which the land would sell quickly.

The goal is to use the Oso Vineyard fruit for Odette Estate’s less expensive Adaptation label, launched last year, and expand sauvignon blanc production for the Cade brand.

The PlumpJack Collection wineries produce 55,000 to 70,000 cases of wine annually, Conover said.

Newsom and San Francisco billionaire Gordon Getty founded PlumpJack wine company in 1992 and opened the namesake Napa Valley winery in 1997.

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