Chalk Hill Winery, one of Sonoma County's preeminent wine estates, has a new owner.
Insurance magnate Bill Foley completed a deal last week to acquire the iconic winery east of Windsor from famed class action attorney Fred Furth.
The 1,270-acre estate includes a 43,000-case winery, a pavilion, equestrian center and several houses, including the main residence, a palatial home where Foley plans to live.
"It's the biggest transaction of the year on the North Coast," said Mario Zepponi, a partner in Zepponi & Company, which was the advisor and broker to Furth.
Zepponi and others declined to disclose the selling price, but previous estimates have ranged between $70 million to near $100 million.
With the purchase of Chalk Hill Winery, Foley gained significant clout for his growing wine empire. He now has a highly-regarded brand that he expects will make it easier to distribute the lesser-known wine labels owned by his company, Foley Family Wines.
In the last 15 years, Foley has amassed a catalogue of wineries and vineyards. He founded Foley Family Wines in 1996, when he bought his first vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Since then, he has added 10 others and is now among the top 30 U.S. wine producers. In 2008, he purchased Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, where his corporate headquarters are now located.
Foley is now hunting for an iconic winery in Napa County to purchase, he said in a June interview with The Press Democrat.
Furth retained ownership of a guest house on the Chalk Hill estate, where he intends to continue living.
Furth and Foley were not available for comment Monday.