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Foley purchases Langtry Estate & Vineyards

Foley Family Wines, the growing Healdsburg company that owns Sebastiani and Chalk Hill, continued its flurry of activity with the purchase of Langtry Estate & Vineyards in Lake County, the company's third Wine Country acquisition this month.

Bill Foley completed his purchase of a 67 percent interest in the 150,000-case winery east of Middletown. The sale includes 150 acres of vineyards, the Langtry and Guenoc wine brands and the historic home of British actress Lilly Langtry, the company announced Tuesday.

"Langtry and Guenoc are important additions to our portfolio," Foley said in a release. "They bring high-quality, acclaimed wines which have a presence in important national and regional accounts."

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The balance of the winery and sprawling 23,000-acre property straddling the Lake and Napa county line will continue to be owned by Easton Munson, president of Langtry Farms and Hawaii-based Malulani Investments.

The winery, which dates to Langtry's purchase of the estate in 1888, is the largest in Lake County. It is the only winery in the Guenoc Valley appellation.

The deal cements a relationship that began in July when Foley Family Wines struck a sales and marketing agreement for the Langtry and Guenoc brands, the latter of which has a strong supermarket presence, said Andrea Smalling, Foley's chief marketing officer.

The sale pushes Foley's portfolio to more than 1 million cases a year and confirms the billionaire as the most acquisitive player in the state's wine industry. Foley, chairman of title insurance giant Fidelity National Title, purchased his first winery less than 17 years ago, ramped up his winery purchases in 2007 and is now among the top 30 U.S. wine producers.

Two weeks ago, the company bought Lancaster Estate, an Alexander Valley winery that produces about 12,000 cases yearly.

It followed that up a week later with the purchase of the 206-acre Ramal East Vineyard in the Carneros appellation.

In addition to giving the portfolio more clout with distributors, the company sees opportunities to increase wine tourism to the remote area.


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