A growing Sonoma County wine company completed the purchase of a shuttered small Dry Creek Valley winery that gained attention earlier in June when its founders, a prominent African-American wine family, claimed lender discrimination during a bankruptcy battle.
Eric Flanagan, owner of Santa Rosa-based Flanagan Wines, bought a winery at 435 W. Dry Creek Rd. west of Healdsburg that was home to the brands Everett Ridge Winery and Esterlina Vineyards & Winery. Flanagan will be moving his brand, operations and production to Dry Creek Valley.
Bank of the West was granted ownership of the property in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on June 21 and picked Flanagan as the buyer.
Last August, Flanagan led the Windsor-based Russian River Partners Investment Fund in the purchase of two Sonoma Coast pinot noir vineyards, including the 32-acre Platt Vineyard.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to find this special winery site and estate vineyards,” Flanagan said. “We realized two years ago that the winery I built in Bennett Valley wouldn’t meet our future needs. Acquiring an operating winery with a 25,000-case permit, 10 acres of vineyard, and a public tasting room feels like a miracle.”
Flanagan Wines began in 2001 with a hillside vineyard in what became the Bennett Valley appellation southeast of Santa Rosa. The first vintage was 150 cases of 2005 cabernet sauvignon.
Located just off the popular Westside Road wine-tasting route and two minutes from tourism magnet Healdsburg, the newly acquired Dry Creek Valley winery allows Flanagan Wines to connect with customers in new way, he said. It also solidifies the company’s ability to meet demand.
The winery sits on 20 acres. Flanagan wants to replant the vineyard to cabernet sauvignon with modern spacing to make the most of the hillside location. Also planned are significant capital investments in the facility, grounds and public tasting room. Flanagan’s tasting is by appointment only.
“I’m excited to replant the winery’s estate vineyards, and look forward to redesigning the winery and creating a world class facility,” winemaker Cabell Coursey said. “The new winery will enhance our ability to craft wines with integrity from some of the most exceptional vineyard sites in Sonoma County.”
Flanagan will focus on pinot noir and chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley appellations, and will continue to produce Bennett Valley syrah and ultrapremium Sonoma County cabernet sauvignon.
6860 Serenity Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95404