“It’s a done deal,” confirmed Bill Foley, founder of Foley Family Wines, to Wine Enthusiast of acquiring a 67% controlling interest in Langtry Estate & Vineyards and its less expensive sister brand, Guenoc Wines.
The purchase includes 500 acres of Lake County land, 150 of them planted to vineyards, as well as historic buildings on the property. Langtry Estate & Vineyards, which is located in the Guenoc Valley of southern Lake County, dates back to 1888 when British actress Lillie Langtry purchased the estate. Together, Langtry and Guenoc produce 150,000 cases of wine annually.
With Foley’s history of vastly successful entrepreneurial endeavors, the purchase comes as no surprise. Indeed, he’s been on a winery acquisition roll over the past few years, having taken advantage of fire-sale recession prices. His California portfolio includes Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, Chalk Hill, Firestone Vineyard, Lancaster Estate, Merus Wines, EOS Estate Winery, Kuleto Estate, Lincourt Vineyards and Sawyer Cellars (which he is revamping as the Foley Johnson brand), in addition to his eponymous flagship property, Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery.
But it’s not all about the wineries. Foley recently purchased the Hôtel Les Mars in Healdsburg, California. “Hospitality and customer experience,” he says, will hopefully drive travelers to stay there and visit his various nearby wineries. Attached to the hotel is a restaurant space where Foley plans to open “an upscale, casual” eatery next year.
Foley says the purpose of all his purchases—which now bring his total U.S. production to about 1 million cases—“is to capture the attention of distributors.” When asked when the buying spree will cease, he answered: “It’s kind of stopping now. I’d like to get something in Oregon, in the McMinnville area, and then I have my [West Coast] appellations covered. After that, I’ll take a break for 12 months and let everything digest.”
The purchase price of Langtry was not disclosed.