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Jackson Family Wines of Santa Rosa buys winery in Mendocino County

Jackson Family Wines of Santa Rosa on Monday said it expanded in Mendocino County by acquiring the winery, vineyard and tasting room of Balo Vineyards in the Anderson Valley.

Jackson, the ninth-largest wine company in the United States, did not disclose the price that it paid for the winery, which was founded by the Mullins family in 2003. The property, which includes almost 7 acres of planted vineyards, previously had been listed for $4.7 million by a real estate agent.

“Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke fell in love with Anderson Valley in the late 1980s, when only a handful of wineries were in existence in the region at the time,” Rick Tigner, chief executive officer of Jackson Family Wines, said in a statement. “With the purchase of the winery and tasting room we have enhanced our presence in the valley, adding a resource for our small-lot winemaking and the opportunity to host wine lovers in the region.”

The property will give Jackson its first opportunity to have a tasting room in Mendocino County even though the company has been sourcing grapes from there since buying the Edmeades estate in 1988.

This deal will add to the wine company’s portfolio in the Anderson Valley - known for its well-regarded pinot noir and premium chardonnay used in sparkling wines - built through acquisitions of the Skycrest, Sable Mountain and Maggy Hawk estate vineyards and boutique wineries Siduri and Copain.

Jackson also has many brands that use fruit sourced from the region, such as its top sellers Kendall-Jackson and La Crema.

The company expects to take more than a year to refurbish the Balo tasting room and decide which brands in its portfolio would be featured there. Balo is located next to Domaine Anderson and across the street from the Drew Family Cellars, Goldeneye and Smith-Story tasting rooms, spokeswoman Kristen Reitzell said.

“Jackson Family Wines has been a winegrower in Anderson Valley for quite some time, and we are thrilled by this new commitment that will allow for them to have a greater presence and connection with the community and consumers alike,” said Courtney DeGraff, executive director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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