Healdsburg winery Michel-Schlumberger was sold Wednesday to a new company affiliated with the Westlake Village-based Adams Wine Group.
The sale included the Dry Creek Valley winery's inventory and its 100 acres, which include 65 acres of vineyards, according to Jacques Pierre Schlumberger, who was the majority partner and president before the sale.
"It's time in my life to sell," Schlumberger said. "I'm still a grower, and I love the wine business. But I really wanted to cut back on my own activities."
Mario Zepponi, partner at Zepponi and Company, said Wednesday the winery was bought by Steve Adams, founder and chairman of Adams Wine Group. The winery will be owned by a holding company associated with Adams Wine Group, Zepponi said.
"Jacques Schlumberger has been one of the finest gentlemen in the wine industry," Zepponi said. "From a character and integrity standpoint, I do believe it is a nice match of a passing of the torch between seller and buyer."
Adams Wine Group owns Adler Fels, a winery located in the Santa Rosa hills, and Pack n' Ship, a Windsor-based wine shipping company.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the Michel-Schlumberger winery was listed Wednesday on the website of Sotheby's International Realty for $12 million.
Mark Stevens, a Sotheby's broker, confirmed that the sale took place Wednesday and was co-brokered by Sotheby's, but he did not disclose the sale price.
Adams could not be reached for comment.
The Schlumberger family has grown grapes and made wine in Alsace, France for 400 years.
Schlumberger said he would be working with the new owner as a consultant, at least "in the near term."
"Other than that, I plan to relax some," he said.
Schlumberger said he believes most of the 22 employees, both full-time and part-time, will stay on with the new owner. Schlumberger said that he worked with Gary Hawke, a long-time wine industry executive in Sonoma County, who represented the buyer in the deal. Hawke did not return phone calls on Wednesday.
Winemaker Michael Brunson, who joined the winery in 1993, said he was not sure what the deal would mean for his job.
"I don't know as of yet how they're going to directly affect me, nothing as yet has been penned in," Brunson said.
The Michel-Schlumberger estate was founded in 1979 as Domaine Michel, and Jacques Schlumberger became the majority partner and owner in 1993, according to the company's website</CW>.
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