Long Meadow Ranch Expands
Vintner buys 32 acres, expects to produce 20,000 cases of Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc
Chris Hall, the winery’s executive vice president and general manager and the son of winery founders Ted and Laddie Hall, said the transaction, which took six months to complete, ensures the winery has the land and grapes to meet its expansion goals.
He said the winery’s Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc, sourced from its 42-acre “San Mateo” vineyard, has proved successful and accounted for 8,000 cases of the winery’s total 15,000-case production this past year.
A cellar for white wine
The new property gives Long Meadow Ranch the space to build an onsite winery dedicated to white wine. Hall said the winery details are still being planned, but the goal is to increase Sauvignon Blanc production to 20,000 cases. “It’s definitely the core driver,” Hall told Wines & Vines of the wine that retails for around $20. “It’s not only great drinking, but representative of Rutherford.”
The family already has a winery at its 650-acre Mayacamas Estate, which has about 16 acres of vines, mostly Bordeaux varieties with a small site of Sangiovese vines. With the winery nearing capacity, Hall said it was time to secure additional property for expansion. “This is a very important strategic initiative for us,” he said in a statement announcing the deal.
Grapes for the winery’s E.J. Church reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are sourced from the mountain vineyard. Hall said the planned winery in Rutherford will produce a Sauvignon Blanc made in a slightly richer style for the E.J. Church brand.
Three varieties on 32 acres
The two new vineyard parcels include 21 acres of Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot and 11 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hall would not comment on the purchase price. He said there are no plans to replant the acreage with any other varieties as they all fit with Long Meadow Ranch’s current wine program.
All the properties secured in the transaction are contiguous to the Hall’s LMR Rutherford Gardens, which supplies their restaurant Farmstead as well as local farmers markets. Following the deal, the Halls now have 10 acres to support their efforts in fruit, vegetables, olives and olive oil.
The Halls purchased Long Meadow Ranch in 1989. In addition to their Napa County endeavors, the family has farming operations in Marin and Humboldt counties.