Napa-based Reata Winery specializes in cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. DFV Wines has been using the facility for bottling but will be moving those operations to a warehouse space.
—In a bit of musical chairs, DFV Wines
, the large wine company owned by the Indelicato family, is moving its bottling plant (and more) out of Reata Winery
and into a leased building near the entrance to Napa County Airport.
It will occupy 33,500 square feet of a recently built 107,000-square-foot warehouse. At full production the bottling plant can handle 1 million cases of wine annually, but initially it will bottle Black Stallion, Irony and private labels made from North Coast fruit.
DFV, commonly called Delicato, bought Black Stallion Estate Winery
, the prominent 35,000-case winery on the Silverado Trail, in May 2010. The parent company produces about 70,000 cases of Irony a year through custom crush.
The family also bought a south Napa office building for headquarters and marketing offices earlier this year.
In addition to the premium North Coast brands, Delicato produces the popular Bota Box and other brands, and it has a 6,000-acre vineyard property in Monterey County as well as large winery in Manteca.
DFV plans to expand its production capacity in Manteca by nearly 43% to 200,000 tons of grapes per year and wine production by one-third to the equivalent of 16 million 9-liter cases annually.
Reata to use space vacated for own brands
The Reata winery building started out as Kirkland Winery and was owned by the Kirkland family, which also owned more than 2,000 acres of cattle ranch north of Jameson Canyon Road in the southern reaches of the Vaca Range east of Napa. The land was once part of the Suscol Ranch owned by Gen. M.G. Vallejo.
Only 80 acres around the winery were planted in grapes.
The Kirkland family lost the land in a convoluted bankruptcy, and Madison Capital ended up with the winery and the surrounding 400 acres on Jameson Canyon Road.
Silverado Premium Properties
bought about 2,000 acres of the old Kirkland Ranch. It plans to plant grapes in a few hundred suitable acres of the former cattle ranch.
Reata Winery was formerly called Valley Gate Vineyards and operated as a custom crush winery. Last year it produced 20,000 cases, including about 6,000 for the Reata brand.
The weak economy made the custom-crush business challenging, and the company leased 70% of its capacity to DFV for a bottling line and wine production.
has decided to use the winery for its own brands. When DFV’s contract expires in two years, Reata will use the space in the modern winery to produce its own brands, Reata and Whiplash. They are now partially produced at other locations including the old Carneros Buena Vista taken over by Carneros Vintners
as Carneros Vintners East.
Madison Capital hired Nori Nakamura as winemaker. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Nakamura worked as a sommelier after graduating from Keio University. He was catering manager at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, Calif., when he decided to join the wine business.
He worked in the cellars of Koves-Newland Vineyards & Winery and Pine Ridge Vineyards
in Napa Valley while earning his bachelor’s degree in viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis.
Nakamura began his winemaking career at Napa Wine Co.
, then spent four years as assistant winemaker for Artesa Winery
, including making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Carneros region.
Reata Winery specializes in cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with limited production of Viognier, Syrah and Petite Sirah for the tasting room, from both the Reata estate vineyard and from vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma County.
Reata Winery also produces the less-expensive Whiplash brand.
Reata’s first vintages were released in the fall of 2011 and are in distribution in 25 states. The company hired a sales manager and has five reps.
Reata also hired Jim Connell as vice president of direct to consumer sales and hospitality and is upgrading the visitor area. The winery is situated on the route from the Central Valley to Napa Valley and was built with a western lodge. The tasting room is open daily and carries small batch wines available only onsite or online
Artesa promoted Dana Epperson as assistant winemaker for Artesa and lead winemaker for Elements to replace Nakamura. Mark Beringer remains director of winemaking.