Stagecoach vineyard

MODESTO — E. & J. Gallo Winery announced Thursday that it has agreed to purchase Stagecoach Vineyard, a Napa Valley vineyard famous for its dramatic terrain, rolling hillsides and reputation for exceptional wine grapes.

Located in the highly regarded Pritchard Hill Region and the Atlas Peak appellation, Stagecoach Vineyard encompasses numerous soil depths, soil types and microclimates which are ideal for premier grape growing, Gallo said in a news release.

Dr. Jan Krupp purchased the Napa Valley property that would later become Stagecoach Vineyard in 1995. Defying what many experts claimed was an impossible task, Krupp, along with a few close friends, began developing the 1,300-acre property later that year. It took seven years to clear more than a billion pounds of volcanic rock from the property and today Stagecoach Vineyard is the largest contiguous vineyard in the Napa Valley with more than 600 acres planted to vine.

According to Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo’s Premium Wine Division, “Dr. Jan Krupp is a meticulous grape grower and an innovator in the wine community. We are thrilled to continue working with Jan to produce the finest luxury fruit for Napa Valley’s most esteemed winemakers.”

“This purchase affirms Gallo’s commitment to compete in the luxury wine segment and provides us the opportunity to continue making and selling luxury wine offerings such as Louis M. Martini, William Hill Estate and Orin Swift,” he said.

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Stagecoach Vineyard sells grapes to over 90 wineries, ranging from small boutique wineries to large-scale wine companies, and more than 30 wineries bear the Stagecoach name on their label. As part of the agreement, Gallo will honor all grape contracts with existing Stagecoach Vineyard customers, the company said.

“While my decision to sell was not simple, I was delighted to find a buyer that is committed to continuing the tradition of excellence and the pursuit of enhancing the world class vineyard I have created,” said founder Krupp. “I am pleased that Gallo will honor all existing grape contracts in effect at Stagecoach and will continue working with our fantastic team. Additionally, we are looking forward to the benefit of working with Gallo’s viticulture research department, which is one of the best in the world.”

Zepponi & Company served as the exclusive financial adviser to Stagecoach Vineyards. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo in 1933 in Modesto, E. & J. Gallo Winery is the world’s largest family-owned winery.

The Gallo portfolio is comprised of more than 80 unique brands, including Barefoot Cellars, Dark Horse, and Gallo Family Vineyards, as well as premium box wines The Naked Grape and Vin Vault. Premium offerings include Apothic, Carnivor, Columbia Winery, Ecco Domani, Edna Valley Vineyard, J Vineyards & Winery, Louis M. Martini, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, Mirassou, Souverain, Talbott Vineyards, and William Hill Estate, along with imports, such as Alamos, Brancaia, La Marca, Las Rocas, Martín Códax, Whitehaven, and LUX Wines, including Allegrini and Pieropan.

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