By Mike Murphy
French luxury-goods conglomerate Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is expanding its reach into Northern California’s Wine Country, acquiring the acclaimed Joseph Phelps Vineyards.
Phelps has produced iconic wines for nearly 50 years in Napa and Sonoma counties, and is best known for its premium Insignia brand, which sells for about $250 a bottle, and helped popularize Bordeaux-style cabernet blends in California when it was introduced in the early 1970s.
“LVMH is uniquely situated to shepherd Joseph Phelps Vineyards into the future, while staying loyal to the founding roots that make our brand synonymous with best-in-class California winemaking,” the winery said in a statement Wednesday.
The winery is LVMH’s /zigman2/quotes/201350549/delayed FR:MC -1.22% fourth in Napa County, in addition to Domaine Chandon, Newton Vineyard and Colgin Cellars, in which it has a majority stake.
The deal includes the Phelps brand, winery and inventory, as well as about 500 acres in vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties. A purchase price was not disclosed.
“We are delighted and very proud to welcome Joseph Phelps Vineyards to our portfolio of luxury wines and spirits,” Moët Hennessy CEO Philippe Schaus said in a statement Wednesday. “Joseph Phelps has been to the Napa Valley what Nicolas Ruinart, Mrs. Clicquot, Joseph Krug and Claude Moët were to the Champagne region, and likewise we will continue to develop this new House in the respect of the founder’s heritage and vision.”