Gallo buys Santa Barbara County vineyard

E&J Winery of Modesto announced Thursday it has bought a Santa Barbara vineyard property.

Gallo, the largest wine company in the United States, bought the Rancho Real Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley wine region. The 436-acre property is 13 miles southeast of Santa Maria and produces both Burgundian and Rhône grape varietals.

“The purchase of Rancho Real significantly establishes Gallo in Santa Barbara County and continues our commitment to having vineyards in the premier winegrowing appellations of California,” said Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo’s premium wine division. “With the growth of premium wines in the U.S. and the demand for coastal-sourced grapes, additions like Rancho Real are key to Gallo’s growth in the premium and luxury segments.”

The company has been expanding along the central coast with past purchases of vineyard properties such as the Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County and the Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County.

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SSU wine learning center to open May 29

Sonoma State University will hold its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wine Spectator Learning Center on May 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event, which is expected to draw more than 300 people, will celebrate the new headquarters of the university’s Wine Business Institute.

The university’s School of Business and Economics secured $11 million for the project, which converted the old Commons building into a state-of-the-art learning center that includes three advanced-technology classrooms, a student commons, a café and various garden areas.

Marvin Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator magazine, gave $3 million toward construction, which earned him naming rights for the new structure.

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New CFO at Truett-Hurst

Karen Weaver has been appointed chief financial officer at Truett-Hurst Inc., the publicly traded wine company headquartered in Healdsburg.

Weaver has served as vice president and corporate controller of the company since December. Prior to her work at Truett-Hurst, she was vice president and corporate controller at Amyris Inc., a biotech company in Emeryville, from 2012 through 2014 and was vice president of finance from 2014 until 2017.

She also has served as vice president and corporate controller of Sonic Solutions, a publicly-traded global digital media firm in Novato, where she oversaw a global finance team.

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Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.