Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
03.19.2014  
 

VJB Vineyards Purchases Wellington Winery

With new acquisition, owners of 6,000-case Sonoma County winery add 21 vineyard acres and winemaking facility

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
“vjb
 
The Belmonte family’s purchase of Wellington Vineyards brings their total vineyard acres to 39, which includes 8 acres of old vine cultivars.
Kenwood, Calif.—The Belmonte family, owners of VJB Vineyards and Cellars in California’s upper Sonoma Valley, has acquired nearby Wellington Vineyards.

The purchase adds a production winery and hospitality center plus 21 acres of grapevines to the Belmonte’s existing 18 acres of estate vineyard.

It also provides a home for VJB’s production, which had been at another winery. The Wellington facility has a permit to produce 15,000 cases per year, but Wines Vines Analytics puts VJB’s current production at 6,000 cases. Belmonte tells Wines & Vines that he intends to reduce production to 5,000 cases of high-quality wines.

VJB has a tasting room in Kenwood with a deli and café, which will continue to offer its wines.

While VJB specializes in Italian varieties, Belmonte intends to focus on Bordeaux varieties at the Wellington site.

The history of Wellington
Wellington Vineyards has been owned by Peter Wellington, whose late father John bought the winery site in 1986. At the time, it consisted of 20 acres of old vines and a few old fruit and nut trees.

They started replanting part of the old vineyard and orchard in 1988, and the winery was completed in time for the 1989 crush.

The estate vineyards consist of 21 acres. Eight of those acres are planted to vines between 85 and 117 years old with 24 different varieties in the old vineyard. The most common of the old vines are Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache and Syrah.

In addition, the vineyards contain 10 acres of 11- to 16-year-old Merlot, Chardonnay, Marsanne and Syrah vines. Three more acres were replanted in 2001, predominantly to Syrah, Zinfandel and Grenache. Belmonte expects to adjust planting over time.

The family behind VJB
Henry Belmonte and his parents Vittorio and Maria opened the VJB tasting room in 2003. They grow Cabernet and the Italian varieties Montepulciano and Aglianico, and they also produce Italian varietal wines from Tocai Friulano, Barbera, Primitivo and Nero d’Avola.

They also produce Russian River Zinfandel and Chardonnay.

Belmonte says he buys about 30 percent of the grapes the winery needs, and expects that to continue with Wellington.

Henry Belmonte’s first experience with wine and winemaking came at age 9, when his father and uncles would make table wines in the basement of their Massachusetts home.

However, it wasn’t until many years later that Henry and brother Victor began to create and produce their own wine under the family label.

Today, in addition to many ventures and activities, Henry oversees all aspects of the winery.

Vittorio Belmonte first picked grapes at age 8 from the family vineyard in Bonito, Campania, Italy (near Naples). Those early days in Italy were the foundation for Vittorio’s attitude when assisting and determining the characteristics of the wines produced by the family at VJB. He continues to influence the winemaking overseeing the vineyard management and winemaking teams.

Maria Belmonte, also born in Bonito, began cooking at 10 years old. When Vittorio and Maria settled in Kenwood in 1976, Maria opened the family café, which draws upon the southern Italian favorites she learned from her mother and grandmother.

In 1987 Maria decided to sell the small café to open a restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa, which she operated for 15 years. Today Maria holds the role of executive chef for the winery, where she continues to turn out lunches, dinners and special events. She also has created a line of sauces, pestos and tapenades.

The VJB winery has a popular deli and café specializing in Italian lunches including panini, pasta and pizzas.

The Belmontes didn’t buy the inventory of Wellington wines, and Peter Wellington is leasing the tasting room in place for two years as he winds down the winery’s business. “We want to offer our own wines when we take over in two years,” said Belmonte.

The company sells directly to customers of its hospitality center and wine club.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
January 2015 $623 million
7%
$7,912 million
5%
January 2014 $583 million $7,514 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
January 2015 $75 million
-3%
$1,818 million
15%
January 2014 $77 million $1,584 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
January 2015 259
26%
233
15%
January 2014 205 203
     
 
MORE » Released on 02.13.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • March 2-5
     
    Decouvertes en Vallee du Rhone
     
  • March 4
     
    Innovation + Quality
     
  • March 4-6
     
    Michigan Wine & Grape Conference
     
  • March 12
     
    Central Coast Insights
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Scurlock joins wine hall of fame »
 
Congratulations David!
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wineries Cautioned About Internet 'Ads' »
 
I guess my first question would be why is there a three tier system to...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wine on the Rocks »
 
Great potential! Mineralities are sought after and can be found in these rock formations with...
Reader: Bruce Coulthard
 
Article: 90% of U.S. Consumers Can Buy Wine Direct »
 
You say that 90% of the consumers can buy wine direct. Really? In most cases...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wineries Cautioned About Internet 'Ads' »
 
It is an unfortunate fact that the regulations have no understanding of modern technology and...
Reader: Paul Mabray
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room Manager
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales Representative
 St.Simons/Brunswick, GA
Sales and Marketing
 Bookkeeper Full Charge
 Los Gatos, CA
Finance
 Bottling Line Mechanic
 Healdsburg, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Sales Representat...
 Upstate & Western, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Customer Happiness Tea...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Tasting Room Position
 Sonoma, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Assistant Wine Directo...
 Los Angeles, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Vp Of Winemaking
 Central Coast, CA
Winemaking and Production
 2015 Harvest Intern
 Sebastopol, CA
Winemaking and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.