Napa Valley vintner Jean-Charles Boisset buys Oakville Grocery

Napa Valley vintner Jean-Charles Boisset has added to his growing business empire, announcing Wednesday that he bought Oakville Grocery, a favorite of Wine Country tourists and locals looking for locally sourced to-go meals and other food items.

Boisset, the French-born owner of Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena, Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma and DeLoach Vineyards in Santa Rosa, bought the business from the Rudd family, proprietors of Rudd Estate and Press Restaurant. Forty-five people work for Oakville, the state's oldest continually operated grocery store opened in 1881.

The deal includes the flagship Oakville store and property, as well as the Healdsburg location. Financial terms were not disclosed but Boisset will take over in early 2019.

“With Oakville Grocery, the gathering place of Napa and Sonoma, we as well are responsible vis-à-vis the community, the local vintners, growers and gardeners, the prior owners and our guests and employees to protect its past and enhance its future,” Boisset said in a statement.

“We will do so by connecting with California's roots in sustainability and fresh, local and healthy food. And of course, it will be a reference for finding the phenomenal wines of our neighbors and friends.”

The Rudd family bought the business in 2007 and renovated the Oakville store and the nearby Victorian house five years later.

“My father's vision was to restore it to its rightful place in California wine country, and to ensure that its legacy remained for the local and tourist community for decades to come,” said Samantha Rudd, of her late father, Leslie.

The grocery deal comes on the heels of Boisset and two other partners breaking ground last week on the Windsor Brewing Co. in downtown Windsor. Also, his JCB Tasting Salon recently opened in Healdsburg, and last year he unveiled a luxury spirits line that sells for up to $150 a bottle.

He is married to Gina Gallo of the Gallo wine family. She owns the Dry Creek General Store in Healdsburg, which carries foods similar to Oakville Grocery.

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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