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PlumpJack Group Expands Vineyard Holdings

PlumpJack and CADE wine producer acquires Steltzner Stags Leap property

by Paul Franson
plumpjack steltzner
The PlumpJack Group has added to its holdings, purchasing vineyard acreage and a wine producing facility in Napa's Stags Leap District from the Steltzner family. The Steltzner brand will continue wine production from a new location.
Napa Valley, Calif.—PlumpJack Group, owner of PlumpJack http: and CADE wineries in Napa Valley, is acquiring the Steltzner Vineyard property and winery in the valley’s Stags Leap District. The group, owned largely by Gordon Getty and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, with John Conover, general manager of 10,000-case PlumpJack Winery and partner, co-owner and general manager of 12,000-case CADE Winery, will use the 40-acre property to develop a new Stags Leap wine brand.

The property contains 36 acres of vineyards planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Tintoria and Pinotage.
“PlumpJack Group was presented with an opportunity to purchase an exceptional vineyard from a pioneering grape grower, Dick Steltzner,” Conover said. “This vineyard reflects our vision and commitment to estate-grown wines, allows us to produce wines from the Stags Leap District, and helps meet the growing demand for extraordinary wines.”
The group has properties on the valley floor in Oakville, the steep terrain of Howell Mountain, and now in the Stags Leap District.

Steltzner brand will continue
The sale does not include the Steltzner brand or the other vineyards owned by the Steltzner family in Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District or the Steltzner vineyard in Carneros. The 15,000-case Steltzner Vineyards winery will move to a new location.

Dick Steltzner commented, “We are happy that the PlumpJack Group will continue the tradition of this historic property acquired by the Parker family in the 1880s and then by me in 1965. Our family will continue to grow grapes and make wine in the Napa Valley.”
The PlumpJack Group has appointed a new winemaker for the acquisition, Jeff Owens, formerly assistant winemaker at CADE. Tony Biagi, winemaker for both CADE and PlumpJack Winery, will continue to serve as a mentor to Owens and will remain an integral part of the winemaking team.

The first vintage of the new brand’s estate Cabernet Sauvignon will be 2011, to be released in 2013. A second brand of wines will be available only in the tasting room beginning summer of 2012. Priced from $30 to $150 per bottle, some 10,000 cases will be produced annually. A temporary hospitality room will open in summer 2012, with a newly constructed hospitality room scheduled to open in 2015. Plans call for a LEED Platinum certified winery on the property.

A little background
Robert Parker, Jr. assigned PlumpJack Winery’s initial 1995 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon a 95-plus point rating. The winery made headlines in 2000 when it became the first producer to release a luxury wine with a screwcap closure—its 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dick Steltzner is one of Napa Valley’s pioneering grapegrowers, vineyard managers and winemakers. He was a founding petitioner of the Stags Leap District appellation: With his wife Christine, he established the family’s winery in 1977. Dick’s daughter Allison serves as general manager and national sales director; son Justin manages all of the family’s vineyard holdings, and daughter Laura is involved in winery operations. Steltzner Vineyards remains open. Phone (707) 252-7272 or visit

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