Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Sold to Antinori and Ste Michelle in Major Napa Deal
One of the most famous names in California wine has been sold. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, a Napa Valley winery recognized as a consistent producer of great wines, is being sold to a partnership of Italian winemaker Marchese Piero Antinori and Ste Michelle Wine Estates, the giant Washington state wine company.
Warren Winiarski, 79, his wife, Barbara, founded Stag's Leap in 1972. The winery's first vintage, a 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, played a key part in the famous Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976 that put California wines on the map in a head to head tasting with wines from Bordeaux.
The sale includes the Stag's Leap brand, the SLV and Fay estate vineyards and the winery. Winiarski retains the Arcadia Vineyard and will provide grapes to the Antinori and Ste Michelle.
Antinori and Ste Michelle have another joint venture, Col Solare, a wine produced in Washington. Ste Michelle's brands include Chateau Ste Michelle, Columbia Crest, Erath Vineyards and Conn Creek.