Santa Rosa-based Vintage Wine Estates has expanded its California Central Coast portfolio with the acquisition of the Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, making it the new hub for its brands in the winegrowing region.
The deal includes the 1,986-acre estate in the Arroyo Grande Valley region, the Laetitia and Nadia wine brands and inventory, winery, and hospitality assets such as the tasting room, Vintage announced Tuesday. Of the over 680 acres of vineyards, 287 acres are planted, primarily to pinot noir and chardonnay.
Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
“We are strongly committed to the Central Coast winegrowing region, and Laetitia will be the home and hub of our Central Coast production and operations moving forward,” said Vintage Wine Estates CEO Pat Roney in the announcement.
Vintage Wine Estates recently acquired Qupé Winery in Arroyo Grande and Alloy Wine Works in Paso Robles. The company had bought Clayhouse Wines in Paso Robles in 2016 and purchased fruit from the Central Coast regions for a number of its popular brands, including Layer Cake, Purple Cowboy and Horseplay, according to the company.
Laetitia President and head winemaker Eric Hickey joins the Vintage as general manager and senior winemaker, according to Santa Rosa-based Zepponi & Company, which was the exclusive financial adviser for Laetitia in the deal.
Hickey has been working on the property since age 16, when his father, Dave, was a production assistant for French sparkling wine house Maison Deutz, which planted the vines in the early 1980s, according to the Laetitia website.
In 1997, Jean-Claude Tardivat purchased the vineyards, renaming the estate Laetitia after his daughter. Four years later, retail and energy entrepreneur Selim Zilkha and his daughter, Nadia, purchased the property.
Laetitia Vice President of Vineyard Operations Lino Bozzano will continue to oversee the estate's vines for Vintage.
Case production at Laetitia currently is about 35,000 annually of pinot noir and chardonnay table wines as well as méthode champenoise sparkling wines. The brands are distributed nationally at suggested retail prices of $25-$60 a bottle.
Vintage Wine Estates was founded in 2008 when Roney, owner of Napa Valley's Girard Winery, purchased Sonoma County's Windsor Vineyards, the wine industry's first direct-to-consumer brand. The portfolio now produces nearly 2 million cases annually and owns wineries and estates, consumer and exclusive wine brands. Vintage Wine Estates markets and sells their wines across multiple channels, including wholesale, direct-to-consumer, tasting rooms, wine clubs, internet, telesales and television.