Ste. Michelle Wine Estates sells historic Napa Valley label to focus on Northwest business

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates sells historic Napa Valley label to focus on Northwest business

Michelle Wine Estates sells one of California's oldest vineyards to focus on their Northwest operations.

Marchesi Antinori, an Italian family-owned wine company, is expected to complete the acquisition of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley in a transaction that should close in June. The financial details of the deal are not disclosed.

In a press release, CEO Shawn Conway stated that "our roots, which date back 90 years, are in the Pacific Northwest. And, it's also where our future lies." This move allows us to focus our resources and energy on the area of our business that has the most potential for growth - our Pacific Northwest Portfolio.

This is the first time Michelle has sold or acquired anything under its new CEO Shawn Conway, former head of Peet's Coffee who took over in March. Michelle's acquisitions or sales are the first under new CEO Shawn Conway. Former head of Peet's Coffee who took over in march, Conway is former Peet's Coffee.

A spokesperson for the Woodinville wine company said that following the acquisition, it will continue to sell its California brands Conn Creek, Patz & Hall, and Patz & Hall.

Stag's Leap was founded in 1970 and is one of Napa Valley's oldest wineries. It is famous for winning a 1976 cabernet-sauvignon competition, also known as the Judgment of Paris, between French and American wine.

Michelle Wine Estates purchased a majority stake in Stag's Leap for $185m in 2007 in partnership with Marchesi Antinori.

Since 635 years, the Antinori family in Tuscany and Umbria has produced wine. This spans 26 generations. Albiera is the president of Antinori, supported by her sisters Allegra and Alessia.

Conway stated, 'It's been a pleasure to work with the Antinori Family over the last 16 years in order to continue the amazing history of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. We wish them well as they continue this legacy'. Hawk's Crest, a Stag's Leap label spin-off, is also included in the sale.

Ste. Michelle is expanding its sales efforts nationwide as it retools its Northwest wineries. The wine giant announced in March that it had signed a sponsorship deal with Live Nation to become the event company's official wine sponsor. Robert Carruthers was hired as the vice president for its east region earlier this week. He will be responsible for sales in Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.

The company continues to consider the future of the 118-acre Woodinville land, which is currently for sale. Ste. According to representatives, Ste. Michelle is likely to sell the part of her property that's unused, and zoned as multifamily housing.

In the first half of this year, the company cut 5% -- or about 50 employees -- from its workforce.