Healdsburg-based Foley Family Wines has purchased Chalone Estate Vineyard, a Monterey County winery whose high-ranking chardonnay was among the California wines that shocked the French in a blind tasting 40 years ago.
The sale announced Monday includes both the Chalone Estate Vineyard and Gavilan brands, as well as 1,000 acres of land overlooking the Salinas Valley. The land currently is planted with 240 acres in grapevines.
The parties did not disclose the purchase price.
Chalone Estate, known for pinot noir as well as chardonnay, owns the oldest producing vineyard in Monterey County, with its estate chenin blanc wine produced by vines that date back to 1919.
A 1974 Chalone chardonnay ranked third in a blind tasting of six California and four French whites in Paris in 1976. The results, featured in the 2008 film “Bottle Shock,” heralded a new day for the Golden State’s wine industry after two Napa Valley wineries, Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, took the top honors for white and red wines respectively.
Bill Foley, Proprietor of Foley Family Wines, noted in a press release that his company has acquired wineries stretching from Solvang, north of Santa Barbara, to Walla Walla, Wash.
“Chalone Estate Vineyard, with its great wines and incredible history, gives our consumers and guests world class wine options along the entire coast,” Foley said.
Established in 1996, Foley Family Wines has acquired 19 wineries, including three in New Zealand. Its North Coast wineries include Chalk Hill, Sebastiani, Roth, Lancaster Estate, Merus, Foley Johnson, Kuleto, Altvs, and Langtry Estate.
The company employs about 500 workers. It brought in roughly $130 million in revenues last year and produced a total of about 1.4 million cases.
Foley is chairman of the board of Fidelity National Financial, Inc and vice chairman of Fidelity National Information Services, both Fortune 500 companies.
In 2010 he bought the Les Mars Hotel in Healdsburg, once home to the Michelin-starred Cyrus restaurant, and in 2014 he acquired Epic Wines, a Capitola-based wine wholesaler and distributor.
International Wine Associates of Healdsburg represented Chalone in the transaction.
You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 521-5285 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @rdigit