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Michael David Winery buys Silver Oak’s Geyserville facility

Michael David Winery of Lodi announced Thursday that it has bought Silver Oak Cellars’ Geyserville winery as the latter moves into its new Alexander Valley production facility this summer.

The sale provides Michael David its first property in the premium North Coast region, where it already sources some of its grapes. The family-owned winery has gained a large following with its 7 Deadly Zins and Freakshow brands.

The sale includes the Tudor-style winery, which can produce up to 70,000 cases annually, and a 12-acre vineyard of cabernet sauvignon grapes. The purchase price was not disclosed by the parties.

“I have what I call a reverse commute. We buy a bunch of North Coast grapes to make Lodi wines,” said Kevin Phillips, vice president of operations at Michael David. “For us, it’s a pure facility play.”

Michael David will not immediately open up a tasting room at the site because it first wants to build up its Sonoma County wine portfolio, Phillips said. The majority of its wines sell for between $15 to $19 a bottle.

Silver Oak no longer needed the Geyserville facility as it nears completion of its new facility near the Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, said David Duncan, the winery’s president and chief executive officer. The two properties are about 10 miles apart.

“For me, I sold the old house and I’m moving into the new house,” Duncan said.

Silver Oak also owns the Twomey facility on Westside Road in Healdsburg, the former Roshambo winery. That brand offers pinot noir, merlot and sauvignon blanc wines.

The new Silver Oak winery will allow more capacity - up to 100,000 cases annually - for its premium cabernet sauvignon wines. It also will incorporate many of the environmental friendly features of its Oakville winery, which has been certified with a LEED Platinum status by the U.S. Green Building Council, Duncan said.

The new Silver Oak tasting room is scheduled to open in the fall.

Last week, Silver Oak purchased Napa Valley’s Ovid winery and its 15 vineyard acres in the Pritchard Hill area of St. Helena. Overall, the company owns 470 planted vineyard acres.

The Ovid deal came together rather easily as Duncan has been longtime friends with the winery’s founders, Mark Nelson and Dana Johnson. No major changes are planned for Ovid.

“It’s very important to us that they chose us to be the next steward of the property,” Duncan said. “It’s not a transaction. It’s a transition.”

You can reach Staff Writer Bill Swindell at 521-5223 or bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @BillSwindell.

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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